It seems that the insiders involved in SA’s nuclear bid are just so full of confidence and arrogance, alternatively so captured, that they cannot help themselves. This came to the fore again during a nuclear conference currently being held in Moscow, where Dr Kelvin Kemm, the chair of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), proudly claimed that the South African nuclear deal will be completed before the end of this year and that Russia’s Rosatom is a leading contender.
“For the sake of transparency and fairness, I trust that Kemm is not part of the decision-making stakeholder forum, otherwise he has just shown his bias which we would be happy to raise if we need to approach the courts for further relief from this corruption-driven deal,” says Ted Blom, OUTA’s energy director.
“It is unfathomable where Kemm gets the right to make pronouncements on decisions that still need to happen and public engagements which still have to occur,” says Blom.
“Alternatively, Kemm is telling us the decisions have already been made, which is the message the public has been whispering since 2013.
“I will keep Kemm’s comments in my file should we at a later stage need to approach the courts for further relief from this rotten process. It has again become very clear that the current government is not capable of running an ethical show, and is determined to bankrupt SA at any cost.”
The government’s plan to build nuclear power stations able to produce 9 600MW of electricity was sent back to start again when the Western Cape High Court on 26 April overturned two Department of Energy determinations on the need for nuclear power and its procurement, and three inter-governmental agreements (with Russia, South Korea and the United States) due primarily to lack of public consultation and transparency.
The government’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), criticised during that court case as years out of date, is still being updated; public comment closed at the end of March but no revised draft has yet been seen. That needs finalising before any new nuclear planning can go ahead, and any new determinations on nuclear build and procurement must also go through the public participation process. Only then can procurement start.