Energy Minister dismisses R1trn cost for nuclear plan

Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town - Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson on Tuesday dismissed reports that the nuclear build programme would cost R1trn.

“I don’t know where the R1trn figure came from,” Joemat-Pettersson told the Portfolio Committee on Energy in Cape Town, “certainly not from us.”

The country is in the process of procuring a nuclear fleet to generate 9 600 megawatts of power, and hopes to finalise nuclear build plans by the end of 2015.

South Africa has already signed framework agreements with Russia, France, China, South Korea and the US, and is finalising agreements with Canada and Japan.

Joemat-Pettersson said that National Treasury is driving the process of creating a funding model for the nuclear build process. “Once it is approved by cabinet it will be brought to the committee,” she said.

The minister said it is important for the committee not to be “bamboozled” by stories entering the public domain.

“We are committed to transparency,” she said. “We are not going to compromise our country in any way.”

“Nuclear energy can only be procured with legal prescripts of the country and only after a thorough assessment,” said Joemat-Pettersson.

"We are committed to a thorough cost-benefit analysis and the cost-benefit analysis is part of the procurement process."