File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Power utility, Eskom is reportedly paying R16.5 million for a license fee to the National Nuclear Regulator in order to secure a nuclear power plant in Thuyspunt. 

This comes after Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe said on May 18 that the utility must pay R16.5 million for an installation site license application in the Eastern Cape. 

Eskom reportedly said that they will pay this fee in order to secure the availability of the site in the long term for the nuclear construction, reports Business Insider. 

The power utility reportedly added that this is not a new build investment and merely licence fees and Eskom views this as a valuable insurance. 

In other Eskom news, the National Union of Mineworkers said on Wednesday it would hold a protest march against power company Eskom in Durban on June 9 after the state-owned utility made the "provocative" offer of a zero percent wage increase at the start of negotiations on Monday.

"Amongst other things the NUM is not happy about is the manner (in which) Eskom is negotiating, which demonstrates arrogance and a don't care attitude to its employees," the union said.

"NUM is aware that Eskom has developed a new corporate plan which talks about reducing employees by 30 percent. They are initiating the plan to provoke NUM members and other employees."

NUM said it would submit a memorandum about corruption in the KwaZulu-Natal region and its ongoing opposition to an agreement Eskom signed recently with independent power producers, which unions say will lead to job losses in the coal sector.

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE