File Image: Minister of Energy, David Mahlobo.

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Energy Minister, David Mahlobo has today lamented that it can longer be acceptable that an elite of countries possess nuclear weapons while expecting others to be submissive to the situation.

Mahlobo was speaking at the 44th Policy Group Meeting of the Generation IV International Forum in Cape Town.

In his speech, the minister boasted of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station based in Cape Town as being the only one in the continent.

Mahlobo also expressed his enthusiasm over the Department of Environmental Affairs recent decision enabling Eskom to proceed with an Environmental Impact Assessment into the suitability of the same site to host 4000 MW of nuclear generated electricity. 

"South Africa recognises the role of nuclear power in ensuring security of energy supply and meeting the challenge of climate change. 

"We promote an energy mix of coal, gas, renewables and nuclear. Each of these options has their role; some of the energy sources are intermittent supply and while others, such as nuclear and coal, are base-load supply," Mahlobo added.

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The minister said that South Africa has accumulated extensive experience in nuclear technology development and nuclear power generation and has reaffirmed SA's strong interest and commitment to pursue collaborative research and development on Generation IV reactor technology.

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According to the department, the Generation IV International Forum is an international co-operation initiative which was set up to carry out the research and development needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation nuclear energy systems - widely referred to as Gen IV systems. 

Just after Zuma has announced his cabinet reshuffle, the opposition parties and other bodies viewed Mahlobo's appointment to head Energy ministry as one of Zuma's push tricks for the nuclear deal before the end of his presiedency second term in 2019.