Investigation into SA's nuclear build programme
THE non-governmental organisation that took the government to court to halt the nuclear build programme is investigating the implications of the programme.This comes as the Department of Energy said yesterday (THUR) it would not confirm how far the process is. It said it would be able to respond next week.
However, the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) said it was investigating the implications of the deals the government had entered into in the agreements, and the millions of rands that had been poured into the preparatory phase of the project.
Liz McDaid of Safcei said their investigations would be able to give a clear picture on some of the agreements.
The court ordered that the government must scrap all the five agreements it signed with Russia, China, France, the United States and Korea.
The court had also found that the process was flawed and there was no public consultation in the nuclear build programme.
Parliament has to be consulted by the government on the project.
Following the court judgement, the government said it will start the process from scratch and ensure the judgment was fully implemented.
The government said the court had not ruled against the nuclear programme as such, but processes that were not followed in pursuing the programme.
McDaid said their investigation into the nuclear deal was looking at various aspects.
“We are looking at different aspects, one of which is the implication internationally. There may be implications on the international agreements,” he said.
This related to the agreements the government has signed, particularly with Russia, he said.
McDaid said there has been a lot of talk these days on the trips involving officials and Ministers to Russia.
On the internal front they wanted to ensure there was public participation as required by the law and other relevant legislation.
McDaid said they wanted to know where the R200 million used for the preparatory phase of nuclear had gone to.
“We are investigating where has the money gone. Who got it. We know about R200m has been paid, it’s a minor amount compared to the trillions. We know the money went to about 12 consultants. We want to know what was done,” he said.
McDaid said President Jacob Zuma had said in 2014 and 2015 that they would go ahead with the nuclear build programme, but would ensure the process was transparent.
He said among the issues they will be investigating is how transparent this process has been.
It has been said nuclear will cost between R500 billion and R1 trillion, but the government has not committed to the figure.
Zuma has said the project will be done at a cost and scale that South Africa can afford.