File image: New Energy Minister David Mahlobo. IOL. (Bongani Mbatha).

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance will not hesitate to interdict any attempt by new Energy Minister David Mahlobo to force through a nuclear deal despite the fact that South Africa does not need nor can afford the estimated R1 trillion deal, the DA said on Sunday.

Media reports on Sunday indicated that the energy department had been forced to work overtime to ensure the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) was ready by November 14, a full four months ahead of when it was due, DA spokesman Gordon Mackay said.

"With each passing day it becomes clear that minister Mahlobo was appointed to make sure that the necessary nuclear deal would be pushed through. We will not allow Mahlobo to appease his friends, the Russians, at the expense of millions of South Africans who are struggling to survive with no jobs in a flat economy," he said.

The DA would use every legal and parliamentary tool at its disposal to ensure that the generations to come would not be shackled to massive debt that would compromise South Africa’s future, Mackay said.

Earlier on Sunday, City Press reported that officials in Mahlobo's department were working weekends to finalise the reviewed IRP four months ahead of schedule. The plan to determine the energy mix the country needed was expected to be finalised in February next year, but would now be finished in the next two weeks. 

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This would enable Mahlobo to make projections of the country’s future energy demands based on “empirical evidence”, the newspaper reported.

Last week, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told City Press that nuclear energy was neither affordable for the sluggish economy, nor immediately necessary. 

When Mahlobo’s predecessor Mmamoloko Kubayi was moved out of the department in the cabinet reshuffle last month there was widespread speculation that it was because she was not moving with haste on the nuclear programme, City Press reported.