Category Archives: DoE

Nukes: Are we on a disastrous course?

Bryan Rostron, Cape Times 20 October, 2014.

The bizarre handling of the nuclear deal process to date paints a disturbing picture of the way the country is being run, says Bryan Rostron.

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma had nothing to do with his friends flying wedding guests into a military airbase. He failed to notice costly building at his home in Nkandla. Now it seems Mr Zuma didn’t fly to Moscow to seal a nuclear deal as Russian and South Africa communiqués said he did. Until they said he didn’t.

This suggests that the biggest and most expensive decision that South Africa will take in the post-apartheid era will be conducted in a personalised and extremely secretive manner…

Nukes Bryan Rostron 20 Oct 2014


Municipalities instructed to improve service delivery

EE Publishers, 10 October, 2014.

The Department of Energy’s Dr. Wolsey Barnard, says South African municipalities need to improve electricity service delivery  and clear backlogs so that more residents can have access to electricity.

Speaking at the opening of the 64th annual AMEU convention held at Gallagher Estate, in Midrand on 5 to 8 October 2014, Dr. Barnard, the deputy director general of energy programmes and projects, said that although the country has made marvellous strides in achieving democracy, service delivery has not kept up with its needs. The country, he said, is severely challenged with regard to its electricity supply due to a lack of human capacity, financial capacity, and generation capacity. The importance of energy as a stimulus for economic growth, he said, cannot be overstated…

Read more…


Faith Communities brief legal counsel, seeking information on Russian Nuclear Deals

SAFCEI, 12 October, 2014.

Faith Communities brief legal counsel, seeking information on Russian Nuclear Deals

Faith Communities are gravely concerned at the government’s continued support for nuclear energy despite evidence that South Africa cannot afford it.

At the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI) board meeting held in Durban this week, it was decided to seek legal counsel to investigate the nuclear contracts mentioned in the media over the past few weeks.

Says board member, Ani Tsondru, “We need information. If these nuclear agreements are in the best interests of South Africa, there is no reason for being secret and vague about the details of the agreement which should be made available to the citizens of this country”.

SAFCEI’s legal counsel will request government to provide details of the proposed agreements, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

South Africans are once again facing an increase in electricity prices, on top of steep increases over the past five years.  While renewable energy prices are dropping, nuclear energy costs are increasing.

We are blessed with large sunshine reserves and the ability to harvest these to meet most of our energy needs.  While other parts of the world with much less sunshine switch to renewable energy, South Africa continues to cling to outdated and expensive technologies. The evidence before us suggests that there is no need for costly nuclear power in South Africa:

Firstly, Renewable Energy capacity can be added quickly.  As far as electricity generation goes, the nuclear share of global electricity production has dropped from a 1996 peak of 17.6% to 10.8% in 2013 while Renewables have seen an increase from 18.7% in 2000 to 22.7% in 2012. In 2013, India installed 1000MW of solar PV while Japan added 6900MW.

Secondly, In South Africa, solar photo voltaic (PV) prices in the Government’s renewable energy procurement programme dropped from R2.76 per kWh (REIPPP Bid Window 1), to R0.88 per kWh (REIPPP Bid Window 3)  over a two-and-a-half year period, proving home grown ability to deliver renewable energy into the grid.  In contrast, coal fired Medupi Power Station is over budget and experiencing major delays.

High initial investment and operating expenses are already making nuclear unattractive today.  Nuclear cost estimates have risen from US$1000 to around US $8000 per installed kilowatt, with additional decommissioning costs estimated at US$ 1800 per kilowatt.

Thirdly, nuclear waste must be kept safe for hundreds of thousands of years.  It is irresponsible and immoral to force this risk on force future generations. After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Catholic Bishops of Japan issued a statement “It [nuclear energy] has … has the potential to pass huge problems on to future generations. To use it effectively, we need the wisdom to know our limits and exercise the greatest care. In order to avoid tragedy, we must develop safe alternative means of producing energy.” [1]

Fourthly, The Department of Energy’s current planning processes are not complete and yet South Africa appears to be going ahead to procure nuclear power irrespective of whether  we will have a demand or need for such energy in the future.

SAFCEI’s energy and climate change programme coordinator, Liz McDaid, claims that “this is of major concern. South Africa has legislated processes to determine the energy mix for South Africa.  These processes include public consultation and yet the public are being kept in the dark about these nuclear deals.”

The public has the right to hold government accountable for its actions that will impact on our ability to meet our energy security needs.  According to Ani Tsondru “With such massive public spending projects, increased vigilance is required to prevent abuse of power.  In a country with such a high level of inequity, all efforts should be focused on meeting the energy needs of the people in an affordable, safe and environmentally sustainable manner”.



For further information, please contact Liz McDaid

SAFCEI energy and climate change programme coordinator

Email:           0827315643


SAFCEI seeks legal counsel on nuclear deals 9th october 2014

South Africa’s nuclear new build programme – DOE mis-statement

DOE, 1 October, 2014.

Media Statement
01 October 2014
South Africa’s nuclear new build programme In accordance with the Nuclear Energy Policy for 2008 as well as the Integrated Resource Plan 2010-30, Government is committed to an energy mix that includes nuclear, coal, gas, solar, wind and hydro. Since the promulgation of the policy, and the IRP, efforts have been undertaken to hasten the implementation of this energy mix given the energy constraints that we currently face. The aim is to put the country on a path where we have energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, higher rates of economic growth, job creation and an ability to attract more investors.

This year an Energy Security Sub-Committee of the Cabinet was created from the National Nuclear and Energy Executive Coordination Committee (NNEECC), Chaired by the President, and comprising of relevant Ministers. The work of the Sub-Committee focuses on the rapid implementation of decisions to achieve the energy mix.

In this regard Government has reiterated that, in line with the IRP, we will add an additional 9,6GW of power from nuclear energy.

(EGI-SA Ed. note: I know, perhaps the DOE and their bosses haven’t read the recent IRP 2010 update? Or the NDP on nuclear? Maybe if we suggest they do read them all will be well?)

To achieve this we will commence with the rollout of new nuclear build pogramme. A comprehensive new build programme should contribute to the industrialisation of the country, re-development of our nuclear  industry, the creation of jobs, development of skills, and technology transfer.

Read more, O ye mighty and despair…

SARB ordered to repay Shuttleworth R250m

BDLive, 2 October, 2014.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Wednesday ordered the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to repay entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth R250-million plus interest in a case about exchange controls.

In a statement on his website, Shuttleworth pledged to put the money, which must be repaid with interest, into a trust for Africans wishing to take on the state in the Constitutional Court.

“I will commit the funds returned to me to today by the SCA to a trust run by veteran and retired constitutional scholars, judges and lawyers, that will selectively fund cases on behalf of those unable to do so themselves, where the counterparty is the state.”
(EGI-SA Ed. note: Perhaps interested and affected parties can use this money to take on our government over illegal procurement processes for nuclear power.)