Africa: Mantashe Is Right - South Africa Must Build More Nuclear Energy

  • Aug 13, 2019
  • All Africa

Nuclear energy isn't just the best way; it is the only way South Africa can have electricity that is reliable, clean and cheap, which is a prerequisite for the economic reconstruction that it so desperately needed.

At the risk of stating the painfully obvious, South Africa's energy sector is in crisis. However, beyond the immediate problems of crippling debt, bloated payrolls, corrupt procurement deals and lack of maintenance, the question of what the country's energy mix ought to look like, remains.

In his budget vote speech of 11 July 2019, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe put nuclear energy firmly back on the table.

"The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is in the process of being finalised at Nedlac," he said. "In September 2019, it will be tabled before Cabinet for approval. The IRP considers a diversified energy mix that includes all forms of energy technologies such as cleaner coal, nuclear, gas, hydro, renewables and battery storage."

He added: "As a country, we must avoid the currently polarised debate on energy, pitted as coal versus renewables. The debate should be about the effective use of all the energy sources at our disposal, to achieve security of supply."

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