South Africa: Nothing Said At SONA and Nothing Expected in the Budget - Yet Nuclear Plans Keep Coming

analysis

As the government appears to be steamrolling down a path of nuclear energy procurement yet again, the lack of effective public participation signals worryingly weak democratic processes.

When the finance minister reveals the Budget on Wednesday, we predict we will not hear what Treasury and the Finance Ministry are doing about more costly and unnecessary nuclear energy plans. The President's State of the Nation Address (Sona) too was conspicuous in its omission of nuclear energy as a part of South Africa's future energy mix. Instead, he focused on renewables and finding ways to address our current energy crisis.

Yet, we know from recent developments that the government has been pushing ahead with its nuclear plans, despite nuclear being one of the most expensive electricity generation options, and despite the fact that no more nuclear is needed.

The government's lack of transparency, coupled with its inability to demonstrate how we can afford or why we need more nuclear energy, means citizens will again bear the brunt through higher energy bills and continued above-inflation increases in Eskom tariffs.

While the President's Sona and Wednesday's Budget speech should emphasise the importance of a reliable energy system - by...

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