Faith Community responds to the Nuclear Build Briefing

  • Published:

11 October 2016

Press release

Faith Community responds to the Nuclear Build Briefing

SAFCEI attended the Energy Portfolio Committee meeting in Parliament this morning, 11 October 2016, at which there was a briefing by the Department of Energy’s Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Eskom on the “Nuclear New Build”.

“It seems bizarre that the Minister and Eskom were given an opportunity to brief the Committee on the nuclear build programme even before the further IRP and IEP have been discussed and agreed”, says Ven Ani Tsondru, Executive Director of SAFCEI. She adds, “We were witness to smoke and mirrors, and more obfuscation”.

No figures whatsoever were put on the table regarding the estimated cost of the nuclear build programme. However, the Minister asserted that “If you add up the costs and price of the renewable energy of solar and wind, it would cost us over R1 trillion to implement renewable energy over the next 20 years”.

Ven Tsondru responds, “Somehow, the Minister was able to magic this astonishing figure, when she has been unable to present us with an accurate cost of the nuclear build. With renewables reducing in cost year-on-year, and energy experts indicating that a renewable and gas mix is far cheaper than nuclear energy, it’s difficult to imagine how this assertion can be supported”.

Additionally, at no stage in the meeting did the Minister substantiate why we need nuclear energy in the first place, particularly mystifying as she praised the advances South Africa has made in renewables. The Chair acknowledged receipt of a letter from the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, asking for the Portfolio Committee to be made aware of their position on nuclear – namely, that their Synod passed a resolution voicing its opposition to the expansion of nuclear energy and encouraging the government to rather pursue renewables as South Africa’s energy future. SAFCEI applauds this resolution.

A court date has been set for the nuclear deal litigation of SAFCEI and Earthlife Africa JHB for 13 and 14 December 2016.


For further information, please contact:

Venerable Ani Tsondru

073 028 4475