Is this sanity or incompetence?

  • Published:

Press release 6th April 2016

Earthlife Africa Jhburg and Southern Africa Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI), responded to the latest news on the nuclear deal, applauding the delay in nuclear procurement, as we understand, was announced by Minister Joemat-Pettersson today.

We understand that, due to missing a technical deadline for issuing a request for proposals to build the nuclear power generators, the procurement is now on hold.

“Either the department has once again bungled in some technical way and failed to meet its own deadline, or someone somewhere has called a halt to this insanity” said Liz McDaid, SAFCEI spokesperson. “Either way, it is a small victory”.

ELA and SAFCEI are currently engaged in legal action against the Government, saying that the Minister contravened the constitution in signing the Russian deal and ignored the advice of her own legal advisors.

Dominique Doyle of Earthlife Africa stated “This shows that civil society can make a difference. But a temporary halt now is not sufficient.  The court case will continue until the nuclear deal is set aside and we will continue to campaign for transparent energy policy.”


For further information, please contact

Ms Liz McDaid (SAFCEI)                                                                Ms Dominique Doyle ( Earthlife Africa Jhb)

Email:                                                         Email:

Cell: 082 731 5643                                                                            Cell: 079 331 2028

Note for journalists:

Originally, the government announced that the Russian agreement was a done deal but later backtracked after public outcry, and now, according to President Zuma, claims that South Africa would build nuclear reactors “on a scale and pace that our country can afford”[1].  ELA/SAFCEI maintain, as per our founding papers, that the Russian agreement was entered into unlawfully but makes internationally binding commitment to buy a fleet of nuclear reactors from Russia.

On 21 December 2015, the DoE gazetted the 2013 section 34 determination, supposedly allowing the Department to go ahead and start a procurement process to buy nuclear reactors.

Liz McDaid from SAFCEI states, “If we had not gone to court, it seems the public would never have known about this crucial piece of the nuclear deal approval process”.

Supporting documentation provided to SAFCEI and ELA's legal team on the 16th February 2016 revealed this deliberate attempt by DoE to keep the public in the dark about its nuclear procurement process.

Our founding affidavit can be downloaded at: and on .


Earthlife Africa Joburg

Lawyers representing ELA-JHB and SAFCEI are Adrian Pole and Associates.

[1] President Jacob Zuma, State of the Nation Address, 2016