Nuclear court case campaign timeline

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26 April 2017 – The nuclear deal is blocked in the Western Cape High Court!

30 March 2017 – Pravin Gordhan is axed as Finance Minister in a midnight cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma.

22 February 2017 – The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Revd Thabo Makgopa appeals to government to scrap the nuclear deal and expand their renewable energy plans.

22 February 2017 – Second court hearing and civil society march from Parliament to the Cape High Court

9 February 2017 – The Stop Secret Nuke Deal campaign occupies bridges in Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg in the lead-up to the State of the Nation Address (SONA), protesting the Secret Trillion Rand Deal

24 January 2017 – Civil society organisations join hands to form the Stop Secret Nuke Deal campaign.

13 December 2016 – First court hearing took place but was postponed to 22-24 February, due to the government revealing another secret determination making Eskom the procuring agent for nuclear. Read more

28-29 November 2016 – People’s Speak Out on Nuclear in Cape Town. Read more

22 September 2016 – A court date is set for the hearing of SAFCEI and ELA’s application on the nuclear procurement process for the 13 & 14 December

15 September 2016 – SAFCEI and ELA file the final replying affidavit. Read more

7 September 2016 – The Minister of Energy announces that the DoE will put out requests for proposals on a nuclear procurement process on September 30

June 2016 – Government finally responds with replying affidavit after missing three deadlines. Read more

6 April 2016 – The Minister of Energy announces a delay in the request for proposals for nuclear. Read more

30 March 2016 – It is revealed that the Minister of Energy ignored the state legal adviser’s advice that the Russian agreement should be tabled under section 231.2 of the constitution. The minister instead tabled it in terms of section 231.3, thereby sidestepping the public participation that would have been required during the process of parliamentary approval. Read more

2 March 2016 – It is revealed that government tried to undermine SAFCEI/ELA court case by gazetting a 2013 nuclear section 34 determination in December 2015. Read more

January 2016 – Despite omitting nuclear from South Africa’s energy mix in the NDC, government is still going ahead with it. Read more

15 Oct 2015 – PRESS Briefing: SAFCEI & ELA announce that they are going to court in a bid to challenge government’s plan to procure 9600 MW of nuclear reactors

04 May 2015 – Minister of Energy announces in budget vote speech that South Africa will launch its nuclear power procurement process at end of July and select a strategic partner or partners by the end of the financial year.

10 Feb 2015 – SAFCEI appoints legal counsel to write to the Ministers of Finance, Public Enterprises and Energy to ask for confirmation that any nuclear procurement would comply with due process.

Nov 2014, SAFCEI subs a number of PAIA applications to government departments regarding the nuclear framework agreements, departments including Treasury and the Department of Energy. For example, SAFCEI asked Treasury for all “Records reflecting decisions taken related to the financial obligations and the economic impact of the decisions reflected in intergovernmental agreements on current strategic partnerships and cooperation in nuclear energy” in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). In its response to SAFCEI, the treasury admitted that they had not given any input into the financial implications of any nuclear deals, and SAFCEI voiced its concern that the “South Africa nation has entered into an international agreement without doing their financial homework”.

The Department of Energy has also responded to the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute’s (SAFCEI) application for information regarding the nuclear deals.

The DoE has refused to release any affordability or feasibility study because the process of deciding on the nuclear build involves “technical, scientific and commercially sensitive information and if released prematurely could prejudice the interests of the other parties, as well as the State and negatively impact on the process”. However, SAFCEI’s response from Treasury to a similar request regarding the nuclear deals was that “no decisions related to the financial obligations and economic impact have been taken by the National Treasury.”

23 Oct 2014 – SAFCEI holds their first weekly #NukeVigil outside Parliament (Wednesdays 7.30-9am)

22 Sept 2014 – Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation says it will provide up to eight nuclear reactors to South Africa by 2023

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SAFCEI briefed ODAC to assist with the PAIA request.

ODAC’s mission is to promote open and transparent democracy; foster a culture of corporate and government accountability; and assist people in South Africa to be able to realise their human rights. By promoting transparency, enhancing access to information, supporting whistleblowers and liberating data, we are forwarding a culture of accountability and openness to meet the needs of citizens. 

Adrian Pole Environmental Justice Attorney

SAFCEI has briefed environmental justice attorney Adrian Pole to provide advice on the nuclear procurement process and associated environmental impacts. Adrian Pole Environmental Law provides legal support to green and environmental justice NGOs / CBOs; and promotes sound governance and fair, informed environmental decision-making.