South Africa 25.1.2018 04:54 pm

We have excess power and no money – Ramaphosa on nuclear plan

Newly elected President of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa gives a speech at the closing of the 54th National Elective Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg, on 21 December 2017. The closing ceremony outlined broad policy approaches of the new leadership, which included expropriating land without compensation, free education and a crackdown on corruption. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Newly elected President of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa gives a speech at the closing of the 54th National Elective Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg, on 21 December 2017. The closing ceremony outlined broad policy approaches of the new leadership, which included expropriating land without compensation, free education and a crackdown on corruption. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Ramaphosa was asked if South Africa is still proceeding with its nuclear build programme, replied that ‘we have got to look at where our economy is’.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday reiterated that a proposed nuclear build programme would only be considered in the broad context of affordability, but warned “we have excess power, and we have no money”.

Ramaphosa, who was asked at a press conference at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, if South Africa was still proceeding with its nuclear build programme, replied that “we have got to look at where our economy is”.

“We have excess power, and we have no money for major nuclear plant building, and all of this really needs to be looked at in the current context that we are in. For instance if you have excess power, and you don’t have the money, and we have already said that this nuclear process will be looked at within the broad context of affordability and what we currently have,” he said.

“If, in our discussions as we proceed, we find that it doesn’t in the end really make sense because we don’t money, that is the type of discussion we will have.”

The nuclear build programme has been mired in controversy with corruption allegations and the sheer scale and cost of the project, which many critics have said is simply unaffordable.

According to the country’s Integrated Resource Plan, South Africa is planning to build eight nuclear reactors that will generate 9.6 gigawatts of power. The price tag is estimated to be around R1 trillion.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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