Jeff Radebe removes entire board of state’s nuclear firm

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: Oupa Mokoena /African News Agency (ANA/Pool)

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: Oupa Mokoena /African News Agency (ANA/Pool)

Yet another state-owned company is being given a shake-up due to bad performance.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has removed the entire board of Necsa, the state’s nuclear energy firm.

He said that he also suspended the CEO over unhappiness at how he was running the organisation, which has not produced isotopes for a year.

The defiance of particularly the CEO is understood to in part relate to government not wanting Necsa to sign agreements with Russia, which they defied.

He published the names of the new board members on Twitter during his briefing.

South Africa is the only country in history to have dismantled its nuclear weapons programme in the run-up to democratic elections, but it continues to be able to produce nuclear power. Necsa exports radioisotopes that are used in medicine (such as cancer treatments) and performs research in the nuclear energy sector.

Since taking over the energy department in Cyril Ramaphosa’s new cabinet, Radebe has made a U-turn on South Africa’s commitment to a nuclear energy deal with Russia, saying it will be too expensive. He also quickly signed long-delayed agreements with independent power producers in the renewables sector.

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