The YCLSA welcomes court decision to nullify Government's Nuclear Build Programme
26 April 2017
The Courts have dealt a huge blow to the Guptas and Russian Oligarchs by setting aside the determination and procurement processes of Government's Nuclear Build Programme. The YCLSA has always maintained that nuclear energy is necessary but not at the scale determined by government and certainly not for the benefit of Gupta - owned companies and Russian oligarchs. The YCLSA therefore welcomes the decision of the Western Cape High Court to set aside the determination and processes of Government's Nuclear Build Programme as unlawful and unconstitutional.
However, we condemn the reactionary, opportunistic forces in society who seem to suggest that we should not consider nuclear as a viable source of energy. We need nuclear energy in South Africa. Nuclear energy is considered as one of the most environmentally friendly sources of energy as it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions during the production of electricity as compared to traditional sources like coal fire power plants. Investing in nuclear energy supply will allow us to lower carbon emissions as required under COP21 energy targets while making electricity cheaper especially for the poor, working class masses.
It is the scale, role players and costs associated with the Nuclear Build Programme that we are concerned with as the YCLSA. Government must urgently embark on an open and transparent public consultative process to determine the scale of the nuclear build programme and local community involvement at all levels of the programme.
We should spend less on nuclear energy and more on the provision of free higher education for the poor and the implementation of national health insurance or NHI. Government priorities are wrong. Education and Health are more pressing socio - economic priorities that require more resources than investing R1 trillion on a Nuclear Build Programme.
As the YCLSA, we call on the new Minister of Finance, Comrade Malusi Gigaba, to review the budget allocation of R1 trillion for the Nuclear Build Programme. We call on the Minister to allocate fewer resources for the nuclear programme and more resources to the provision of free higher education for the poor. We also say to the Presidential Commission on Higher Education that if nuclear energy is feasible than higher education is equally feasible.
We are concerned about the potential national security risks associated with the Gupta family and Russian oligarchs owning and controlling the country's Nuclear Build Programme. We therefore welcome the decision by the Western Cape High Court to nullify the cooperation agreements with Russia, the USA and South Korea. We are also concerned that the Gupta family has invested significantly in the supply of uranium and will therefore have a monopolistic control of the supply side in the provision of nuclear energy.
As a country we have a long history and vast experience in the field of nuclear energy and we should utilize such knowledge and experience to expand our nuclear energy sector for the benefit of the poor.
Issued by YCLSA
For more information, contact
YCLSA National Spokesperson
Molaodi Wa Sekake
078 164 3668