Earthlife Africa Johannesburg
Hundreds of concerned citizens will protest outside of the French and Russian Embassies in Pretoria on Wednesday the 5th of November. Earthlife Africa Jhb and its allies are concerned that the Russian and French governments are subverting South Africa’s economies through the proposed sale of new nuclear reactors. We will be sending a clear message that South Africans do not want either Russia or France’s nuclear reactors. The main protest will be at the French Embassy at 11am, more details below.
Protest Details, 5th of Nov. 2014:
# Main Protest at the French Embassy. Address: 250 Melk Street, New Meuckleneuk, Pretoria. 11:00 to 12:00 (people begin gathering at 10:00)
# Protest at the Russian Embassy. Address: 316 Brooks Street, Menlopark, Pretoria. 09:00 to 10:00
Earthlife Africa Jhb is embarking on these (and future) protest actions to highlight some fundamental truth about the proposed nuclear deal. The first is that the sale of nuclear reactors will prop up the French and Russian nuclear industries, bring hard currencies to their economies, but will do so at the expense of South African. In effect, we will be subsiding their economies, not contributing to our own development.
The second truth is, with Eskom still unable to find R220 billion to fund its current and massively delayed and over-budget build programme, that the debt and obligations South Africa will incur will compromise our financial independence. Already, valuable state assets will be sold to fund Eskom’s current energy disaster. With a price tag of over a trillion rands, the proposed nuclear programme will require a combination of loans, export credits, and future payments to these nuclear vendors. We will be putting ourselves under obligation to either France or Russia, and, they will be ruthless in exacting their returns. Once again, as is the case with Medupi and Kusile, reckless energy expenditures will be covered through increased taxation and rising tariffs.
The third truth is that the opportunity cost of the proposed nuclear deal will be high, a veritable missed opportunity for the transformation of South Africa’s economy. Nuclear power is the most expensive form of energy generation, and the money spent on it will leave South Africa. If we invested in renewable energy instead, pumping even half of the proposed nuclear price tag, into the nascent South African renewable energy industry, we could develop a jobs intensive and affordable home-grown energy sector. Already, new wind is cheaper than new coal in South Africa, both of which are dirt cheap when compared to nuclear power.
Lastly, we wish to highlight that windmills and concentrated solar plants do not experience meltdowns or produce volumes of radioactive and toxic waste that last for tens of thousands of years. Nor, we might add, do their fuel silos collapse.
For more information, please contact:
Senior Programme Manager
Tel: +27 11 339 3662
Cell: +27 82 682 9177
Dr. Tristen Taylor
Earthlife Africa Jhb
Tel: +27 11 339 3662
Cell: +27 84 250 2434