Press Release: Earthlife Africa declares the Department of Energy a danger zone
Earthlife Africa Jhb
FOR IMMIDIATE RELEASE
Johannesburg, 7th of October 2015, South Africa’s most expensive procurement to date, estimated at R1 trillion, continues largely behind closed doors and deep within the Department of Energy. Despite persistent calls from civil society for the Department of Energy to allow public participation and provide more information on the nuclear procurement, like cost estimations and socio-economic modelling, the bargaining for 9600 MW of nuclear power remains government’s most well-guarded secret.
On the 8th of October of 2015, Earthlife Africa Jhb, and her partner organisations, will send a powerful warning to the Department of Energy that the patience of the South African public has now worn thin. Demonstrators will barricade the Department of Energy with barrier tape and surround the fence of the department with warning signs. The message that demonstrators are sending to the Department of Energy is clear: Nuclear energy will not solve South Africa’s electricity crisis. It is expensive, will take too long to build, and will leave behind a legacy of extremely hazardous radioactive nuclear waste. Demonstrators demand to know why, as the rest of the world desperately attempts to decommission dangerous nuclear power plants and pave the for a future of renewable energy, is the South African government committing the people of South Africa to a costly nuclear future? Furthermore, demonstrators wish to inform the Department of Energy that carrying out a deal of this magnitude in secret is against the interests of the South African public and under these conditions, the Department of Energy has become a danger zone.
The demonstration will take place on the 8th of October at the Department of Energy, located at the corner of Paul Kruger and Visagie Streets in Pretoria from 10:00 am to 13:00pm.
Energy Policy Officer at Earthlife Africa Jhb, Dominique Doyle, explains that protesters have a long list of grievances with the Department of Energy and that they have nearly exhausted their civil rights in trying to get answers. “An expensive nuclear deal, most likely with Russia, is unfolding in the absence of a publicly stated, open and transparent procurement process. Despite the IRP 2010 update being incomplete, the reservations of the National Development Plan and the National Planning Commission, government is unrelenting in its desire to procure 6 to 8 nuclear reactors”, she says. Civil society have persistently raised these concerns with government, but their concerns are brushed aside and even ignored. In fact, the government has gone as far as to publicly shame those who question the nuclear deal.
Makoma Lekalakala, Senior Programmes Officer, of Earthlife Africa Jhb, concludes: “the time to act is now before South Africa is committed to an unwanted nuclear partnership, the scale of which will make the Arms Deal look like a Sunday picnic”.
For more information, please contact:
Energy Policy Officer
Tel: +27 11 339 3662
Cell: +27 79 331 2028
Senior Programme Officer
Tel: +27 11 339 3662
Cell: +27 82 682 9177