The weekend’s City Press reported that the Energy Minister David Mahlobo is hell-bent on forging ahead with South Africa’s nuclear deal. The Democratic Alliance’s Gordon MacKay says his party will interdict any attempt by Mahlobo to force through a nuclear deal.
Under the headline “Mahlobo rushes nuclear deal”, it was reported that as Mahlobo “forces his nuclear power plan to materialise”, officials in his department were working overtime to finalise the country’s reviewed integrated energy and resource plans four months ahead of schedule.
He told the newspaper on Saturday morning that the government should not be “reckless” but energy was central to the country’s security and shouldn’t only be treated as an economic issue. “People who say we should not invest do not understand that, each and every day, more companies are closing down, and more young people are getting out (losing) of employment, and even more out of the education system. We are creating soldiers of unemployment.”
He promised that any concerns about who was going to get the tender was mitigated by the fact that South African laws “are going to be applied.
The official opposition said, however, it would not hesitate to interdict “any attempt” by Mahlobo to force through a nuclear deal despite the fact that South Africa does not need – and could not afford – a nuclear deal estimated to cost R1 trillion.
MacKay noted that the energy department had apparently been forced to work overtime to ensure that the IRP was ready by 14 November – next Tuesday. “With each passing day, it becomes clear that Mahlobo was appointed to make sure that the necessary nuclear deal would be pushed through.”
The official opposition would not allow Mahlobo to appease his friends, the Russians – through Rosatom – at the expense of South Africans “who are struggling to survive with no jobs in a flat economy”.
“We will use every legal and parliamentary tool at our disposal to ensure that the generations to come will not be shackled to massive debt that will compromise South Africa’s future,” said MacKay.