It's DoE vs Eskom as Integrated Resource Plan says no to nuclear – Gordon Mackay

DA says minister's announcement deals a blow to Zuma's attempts to finalise a corrupt and unnecessary nuclear deal

It's DoE vs Eskom as Integrated Resource Plan says no to nuclear

22 November 2016

The DA welcomes and supports Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson’s, announcement of the nation’s first Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) today.

The Minister’s announcement is bold and is nothing short of transformative as it deals a serious blow to President Zuma’s attempts to finalise a corrupt and unnecessary nuclear deal.

Most importantly, the IRP – an electricity specific sectoral plan – makes two significant findings:

- That South Africa does not require additional nuclear baseload capacity until the mid-2030s; and

- That South Africa will require nothing near the 9.6 GW of additional nuclear base load capacity currently being touted by Eskom.

In practice, this means that the procurement process for nuclear can be postponed until at least the early 2020s.

The release of these two plans stands in sharp contrast the mountains of spin spewed into the public domain over the past 6 months by Eskom’s spin doctor in chief, Matshela Koko, who has consistently maintained that Eskom urgently requires additional nuclear base load capacity to be connected to the grid by no later than 2027. This would mean the finalisation of the procurement process by the end of the 2017.

In delivering the IEP and the IRP, the Minister has dealt Eskom and Jacob Zuma’s plan for a nuclear deal a serious blow.

Should the plans be adopted in their current form the Minister will have essentially delivered statutory and legal framework against which any nuclear acquisition by Eskom or by government can be measured and tested for rationality in a court of law.

The IRP and IEP therefore provide a sound basis to challenge future attempts by Eskom to acquire additional nuclear capacity which may be out of line with these overarching energy plans.

The Minister must be commended for her bravery in standing against the prevailing winds of state capture and bequeathing the South African people the legal and statutory basis to challenge an irrational and ruinous nuclear deal.

Issued by Gordon Mackay, DA Shadow Minister of Energy, 22 November 2016