Energy minister Jeff Radebe told reporters in Parliament on Wednesday morning that nuclear energy remained a part of South Africa’s energy mix but said that the extent to which government invests in energy will be determined through policy.
He was responding to questions from reporters regarding the energy mix ahead of his budget vote in Parliament that afternoon. Nuclear energy procurement has caused South Africa its fair share of jitters, with the judiciary ruling the one trillion rand nuclear build programme invalid in 2016.
Since then two finance ministers — former finance minister Malusi Gigaba and current Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene — conceded the nuclear programme that was ruled unconstitutional was unaffordable and would not be pursued.
Radebe said nuclear energy would remain one of the mechanisms government would use to diversity its sources of energy in the immediate and distant future. However, he said that this would be done responsibly and in accordance with the energy policy adopted by Cabinet later this year.
“Nuclear is part of our energy mix. In Koeberg we produce energy out of nuclear. How the mix is finalised will depend of the outcome of the Integrated Resource Plan which will be concluded by August with Cabinet. This is a process that will include the public and stakeholders,” said Radebe.