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Kubayi: SA's nuclear power legal battles may have hurt ties with Russia

Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi says South Africa must be careful not to tarnish other countries through its own internal disputes.

FILE: Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes South African President Jacob Zuma to a summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Picture: AFP

MOSCOW – Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi says South Africa’s legal battles over the country’s proposed nuclear power project may have damaged relations with Russia.

She spoke to Eyewitness News at the Atom Expo in Moscow on Monday.

The nuclear build programme, which is set to provide 9,600 megawatts of power by 2030, was halted by the Western Cape High Court earlier this year.

It found that certain aspects of the proposed project to be invalid.

Claims of a secret deal being signed with the Russian state-owned entity have also been swirling.

Kubayi says South Africa must be careful not to tarnish other countries through its own internal disputes.

“I have a sense that we might have gone too far in fighting our own country in damaging our relations with Russia. We should have dealt with the issue with our own government as South Africans.”

But Rosatom Vice President of Sub-Saharan Africa Viktor Polikarpov says despite the allegations and disputes, the nuclear company is still keen to work with South Africa.

Kubayi met with Polikarpov and other officials to explain the country’s current nuclear situation following the April court ruling.

Ilze-Marie le Roux is in Russia to attend the Atom Expo at the invitation of the RusAtom.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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