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MPs challenge Mahlobo over his stance on nuclear power

Energy Minister David Mahlobo repeated the mantra on the trillion-rand nuclear programme; that it will be done at a scale and pace the country can afford.

FILE: Energy Minister David Mahlobo. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - New Energy Minister David Mahlobo’s been challenged in Parliament over his stance on nuclear power.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told Parliament last week the economy could not afford the government’s nuclear build programme right now while making it clear it wasn’t off the agenda.

However, in his comments after Gigaba’s medium-term budget policy speech, Mahlobo appeared to favour a more bullish approach.

Democratic Alliance National Council of Provinces (NCOP) member Farhat Essack put the question: “You said that no one has the figures for a nuclear programme and that the government owns the numbers. Please explain to this House what exactly did you mean by that?”

Mahlobo repeated the mantra on the trillion-rand nuclear programme; that it will be done at a scale and pace the country can afford.

Mahlobo says the opposition’s focus on nuclear has nothing to do with policy.

“It has everything to do with who gets the tender. I’m not in the business of tenders. I’m in the business of ensuring that you have energy here to pump our economy and we’re not going to be deterred in doing that.”

LISTEN: Will new Energy Minister push nuclear deal through?

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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