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DA: Govt could face court battle over changes to energy plan

Amid reports that Energy Minister David Mahlobo is planning on amending the IRP, the DA says that government could again face a court battle if the legal process is not followed.

FILE: Protesters outside of the Western Cape High Court where it was ruled that government's decision to call for proposals for the procurement of 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy is unlawful and unconstitutional. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Moves by Energy Minister David Mahlobo to expedite the country's nuclear power ambitions are being closely watched by the opposition.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says any major deviations in the integrated resource plan (IRP), which states that the country doesn't need nuclear energy until 2035, could open government up to fresh legal challenges.

Six months ago, the Western Cape High Court set aside government's nuclear plans.

Amid reports that Mahlobo is planning on amending the IRP, the DA says that government could again face a court battle if the legal process is not followed.

The party's Gordon MacKay says: “There have to be changes to the Energy Act, to clearly state that only Eskom can build, own and operate nuclear energy stations. Considering that Eskom doesn’t have the balance sheet to go ahead with nuclear power, it would have to enter a joint venture arrangement, which would require amendments to that piece of legislation.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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