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Energy Dept: No new nuclear build programme

Director General of Energy Thabane Zulu says the government doesn’t plan to spend any money on advancing its nuclear programme in this financial year.

A screengrab of Department of Energy Director General Thabane Zulu. Picture: YouTube.

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Energy says there’s no new nuclear build programme.

The R816 million allocated in 2018’s national budget is purely for the ongoing work of the country's nuclear institutions.

Members of Parliament's energy committee on Tuesday sought clarity around the future of the country’s nuclear programme, but committee chairperson Fikile Majola says Minister Jeff Radebe should rather be called to do the explaining.

The Director General of Energy Thabane Zulu says the government doesn’t plan to spend any money on advancing its nuclear programme in this financial year.

He can’t say when the department will be ready to submit the long-awaited, updated Integrated Resource Plan to Cabinet, which will outline the country’s energy needs.

A year ago, former Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane promised it in February and her successor David Mahlobo said it would be ready in December, but Zulu says the hold-ups fall outside his department.

Majola says Radebe must appear before the committee before the budget debate in May.

“So that he can clarify to us all the important aspects in the energy sector, including the nuclear build programme. We want to know about the independent power producers that have been signed, as well as what's happening with the long-outstanding investigation into strategic stocks.

Radebe has not appeared before the committee since his appointment.

Majola says he’s now had enough time to familiarise himself with his new portfolio.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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