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Zuma gives French nuclear pact the go-ahead

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj says it’s simply a cooperation agreement.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma on Friday gave Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson authority to sign a nuclear agreement with France.

The agreement does not entail any contract for the construction of nuclear power stations or any other infrastructure.

The Presidency says the two governments have merely agreed on the framework on which further discussions on nuclear energy development will take place.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj says, "It's an agreement on cooperation. It's not a deal, it's just discussions."

Last month, Zuma signed a similar agreement with the Kremlin after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin for bilateral discussions in Moscow.

It was believed Russia's Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation would provide South Africa with eight nuclear reactors.

Government later said the agreement was misunderstood.