Govt forced to shelve nuclear deal after court ruling

The Western Cape High Court ruled that government's nuclear plans are invalid and unconstitutional.

Protesters gathered 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 - Government will have to shelve processes already underway to procure 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy.

This comes in the wake of Wednesday's Western Cape High Court ruling that government's nuclear plans are invalid and unconstitutional.

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the South African Faith Communities' Environment Institute brought the case in 2015.

The ruling nullifies government's nuclear agreements with Russia, the US and South Korea that were tabled before Parliament by former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson in 2015.

It also puts the brakes on requests for proposals and requests for information.

Earthlife Africa’s Makoma Lekalakala said: “We are vindicated. I think what we’ve been saying all along is that nuclear is not the way. It is going to bring about economic and political crises in the country and we’ve seen that in the past.”

Eskom and the Department of Energy are still preparing a response to the judgment.

Judge Lee Bozalek says it is only fair that the applicants are awarded a costs order, given they have achieved substantial success in their application.