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Earthlife Africa: Nuclear power ruling worth the fight

The Western Cape High Court declared that all processes and agreements followed to date in government's pursuit of nuclear power were unlawful 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 – It’s back to the drawing board for government if it plans to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

The Western Cape High Court on Wednesday declared all processes and agreements followed to date, unlawful and unconstitutional.

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the South African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute brought the application two years ago to challenge government’s nuclear decisions.

The determination by former Energy Minister Tina Joemat Petterson that government needs nuclear power, is now null and void.

So too are agreements government entered into with the US, South Korea, China, Russia, and France.

Earthlife Africa’s Makoma Lekalakala says the fight has been worth it.

“We are saying that no one can make decisions on behalf of South Africans without their participation in that decision making processes. Consultation is important.”

New Minister of Energy Mmamoloko Kubayi says she will pronounce herself on the matter in due course.

She says government has not entered into any deal or signed any contract to buy nuclear power and has pledged to engage with Parliament and other relevant parties on the matter going forward.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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