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‘SA must work towards making renewable energy main source of power’

Earthlife Africa has invited two activists to South Africa as government plans to invest in nuclear energy.

Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - International anti-nuclear activists say South Africa's energy mix must be constructed with the aim of making renewable energy the main future source of power.

Earthlife Africa has invited two activists to South Africa as government plans to invest in nuclear energy.

South Africa's nuclear plan was halted by the Western Cape High Court after it found some of the initial determinations to be unlawful.

Activist Chris Williams says the energy department should look to the future when formulating an energy mix.

“It’s a mix that should overtime work to achieve a long-term goal. I would love to able say our renewable is tomorrow. But that’s not how it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen overtime and that means you’re going to have to bring everybody to the table, which I understand is what your process does, and build the best energy plan you can.”

Russian anti-nuclear activist Vladimir Slivyak says the department must also consider global trends.

"Investment people are absolutely 100% sure that solar is the future everywhere on the planet. So I think its way important for South African energy minister to look what are new possibilities that are opening at the moment.”

BEWARE

The activists have warned South Africa to beware of disrepancies between the nuclear deal it buys and what it actually receives.

Williams has been an activist for more than 40 years and Slivyak joined the fight against nuclear in the late 80s.

Williams has advised the South African government to learn from other countries' nuclear mistakes.

“I’m an old man and I’ve been doing this [for] a long time. And the one thing I have seen repeatedly is it’s a very rare occasion where a reactor comes in under budget and on time.”

Slivyak agrees, adding that nuclear companies will refrain from sharing all the negative costs and environmental impact up front.

“With the industry going from developed countries, from Russia or the Western World to poorer and developing countries, they basically lost their market.”

Both have advised the South African government to ensure renewables become the main future energy source.

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