Zuma says nuclear energy a matter of time

Jacob Zuma says there's no disagreement on government's stance on nuclear energy and it's all a question of timing.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma says the country will pursue nuclear energy, even if it can't afford to do so now.

Answering questions in the National Assembly on Thursday afternoon, Zuma moved to defend apparent contradictory statements by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Energy Minister David Mahlobo on the controversial issue.

While Gigaba has said the country doesn't have the money, Mahlobo has been emphatic that government will do so at a pace that it can afford.

Zuma says there's no disagreement on government's stance on nuclear energy and it's all a question of timing.

“We have a promise that is standing, that we’re building it. We’ve been discussing it and saying we’re going to deal with it in a particular manner.”

Zuma added: “We have a policy of mixed energy and that includes nuclear. We are not saying we have changed policy ... Its a question of timing, when do we do it. We have been discussing that issue all the time in the government.”

_Additional reporting by Reuters. _