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Civil groups plan to seek interdict to stop nuclear plans

Earthlife Africa & SAFCEI plan to ask for an urgent interdict to stop any plans for issuing a request for proposals for the procurement of nuclear energy until legal requirements from an earlier court ruling are met.

FILE: David Mahlobo. Picture: @Energy_ZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Energy Department could find itself back before the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday to defend its nuclear plans.

Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI) plan to ask for an urgent interdict to stop any plans for issuing a request for proposals or a request for information for the procurement of nuclear energy until legal requirements from an earlier court ruling are met.

The civil society organisations say the court action is necessary in the wake of impressions created by government that it's looking to speed up the acquisition of its nuclear energy capacity.

Earthlife Africa and SAFCEI say while government has not yet initiated a public participation process around nuclear power as ordered by the High Court in April, it wants a firm commitment that it will do so.

SAFCEI’s Liz McDaid said: “The impression one gains is that things are going to go very rapidly, and that is a big concern.”

But in a written response to a parliamentary question from the Economic Freedom Fighters, Energy Minister David Mahlobo says there is no nuclear deal that is being rushed or expedited by him.

The civil groups will ask the court to also compel Eskom to submit a report within 10 days of an order, outlining the steps it plans to take in future to procure nuclear power.