Nuclear energy is off the table – Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that even as the country tries to diversify its energy capacity, the nuclear energy option is off the table.

He said this at the 7th SACU Summit which was held in Gaborone, Botswana on Thursday. The one-day meeting was called to discuss ways to ramp up export and investment among five SACU member states which include South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and the Kingdom of Eswatini.

The Mineral Resource and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe had earlier said nuclear power is needed as part of the green transition and to combat the country’s energy crisis.

These conflicting statements come as the country’s power crisis deepens with Eskom implementing stage six rolling blackouts intermittently since Tuesday.

President Ramaphosa says although nuclear energy looks attractive to help the country overcome its energy generation woes, South Africa simply can’t afford it.

He has also urged Eskom executives and labour unions to stop the blame game and focus on finding a solution to the ongoing strike to avert plunging the country deeper into the energy crisis.

The wage strike has also been blamed for the worsening situation with allegations of sabotage and intimidation levelled against the striking workers.

President Cyril Ramaphosa asserted that despite the political backlash emanating from the criminal complaint laid against him by former spy boss Arthur Fraser criminal complaint laid against him by former spy boss Arthur Fraser, his pre-occupation is to serve the people of South Africa.