The Court ruling today by the Western Cape High Court is a victory for all South Africans. The Court’s findings have greatly narrowed government’s ability to legitimately procure additional nuclear capacity.
The DA will now work to ensure that Eskom halts all work on the nuclear procurement process and will seek to guarantee that no Request for Proposal (RFP) is issued. Any attempts by Eskom to subvert the decision of the court will be challenged by the DA.
What does this mean for government’s nuclear deal?
Simply put, it means that there is no legal decision by government to procure nuclear – nuclear procurement is halted.
The Court has ruled that all Requests for Information (RFI) and potential RFPs pursuant to the outdated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and Section 34 Ministerial Determinations are set aside with immediate effect. This means that Eskom must cease all work being done on nuclear procurement with immediate effect.
The judgement also suggests that future Section 34 Ministerial Determinations will be subject to public participation and require that all necessary information regarding the determination be made publically available – this would include costing and affordability assessments. We welcome this order as it will ensure much needed transparency over nuclear procurement going forward.
The court has argued that the necessary procurement processes and procedures were not completely followed. The Energy Minister and National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) were supposed to finalise the amount of nuclear and process beforehand. The following three points came out of the verdict:
• The Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Russia and South Africa for 9600MW has been set aside.
• Deals with South Korea and USA have also been set aside.
• The Section 34 determination made in 2013 by the previous Minister of Energy, Miss Joemat-Pettersson, to procure nuclear power has also been set aside as unlawful and unconstitutional.
The fight to block nuclear now returns to Parliament and the DA will use all powers at its disposal to block this unaffordable and corrupt deal.