ACSA Rejects Nuclear Billboard at Cape Town Airport | Greenpeace Africa

ACSA Rejects Nuclear Billboard at Cape Town Airport

Feature story - December 8, 2014
Greenpeace Africa is dismayed by the decision of Airport Company South Africa (ACSA) to reject nuclear billboards at the Cape Town International Airport amid growing anti-nuclear sentiment in South Africa.

The billboards were intended to interrogate the controversial grey areas in the nuclear investment process. 

The South African government has stated categorically that it will be going ahead with new nuclear investments, and has signed a number of nuclear co-operation agreements. These processes have generally not been transparent and indicate serious irregularities in the process. In response, Greenpeace Africa has designed a set of billboards specifically targeted at questioning the moves to invest in nuclear in South Africa.

Nuclear Billboard


These billboards were scheduled to go up at Cape Town International Airport from December until January 2015; however ACSA rejected the billboards, even before they went up. 

The reason given was that Cape Town International Airport ‘does not encourage political parties or other Forums to use the airport as a platform to target political parties and the broader region.’

“The decision taken by ACSA essentially amounts to censorship. Greenpeace Africa is not targeting a political party through these billboards, we are highlighting the fact that the current process is not transparent, is un-democratic, and is therefore a potential corruption scandal. This is particularly so, given that the new nuclear reactors are likely to cost up to R1 trillion” said Greenpeace Africa’s Executive Director Michael O’Brien-Onyeka.

“Greenpeace Africa believes that nuclear energy is a dead end and that there are significant inconsistencies in the current nuclear energy processes being undertaken by government. The recent developments around nuclear energy in South Africa have highlighted precisely what the problems with nuclear investments are: a lack of transparency in decision making, unaffordable electricity tariffs on the horizon and unsolved issues of safety and liability” continued O’Brien-Onyeka.

The National Development Plan (which has been adopted by Cabinet) strongly questions whether new investments in nuclear energy are necessary, and whether an adequate cost assessment has been made. South Africans have a right to know what the current safety assessments are of the proposed nuclear programme, along with what assessment has been made about why nuclear is preferable to renewable energy investments. These assessments have not been made public and far too many critical questions are left unanswered. 

“This is a very serious matter, which puts all South Africans at risk. The nuclear issue is in the public interest and needs to be discussed in public forums, Greenpeace therefore demands that, ACSA reconsiders this decision, and to allow the billboards to go up at Cape Town International Airport. In the meantime, we are taking legal advice in this matter, in order to explore all of our options fully” concluded O’Brien-Onyeka.