31 March 2017, Johannesburg:Reacting to the late night cabinet reshuffle undertaken by President Zuma, Greenpeace Africa had the following to say:
“Greenpeace Africa strongly condemns the cabinet reshuffle in the middle of the night that can only spell bad news for those concerned with energy policy and good governance in general. The appointment of Ms Mmamoloko ‘Nkhensani’ Kubay who is best known for her her loyal defense of the president during the Nkandla saga as a new Energy Minister, raises a grave concern for us. The possibility of a nuclear white-wash is now an increasing possibility. The nuclear programme will remove much needed resources from important social programmes such as education and social welfare. In a country with depleting revenues, it important that what is left in the public purse is used rationally and in line with social development. For Greenpeace Africa, the nuclear programme is not rational nor does it build on development goals that focus on social development.
When you consider that the Nkandla remedial action turned into a slap on the wrist for irregular spending and culminated in a damning judgement by the Constitutional court which led to nothing, it is safe to say that the nuclear programme battle is only going to intensify.
In so far as Greenpeace Africa had an antagonistic relationship with former Energy Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, ultimately her unwillingness or inability to act fast enough on the nuclear deal has led to her removal. Most recent commentary from the now former Minister of Energy indicates that even she was convinced that renewable energy was a better choice for South Africa.
There is strong evidence proving that nuclear energy is not appropriate nor is it required in South Africa or the 21st century. South Africa cannot afford to undertake a nuclear build programme. From recent developments, this programme is and will continue to be rigged with irregularities and corruption. The decisions that our government takes now will define the energy future of South Africa and President Zuma appears to be fixated on removing any barriers that stand in the way of the proposed irrational nuclear procurement deal. Greenpeace Africa fully supports the call to action from various civil society groups, the time has come for all South Africans to stand up and resist the #CabinetReshuffle.”
, Greenpeace Africa Climate and Energy Communications Officer
Mobile: 081 464 9726
, Greenpeace Africa Senior Political Advisor
Mobile: 064 753 3442