Letter to Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson

Urgent request for the release of all information related to the new nuclear build programme into the public domain

Publication - August 18, 2014
Greenpeace gives Energy Minister a week to release key nuclear information

Johannesburg, 18 August 2015: In response to the increasingly murky waters surrounding the government’s controversial plans to move ahead with new investments in nuclear reactors, a delegation led by Greenpeace Africa’s Programme Director, Lindlyn Moma, delivered a letter[1] to the Minister of Energy, giving a clear deadline of August 24th for the release of key nuclear information.


“The Department of Energy consistently refers to convenient parts of key documents relating to costs, the financing plan, job creation, technical studies, the economic impacts of the proposed investment and the impacts of the investment on the price of electricity in public. Problematically, none of this information has been fully disclosed to the South African public, who would ultimately be expected to cover the costs of a nuclear deal that could be worth up to R1 trillion” said Lindlyn Moma, Greenpeace Africa’s Programme Director.

Since government’s decision in 2011 to embark on a plan to build at least six new nuclear reactors in the country, Greenpeace and other civil society organisations have been forced to file requests for information through the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), for information which should ordinarily be available in the public domain. This urgent demand for the release of information by Greenpeace comes amid an accelerated and secretive procurement exercise by the Department of Energy.

“We can no longer afford to wait for improved transparency when it comes to the proposed nuclear deal, particularly when plans to begin procurement are on the horizon. Greenpeace believes that it is critical that the wide-ranging concerns around the proposed new nuclear investment programme are dealt with comprehensively, this information should have been released publicly long ago, and a democratic process must be followed moving forward” said Melita Steele, Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager for Greenpeace Africa.

Among the information requested by Greenpeace are that all studies and assessments that have been made about nuclear investments are made publicly available, together with timelines for the completion of an updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and wide-ranging public hearings. According to the Department of Energy, the country’s electricity plan, the IRP2010, forms the basis for the decision to move ahead with new investments in nuclear. However, this plan is now two years out of date.[2]

“Greenpeace believes that the entire process is flawed when the government is making such immense investment decisions based on an outdated plan, with outdated demand projections and outdated assumptions.[2] As such, Greenpeace is giving the Minister until midnight on the 24th of August to address and respond to the list of information that we are requesting” ended Moma.

Notes to the editor:

[1]Full letter to the Minister of Energy Urgent request for the release of all information related to the new nuclear build programme into the public domain’ available here:http://bit.ly/1TPlD4z

[2]The Updated IRP made a very strong argument for why this country should not be looking to invest in new nuclear reactors at this time. However, for some reason, after submission deadlines and pubic hearings, the updated plan was not taken forward, and electricity investment decisions are being made based on the IRP2010, which is now 2 years out of date.

Greenpeace Africa media contacts:

Angela Karnein, Greenpeace Africa Communications:  , +27725608700

Letter to the Minister of the Department of Energy