The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) said in a statement on Tuesday that it “is gearing up to launch a high court application aimed at ensuring that the procurement of nuclear power plants does not occur in a corrupt or otherwise unlawful fashion”.
Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and her department have often invoked the need for secrecy around the nuclear programme.
The sensitivity of the matter again came to the fore on Tuesday when Joemat-Pettersson was halted while making a presentation on solving SA’s energy problems as she was reading from a thick document marked “Top Secret”.
Business Day reported on Wednesday that Democratic Alliance energy spokesman Pieter van Dalen pointed out that top secret documents could not be discussed in the presence of people without clearance.
He asked Joemat-Pettersson to declassify the document.
Chairman Fikile Majola instead cleared the meeting of journalists and guests to deliberate on the way forward.
“The committee agreed not to discuss the document in today’s meeting but to defer it for discussion in a future meeting‚” he said afterwards.
Majola would not comment on “classification or otherwise of the said document”.
Van Dalen said he meant to launch a Promotion of Access to Information Application to gain access to the full document.
SAFCEI commented: “The South African government is disregarding democratic procedure in the procurement of nuclear energy for our country.
“An energy deal that will cost South African citizens R1-trillion! As people of faith we believe in a democracy that rests on the principles of transparency‚ participation and accountability and which keeps in mind the future of generations to come.”
But faith alone will not be enough‚ and SAFCEI said it needs “to raise R1.5-million rand to prepare and run this court case”.
“SAFCEI does not believe that nuclear energy is an answer to climate change but is a distraction likely to bankrupt the country [South Africa] and lead to further energy impoverishment‚” Liziwe McDaid‚ the organisation’s climate and energy advisor‚ said.
Source: RDM News Wire.
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