Despite wide criticism from ‘ethical’ environmentalists and economists, the Department of Energy will be going ahead with the development of nuclear energy as it has emerged that the hydropower project might take much longer than initially anticipated.
It has dawned on the South African government that the Grand Inga hydroelectricity project will need more financial resources and a longer time to be finalised, in the face of urgent demand from the economy. Underscoring its commitment, the government has allocated R850 million to the Department of Energy and other agencies towards research and development on nuclear power.
Analysts have questioned the wisdom of pursuing nuclear energy, given its stratospheric cost estimate of R1 trillion. They refer to studies on similar development in other countries which have resulted in 200% cost overruns.