The nuclear project: another white elephant?


South Africa might have an abundance of expertise in different areas, but, unfortunately, the management of megaprojects is not one of them, as the bungling of the Medupi and Kusile Power Stations has demonstrated.

According to a press statement from the presidency, government is seriously considering nuclear power stations as part of the stated requirement for energy security based on a sustainable energy mix. The nuclear project is premised on the Nuclear Energy Policy of 2008, the Nuclear Energy Act 46 of 1999 and the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) adopted in 2011.

The announcement of the 1 trillion rand nuclear project is an encouraging development. However, the rationale of taking on a much bigger project is being questioned, when relatively smaller scale ones cannot be completed on time, let alone within budget and expected quality standards.

Won’t it turnout to be just another white elephant? One hopes it doesn’t.

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