28/11/2017 07:45 SAST | Updated 28/11/2017 07:45 SAST

Eskom Will Not Rush Nuclear Programme

Eskom says a court challenge to prevent it from rushing ahead with the nuclear programme is unnecessary.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Steam rises at sunrise from the Lethabo Thermal Power Station, an Eskom coal-burning power station near Sasolburg in the northern Free State province, March 2, 2016. South Africa's energy regulator said on Tuesday it had allowed state-owned power firm Eskom to raise tariffs by 9.4 percent in the 2016/17, less than what had been requested by the cash-strapped utility. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Eskom says it has no intention of unlawfully rushing through the nuclear energy programme without following due procedure and without a public participation process, Fin 24 reported.

Eskom's acting manager of the nuclear build programme, Loyiso Tyabashe, said this in an affidavit in response to a court challenge by Earth Life Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute (Safcei), who want the court to stop energy minister David Mahlobo from rushing through the deal.

In April, the Western Cape High Court ordered that all steps taken by government so far moving ahead with the programme were unlawful because no public participation had taken place. Government had to start from scratch.

But there have since been reports that government wants to speed up the process. City Press reported that Mahlobo wants to finalise the integrated energy resource plan four months ahead of schedule as a pretext to moving ahead with the nuclear energy programme.

Tyabashe reportedly said Eskom planned to comply with the April judgment and that Earth Life Africa and Safcei's application was unnecessary.