The government’s plan to bulldoze through a nuclear energy deal has been dealt what might be a fatal blow by the High Court in Cape Town, which has declared the plan invalid. The court found that the government had not followed due process in making the decision to pursue a nuclear power option, as well as in other critical areas. The court’s decision has put paid to President Jacob Zuma’s hope of clinching the nuclear build programme before leaving office in 2019 if he completes his term. The case was brought to court by Earthlife Africa and the Southern Africa Faith-Communities’ Environmental Institute. The two nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) were challenging the way in which the state determined the country’s nuclear power needs. The plan would meant that SA would purchase 9,600MW of extra nuclear power. The judge, Lee Bozalek, ruled the government’s action unconstitutional and found that five decisions it had taken were illegal. These included the government’s decision to g...

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