The new energy minister, David Mahlobo, appears to have a different set of advisers to previous incumbents. For the past few years, his department has been telling South Africans that we need new nuclear power stations to provide additional electricity to meet the government’s growth and job creation targets, but Mahlobo appears to have changed tack. If his first couple of weeks in office are anything to go by, nuclear power is now to be "sold" as the means by which SA meets the challenge of climate change. Speaking on October 18 about the nuclear procurement, he stated that "whatever we do in the energy sector, we cannot degrade the environment". Days later, he told nuclear industry insiders that SA recognised the role nuclear power would play in helping it meet its carbon reduction targets, stating that nuclear power was "the lowest carbon emitter from all energy sources". He concluded that the very future of the world was at stake. Putting aside, if we can, the long list of probl...

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