That the government’s attempt to push through a huge, expensive and unnecessary procurement of nuclear power plants has been derailed by two small environmental lobby groups is another wonderful victory for SA’s vibrant civil society. The entire process not only reeked of corruption, but was also undertaken with cynical and breathtaking arrogance by a minister of energy, a president and a Cabinet that clearly viewed the rights of the public to be nothing more than to vote every five years to put them in power. At every step of the way — the original determination under the Electricity Regulation Act; the intergovernmental agreements on nuclear co-operation, particularly the one with Russia; and in the processes at the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) — the executive and officials acted unlawfully, says the court. But, thanks to our Constitution and to the raft of carefully considered legislation that was put in place by Parliament in the first decade of our democracy, South A...

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