David Mahlobo. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
David Mahlobo. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Consider this quote from our new energy minister, David Mahlobo, and be afraid — very afraid!

"Yes, [nuclear power] is expensive when you are building, but immediately [after] a nuclear plant has been built and [has started] to operate, it produces the cheapest electricity than any source. It is actually less than 35c per kilowatt hour, which is very cheap. The renewables are on average around 80c per kilowatt hour, and some are around R1."

First, his assertions on the cost of renewable energy are misleading, to say the least. The last round of bidding in the independent power producer programme produced bids of 62c for wind and solar power.

As for nuclear power at 35c/kWh, he must be leaving something out — such as capital costs and repaying loans. Russia’s Rosatom nuclear contract in Turkey is 12.35US cents/kWh, twice Eskom’s average tariff, at about R1.70/kWh.

So where does Mahlobo get his 35c/kWh from? And how can one trust a man with such dangerously novel ideas about the cost of electricity and financing major projects?

Janine MyburghPresident, Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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