Further, the energy minister says — realistically — that the R300bn is not the final cost of atomic power stations, but "just the beginning". The real costs will be far higher.
There is no economic case for atomic power stations in SA. There are no cost-effective arguments for "including atomic in the mix". They are misperceived by a handful of politicians and bureaucrats as high-tech prestige, and excitement for a few engineers.
We need the associations of business, commerce, and mining to speak up before it is too late. Cost-effective baseline power can and should be provided by a mix of imported hydropower, concentrated solar power (with molten salt for night-time), and gas from Mozambique.
Keith Gottschalk, University of the Western Cape, www.businessday.co.za