Government plans to move ahead with its nuclear build programme. Energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said it was through the programme that South Africa will maintain energy security.
In a statement on Wednesday, Kubayi said government was committed to the provision of reliable and sustainable electricity supply in an effort to continue to reduce carbon emissions.
Kubayi recently led a delegation to the 9th International Forum Atomexpo in Moscow, Russia.
The conference, which is the largest exhibition venue for meetings and negotiations between world leaders of the nuclear power sector, began last Monday.
During discussions, Kubayi said her department was committed to operating openly and transparently. She also said they were engaging all spheres of government and the public on its future energy plans.
“It is critical to recognise that the nuclear new build programme will enable the country to create jobs, develop skills and create industries,” she said. “More critically, we encourage young people and women to participate in the energy sector.”
Learning more about nuclear
The conference brought together more than 60 countries with the purpose of exchanging views over matters of common interest in regard to nuclear energy development.
South Africa has been a consistent participant at the conference because of its existing nuclear programme. The energy department said it also participates to gain experience in preparation for the expansion of the nuclear new build programme, in line with government’s energy mix policy.
“Having acceded to the Paris Agreement, South Africa is also keen to learn from the best practices that would assist it in meeting its energy objectives, including improving energy security, creating jobs, localisation of nuclear technologies, increasing access to energy, reducing water consumption, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and diversifying the energy mix,” the department said.
Working with other countries
Kubayi held a bilateral meeting with the minister of energy for the Russian Federation, Alexander Novak, where they discussed various options in the nuclear and energy space, within the context of the Energy Cooperation Agreement.
She met with the director general of Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev, where they agreed that technical teams will initiate discussions on cooperation, and also met with Ghanaian deputy minister of power in the Department of Energy, William Owuraku Aidoo, where the two agreed on establishing relations and synergies in the energy sector.