Greenpeace protest against Thyspunt in Port Elizabeth

AUGUST 26, 2015

Greenpeace activists in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday handed over a memorandum to the Department of Energy in Port Elizabeth in protest over the department's plans to set up a nuclear power plant at Thyspunt, just outside St Francis Bay.

Supporting the action was the Thyspunt Alliance, No Nukes PE and Mlibo Environmental Organisation and the memorandum was received by the Regional Director of the Department of Energy in Port Elizabeth.

This was after a delegation led by Greenpeace Africa’s Programme Director, Lindlyn Moma, had given the Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson a week - or up to August 24th for the release of key nuclear information to the public. Greenpeace is adamand that despite government's promotion of its nuclear buid programme, the entire programme would cost South Africans more that what government was divulging - in hiked electricity tariffs and the environment.

“The Department of Energy consistently refers to convenient parts of key documents relating to costs, the financing plan, job creation, technical studies, the economic impacts of the proposed investment and the impacts of the investment on the price of electricity in public.

"Problematically, none of this information has been fully disclosed to the South African public, who would ultimately be expected to cover the costs of a nuclear deal that could be worth up to R1 trillion” said Lindlyn Moma, Greenpeace Africa’s Programme Director.  

Melita Steele, Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager for Greenpeace Africa, said; “We can no longer afford to wait for improved transparency when it comes to the proposed nuclear deal, particularly when plans to begin procurement are on the horizon.

"Greenpeace believes that it is critical that the wide-ranging concerns around the proposed new nuclear investment programme are dealt with comprehensively, this information should have been released publicly long ago, and a democratic process must be followed moving forward."

As the deadline elapsed, Greenpeace activists embarked on a nation-wide protest.

While the Port Elizabeth protest was somewhat uneventful, in Pretoria, activists chained a symbolic Trojan horse to the gates of the Department of Energy's offices.

Image: Greenpeace via twitter.