Last week we wrote about Eskom ‘hiding’ notices for public comment on two newly-proposed nuclear power stations in regional government gazettes, instead of national gazettes.
The issue was brought to public’s attention by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), which set up a petition and submissions form on its website.
Since the online form went live, the organisation has managed to garner over 17 000 signatures.
“With over 17 000 submissions thus far, this high volume of public submissions indicates a growing active citizenry on the nuclear issue, one which the Regulator and Government as a whole cannot ignore,” said Wayne Duvenage, Chairman of Outa.
Duvenage also said that Eskom now has an obligation to every person that commented on the gazette. By law, Eskom has to inform them specifically and individually of the placement of the new notice, should a new notice be published.
“We trust Eskom will conduct a more extensive and nationally based engagement process on the issue of not only the locations, but also many other pertinent aspects of the Nuclear Energy issue, and will be watching their actions carefully,” Outa added.
Besides for the publication in regional gazettes, another major problem for Outa regarding the notices were that the public wasn’t given enough time to comment. Under normal circumstance, the public would be given a minimum of 30 days, but in this case it was less than 20.
“Some of the concerns relate to insufficient information to comment, including; what type or nuclear reactors will be installed at these sites, the impact of these Nuclear reactors on the marine and inland environments, and a host of other concerns,” Outa concluded.
Eskom applied for a site licence to develop a nuclear reactor/power plant at Thyspunt (near Jeffreys Bay) and at the existing Koeberg (Duynefontein) nuclear site. Eskom placed the notices in the Eastern Cape Gazette.[Image – CC by 2.0/Paul Scott]