THE Cabinet has approved the start of the nuclear procurement programme, clearing the way for the Department of Energy to call for proposals to provide SA with 9.6GW of nuclear power without first doing a cost-benefit analysis.
The programme is controversial as several independent studies have found that the cost of new nuclear energy will be greater than energy produced by other technologies. There is also deep suspicion that the procurement will be corrupt, with Russia claiming some time ago that it had already struck a deal with SA.
The decision was made at the last Cabinet meeting of the year on Wednesday, after which Nhlanhla Nene was fired as finance minister. The approval was not announced by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe in his Cabinet briefing on Friday.
Mr Nene has repeatedly said that nuclear energy would not be procured if SA could not afford it. The African National Congress (ANC) has also expressed caution, passing a resolution at its national general council in October, calling for “a full, transparent and thorough cost-benefit analysis of nuclear power”.
The decision means that a request for proposals can be issued immediately. Nuclear vendors will respond to the call with proposals that will include pricing and financing models, after which negotiations will begin. While the move does not necessarily have immediate budget implications, it signals a strong statement of intent by the government.
In the context of the firing of Mr Nene, the pounding of the rand and financial stocks and the recent credit ratings downgrade, the indication that SA wants to proceed with a large nuclear procurement will be seen as another credit-negative factor for SA.
In October, the Treasury allocated R200m to the Department of Energy to assist with a feasibility study and to procure transaction advice.
At the time, the Treasury said this was to be used to “consider the costs, benefits and risks of building additional nuclear power stations”. There is no evidence that a cost-benefit analysis was done. Department of Energy officials were not available to provide further details on Sunday, but Treasury officials said they were not aware of any work being done.
Last year, the department commissioned three studies from international consultants to explore the costs of nuclear energy. These included a KPMG study on the benchmarking of the cost of nuclear power; an Ingerop study on the cost of nuclear plants and proposed ownership models; and a Deloitte study on the financing of nuclear power plants.
In August, Business Day requested copies of these reports from the department, but was told they were classified.
The department has said its studies show that “nuclear energy is affordable”. But Business Day understands that the Deloitte and KPMG studies found to the contrary: that substantial amounts in debt and equity from the state will be required. In addition, none of the studies analysed the levelised cost of nuclear energy in relation to other technologies.
Three independent studies — one by researchers at the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town; one by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research; and one by an engineer at the University of Stellenbosch — all published in September, found nuclear energy to be more expensive than other base-load options.
Enoch Godongwana, head of the ANC’s economic transformation committee, said he was not aware of the content of the Cabinet’s resolution and whether it would still involve a cost-benefit study at some point.
“Government needs to assess whether it is value for money and how much nuclear energy will cost relative to other technologies. Government has got to do the research … for all of that,” he said.
MEDIA RELEASE FROM GROWTHPOINT PROPERTIES
Young environmental innovators from the University of Cape Town scooped both first and second prizes in the inaugural Growthpoint Greenovate Awards, which recognise innovation linked to environmental challenges.
The awards programme is an exciting initiative launched by Growthpoint Properties in association with the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) earlier this year. It is designed to inspire and encourage students of the built environment to discover, explore and invent ways to live more sustainably.
The Growthpoint Greenovate Awards was piloted at the University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand and University of Pretoria in 2015. For its premier programme, students were challenged to come up with ideas that would result in a research project that promotes a more sustainable built environment. Their projects could be applied to any aspect of a building – design, development, planning, construction, materials – anything that makes the way we live greener and our environmental footprint lighter.
Werner van Antwerpen, head of sustainability at South Africa’s largest JSE-listed REIT, Growthpoint Properties, explains: “Everyone is a winner when innovation for a greener, healthier, more sustainable environment is nurtured. The university students taking part in the Greenovate Awards, and the winners in particular, presented pioneering projects. Their smart and inspiring thinking shows how we can drive green building thinking forward, to ensure a better, greener future.”
The winners were announced at a gala dinner at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Melrose Arch on 26 November 2015, with keynote speaker, well-known innovator and business leader, Michael Jordaan, who is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Montegray Capital. Groups from each of the participating university competed internally first, with the two top projects from each chosen as the six finalists.
The first ever winners of the Greenovate Awards are the UCT team of Rowan McKenzie, Dijon Ross and Miekie van der Merwe, with supervisor Saul Nurick. They focused on the role of the IPD Green Property Indicator in the South African property market.
This team of outstanding young green innovators took home R30,000 in prize money. They will also be fully sponsored to attend the GBCSA’s Green Building Convention in 2016. Here they will present their research project to property professionals and green leaders from around the country and across the continent. They will also be treated to green building tours to get an insider’s perspective on some of South Africa’s most innovative green buildings.
The UCT team taking second place, supervised by Dr Kathy Michell, comprised Alex Demetrious, Daniel Searle and Ken Toplis. They examined urban facilities management and the development of a sustainability rating tool for urban precincts. These students used the Central City Improvement District (CCID) of Cape Town as their case study. The team earned a prize of R8,000 for their insightful project, as well as tickets to the Green Building Convention in 2016. They will join the winning team on the green building tours.
The third placed group of young green thinkers came from University of the Witwatersrand. The team included Amy McGregor, Thabo Mthuthu and Wardah Peters, and was supervised by Dr Dave Root. This group of Wits students researched an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) Framework to improve sustainability and green building practice in the construction industry. They won R2,000, tickets to the Green Building Convention 2016 and a place on the green building tours.
Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the GBCSA, who was also one of the competition judges says: “The award entries were all of an outstanding calibre. They show an exciting new wave of green thinking. Equally inspiring is the exposure that the many property, construction and quantity surveying third year and honours level students are getting to green building principles as a result the Growthpoint Greenovate Awards Programme. By learning about green building and sustainability early in their careers, the positive impacts this next generation of property professionals will have on our urban environment will benefit all South Africans hugely.”
Wilkinson was joined on the judging panel by Neil Gopal, CEO of the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), Moeketsi Thobela who is CEO of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and Technical Director for Buildings at Aurecon, Martin Smith.
For Greenovate Award participants the benefits go well beyond winning a prize. The programme provides students with an opportunity to work with leading green building thinkers in Greenovate workshops with industry professionals.
Van Antwerpen says the success of this year’s competition will see the awards programme becoming much bigger in coming years. “Based on the positive response from the universities, this programme to recognise and encourage environmentally innovative thinking among South Africa’s future property leaders is poised to grow.”
Ultimately, the Growthpoint Greenovate Awards programme will be made available to all universities in the country with the appropriate built environment faculties.
Growthpoint Properties Limited
Werner van Antwerpen, Head of Sustainability
Tel: 011 944 6282
Are you dedicated to improving your life, assist in the development of your community and eager to study further? Do you have passion, talent and a drive to become more than is expected?
The Dell Foundation offers such gifted individuals, the opportunity to complete their studies via their Young Leaders Bursary fund. They offer candidates a variety of fields and do not hold candidates back upon graduation, thus candidates may apply for work at any company after completion of their studies.
The Young Leaders bursaries programs are usually for an amount of up to R150 000. They seek candidates who shows extraordinary talents, who seek financial aid to complete their studies. Their program ensures equality, building the future of South Africa with gifted leaders.
Their program not only provides selected candidates with the means to complete their studies, but also gives them mentorship, resources and support to make it all the way. With their program they aim to not only ensure more talented candidates get to graduate, but also to ensure these candidates enter the workforce prepared. To develop sustainability within all communities and fulfil the needs within scarce skills.
Young Leaders Bursaries Available
The Dell Young Leaders program provides a 100 talented candidates the opportunity to study within a variety of fields each year. These candidates can study at the University of Pretoria or Cape Town.
Fields of study included in this bursary program falls under numerous sectors:
- Computer Science
Candidates who receive these academic bursaries will also be given psychosocial support. They will receive all-inclusive work readiness preparation, thus ensuring they are capable of continuing their careers against any and all odds. The expectations of successful candidates are high and students are pushed to prove their desire to make a difference and rise above all diversity.
Young Leaders Bursary Requirements
Candidates wanting to apply for a bursary with this company will have to meet the basic requirements. Depending on the field of study there may be additional stipulations, however, these will be discussed with candidates through the various Universities.
Basic requirements needed are as follow:
- Applicants must have a valid ID document
- Applicants must be currently studying at the university of Cape Town or the University of Pretoria
- Applicants must be in their first year of study within the field of application
- Applicants must be in need of financial assistance
- Candidates must show great leadership skills
All the selected candidates are those who have overcome great odds, grown and fought their way to the top. They candidates are motivated, committed and eager to improve their living conditions, to overcome all obstacles. They are talented individuals who have passion and drive for life.
Young Leaders Bursary Application
Young Leaders bursaries applications online is made available through the Dell Foundation offices at the selected Universities. This program invites talented candidates that are in need of financial assistance and in their first year of study, who would like to complete their studies and become a skilled professional to apply.
Candidates interested in this bursary program may contact the Dell Foundation offices at the following Universities.
University of Pretoria
Tel: 012 420 4874
University of Cape Town
Tel: 021 650 4147
Young Leaders Bursaries: Closing Date
There is currently no stipulated closing date for bursaries provided by this company. Interested individuals that adhere to the minimum requirements, are invited to apply for the latest bursaries and prepare for their future. If you are committed, hardworking and a gifted student, then you deserve the opportunity to try.
The young leader’s bursary program provided by the Dell Foundation, aims at aiding in the development of skilled workers and the growth of South Africa’s economy. This program has already assisted more than 350 gifted candidates with bursaries. Each year’s candidates are setting higher expectations for the following generation to embrace.
Successful candidates are placed within top corporations, many of these are also given the opportunity to further improve on their knowledge and skills. Becoming prominent professionals within their fields. If you are ready for a lifetime of stability and success, then this company may just be what you were seeking.
Students at the University of London in United Kingdom wrote a letter to express their unity with the students protesting against high fees in South Africa.
The letter was written by students of the School of Oriental and African Studies on Tuesday. They addressed the letter to the protesting student, staff and their supporters at the Witwaterstrand University‚ the University of Cape Town‚ Stellenbosch University and Rhodes University.
The students of SOAS stated on the letter that they have had similar experiences and have reclaimed their university. They said although they were backing up the protests and shutdowns, they insisted that the violence must stop.
The letter was posted on their Tumblr account.
The letter reads:
To the protesting students, staff and their supporters at the Witswaterstrand University, the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and the university currently known as Rhodes
Yesterday and again today, our Twitter and Facebook feeds have been awash with protesting students from Wits, the UCT, and the university currently known as Rhodes.
After mass protests at Wits led to the still unfulfilled promise of the suspension of fee hikes, UCT, Stellenbosch and Rhodes students took to the streets and likewise demanded that #FeesMustFall. We watched in awe at this mass expression of outrage at the austerity being meted out on South African university students.
Yet it is when police were called in by UCT management and given free reign to shoot students with rubber bullets, that we decided to write this statement of solidarity.
We therefore want to express our full solidarity towards the continued protests and shutdowns by the students and staff of Wits, UCT, Stellenbosch and Rhodes as well as other South African universities that are planning mass protests
The #FeesMustFall and the University must be decolonised and de-corporatised.
The SOAS Student Occupation