Government committed to energy security

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pretoria - Government remains committed to ensuring energy security through the rollout of the nuclear new build programme, which forms part of the country’s energy mix, says Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi.

In a statement on Wednesday, Minister Kubayi said government is committed to the provision of reliable and sustainable electricity supply, as part of reducing carbon emissions.

Minister Kubayi recently led a delegation to the 9th International Forum ATOMEXPO in Moscow, Russia.

ATOMEXPO, which is the largest exhibition venue for meetings and negotiations between world leaders of the nuclear power sector, began on Monday.

During discussions, Minister Kubayi reiterated the department’s openness and transparency, as well as engaging all spheres of government and the public, in line with the country’s legislation and policies.

“It is critical to recognise that the nuclear new build programme will enable the country to create jobs, develop skills and create industries. More critically, we encourage young people and women to participate in the energy sector,” said the Minister.

ATOMEXPO brings together more than 60 countries, with the purpose of exchange views over matters of common interest in regard to nuclear energy development.

South Africa has been a consistent participant at ATOMEXPO because of its existing nuclear programme. The country 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, localization of nuclear technologies, increasing access to energy, reducing water consumption, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and diversifying the energy mix.

Minister 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 also met with the Director General of Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev, where they agreed that technical teams will initiate discussions on cooperation.

The Minister 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.

She also interacted with Dr Anthonie Cilliers, who was representing the North West University at ATOMEXPO.

The Minister congratulated the University for being the third university in the world to achieve International Nuclear Management Academy (INMA) peer review.

It is endorsed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for their nuclear technology management programme.

The purpose of ATOMEXPO, which will conclude today, is for the various participating countries to share their experiences and lobby for the different initiatives in the nuclear energy sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make the transition to a low carbon economy. – SAnews.gov.za

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