The Shadow Minister of Energy, Gordon Mackay demands an immediate abandonment of the nuclear deal.
As culled from Mackay’s 2016 budget speech, the latest cost estimate of the nuclear deal is now at R1.6 Trillion. This, Mackay said, is equal to Government’s entire budget for 2015.
Citing the economic and social implications of the nuclear deal on South Africans, Mackay highlighted that studies “now show that all households in South Africa will be affected with the rich and poor alike carrying the burden of Mr Zuma’s nuclear deal.
“Our people will be directly affected via tariff increases and the escalating price of electricity or indirectly through job losses and changing wage rates.”
He added that “GDP will be negatively affected as investment across sectors becomes crowded out by the large scale investment required by the nuclear new build program.”
Mackay argued that the nuclear is a real threat to the future welfare of South Africans and is undermining the welfare gains already achieved.
He warned that a decision in favor of “nuclear will have to be disproportionately carried by the working classes and the poor,” and thus, will “effectively undermining social justice and further straining social cohesion within South Africa.”
“Simply put,” Mackay said, “the foolhardy decision to procure nuclear will have long-lasting damaging effects on the economy for at least the next 20 years.
This drag on economic growth will in turn extinguish future job growth and destroy 75 000 existing jobs. Of those jobs destroyed, 50 000 or nearly 2/3 will accrue to those with holding a matric qualification or less.”
Thereafter, he queried why the government is “doggedly pursuing” the nuclear deal.
“It is clearly not a deal in the interests of the poor. It is clearly not a deal in the interests of business. It is clearly not a deal in the interest of the nation. Clearly this is a deal in the interest of only one man – that is accused number one,” Mackay asserted.