Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock

ENVIRONMENTAL organisations challenging SA’s nuclear co-operation agreement with Russia, said on Thursday they were still waiting for government to provide them with the relevant documents for their court case to proceed.

The South African Faith Communities Environmental Institute and Earthlife Africa want the Western Cape High Court to declare unlawful and unconstitutional the controversial 2014 decision to enter into a nuclear co-operation agreement with Russia.

In court papers, the two organisations say the procurement of a number of nuclear power plants would be the largest procurement to date by SA, and the cost could exceed R1-trillion. Yet it had occurred without fulfilling any of the necessary statutory and constitutional requirements.

On Thursday, Safcei’s Liz McDaid said it had emerged from the government’s answering affidavit that crucial documents were missing from the record of the decision. The record is made up of the documents considered by the government in the decisions being challenged in court.

The missing documents included the proposal signed off by Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to Cabinet for the roll-out of the new nuclear plants and the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review by the International Atomic Energy Association — the industry’s self-regulation body that reviewed SA’s nuclear infrastructure and, possibly, its readiness for such a big project, McDaid said.

The list of 10 documents in total also includes the terms of reference of the Cabinet sub-committee, chaired by President Jacob Zuma that McDaid said was widely believed to have pushed hard for the deal to go through. "The case has been drawn out since October 2015, with government reluctant to provide the information necessary for a fair hearing," she said.

Joemat-Pettersson reiterated on Wednesday that there was no "nuclear deal".