by David Cherry and Ramasimong Phillip Tsokolibane
South African President Jacob Zuma and his cabinet are now determined to build new nuclear power plants to generate an additional 9600 megawatts (9.6 gigawatts) of electric power. South Africa currently has the only nuclear power plant on the African continent—at Koeberg, 20 miles north of Cape Town—which provides 1800 MW, or about 5 percent of the country’s power.
After a period of factional conflict, Zuma announced in his State of the Nation address on June 17 that his government will indeed build the new nuclear power plants. This president and this cabinet will be remembered as pioneers in South African history long after the scandals surrounding the administration have been consigned to a footnote.
The cabinet had approved the new nuclear policy the week before Zuma’s address. In a June 13 article, World Nuclear News pointed to the larger goals of the policy, stating that the cabinet approval “paves the way to a focused nuclear energy future that seeks to increase nuclear reliance from 2 GW electric to around 40 GW electric by 2025.” The policy also has enormous implications for the potential nuclearization of the African continent.
The government plans to take control of the full nuclear fuel cycle, largely through the existing South African Nuclear Energy Corporation. Eskom, the state electricity utility, will retain a majority stake in all nuclear power generating entities.
South Africa has 5.5 percent of the world’s known recoverable uranium deposits, and its neighbor Namibia has 5 percent. South Africa’s gold ores include uranium, which has been produced since the opening of the first separation plant in 1952.
The South African decision can be understood in the context of the accelerating consolidation of BRICS—the Russia-China-India triangle and the associated powers, South Africa and Brazil—as the once mighty London-centered financial system implodes. BRICS is determined to promote the expansion of society’s productive forces, in opposition to London and Wall Street’s Ponzi scheme policy that virtually bans investment in productive activity. The BRICS Development Bank, capitalized at $100 billion, is expected to be formally announced this month at the BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Nuclear power will not solve all of South Africa’s many problems, but without it, they cannot be solved.
Conventional nuclear power is the bridge to the next step in advancing the density of the world economy’s energy flux, namely nuclear fusion power, in which atomic nuclei are fused rather than split, without producing radioactive waste.
It is expected that Russia or China will finance and build the South African plants, with arrangements in place for maximizing the contribution of South African manufactures and for inducting South Africans into the mastery of technical skills. The new BRICS bank may conceivably also play a role in the financing.
Until now, the outcome of the fight in South Africa between proponents and opponents of nuclear power has been uncertain—the fight has not been conducted in the open.
In 2009, Zuma organized a National Planning Commission with former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel as chairman and Cyril Ramaphosa (now Deputy President) as Manuel’s deputy. The resulting National Development Plan (NDP) could have been written in London or Washington. It specified that South Africa needed an economy of low energy intensity and projected that the manufacturing sector should actually decline from 12% of gross domestic product in 2010 to 9.6% in 2030! At the time, the proposal to build more nuclear power plants was already under serious consideration, but the NDP proposed a re-evaluation and possible scrapping of the nuclear proposal entirely. Zuma—in what now appears to have been a political maneuver—endorsed the NDP and obtained the endorsement of his cabinet and the ruling party, the African National Congress, in 2012.
In March 2013, however, at the BRICS Summit in Durban, South Africa, Zuma and Russian President Putin met privately and discussed South Africa’s nuclear power needs. The Russian press then reported that Russia would bid for the contract to build six nuclear power plants if South Africa went ahead with the project. The two heads of state met again in Sochi, on the Black Sea, in May 2013, to continue their discussion.
A hostile press
When President Zuma announced, on June 17, that his government would indeed build the new nuclear power plants, and disregarded the NDP’s view of nuclear power, the reaction in much of the press could be anticipated. One has to imagine the flashing red warning lights going off at the British-oriented South African daily, Mail & Guardian. On June 27, under the headline, “Nuclear Urgency Raises Alarm,” it wrote, “The state seems set on going the atomic route despite the huge financial implications,” adding, “The apparent urgency about nuclear procurement runs counter to key government policies…”
The flak had actually started much earlier. Especially since the May 2013 meeting between Zuma and Putin, the South African press has featured a series of arguments hostile to nuclear power development by professors in Cape Town and other “experts,” sometimes citing the NDP’s (erroneous) projection of a decrease in the energy demand growth rate—the projection could only serve the function of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Access to abundant energy is an enabler of productive activity, which in turn demands more energy. It is claimed that investing in nuclear power plants does not generate enough jobs. There will not be many jobs if South Africa is constantly suffering blackouts. Windmills, imposed on South Africa by certain lenders, are like solar panels—they are a retreat to lower energy flux density; these toys will never power an advanced industrial economy. South Africa’s coal, of limited energy flux density, is also a wasting asset.
The “choice” between capital intensity and labor intensity is a false choice. In fact, there must be employment for a continuum of skill levels if the workforce as a whole is to progress toward greater cognitive power.
Plans for regime change
The British financial empire will seek all possible avenues to disrupt the implementation of South Africa’s nuclear plans and crush the assertion of sovereignty that made those plans possible. The empire has seen this moment coming. It has the been laying the groundwork for another of its regime change operations—as seen in Iraq, Libya, Georgia, Ukraine, and elsewhere.
One arm of the current regime change operations, the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC), headquartered in Cape Town, came to light during the just-ended strike of platinum miners belonging to the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU). The union was being advised during the strike by the AIDC. But the AIDC overplayed its hand when members of its own staff appeared at the negotiating table to represent the union. This unprecedented move alerted ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe that this was not trade unionism of the usual kind. Mantashe had been a trade union leader himself, having been Secretary General of the National Union of Mineworkers until 2006. Mantashe noted that there was foreign influence operating through the AIDC, and that the conduct of the five-month strike—which damaged the economy—included threats to spread the strike to the gold mining sector. Mantashe correctly saw in this the possibility of eventual wider action to unseat the government by unconstitutional means. He warned that, yes, an “Arab Spring” could happen in South Africa. (While Mantashe did not identify the AIDC by name, the press made the connection, and so did the AIDC.)
The AIDC is, in fact, supported by the Open Society movement run by George Soros, the vicious speculator who has played a large role in regime change worldwide. The AIDC—which propagates the global warming hoax—also works with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) of Prince Phillip and Prince Bernhard, an organization hostile to the human race in general, and industrialization and nuclear power in particular.
It did not escape the notice of the ANC leadership that agitator and demagogue Julius (“Little Mussolini”) Malema was working with the AIDC-AMCU operation. Malema has called Tokyo Sexwale, the darling of London and Wall Street, “my leader.” Here again is the Soros influence. Sexwale drank the Soros kool-aid a long time ago.
by David Cherry and Ramasimong Phillip Tsokolibane