Nuclear power is a necessity for South Africa, said Department of Energy Director-General Nelisiwe Magubane. At the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa conference in Port Elizabeth, Magubane said the government believes nuclear power could be deployed successfully and built in a timely and cost-efficient way, All Africa reported.
"Given our climate change commitments and the fact that some of the coal-fired power stations will retire around 2022 and require replacement, nuclear power is becoming more of a necessity than an option," Magubane said.
She also said that nuclear power would help South Africa reduce its carbon footprint and spur economic development. She cited a lack of information about nuclear power as a reason for opposition toward the energy source.
Eastern Cape Economic Development Member of the Executive Council Mcebisi Jonas also touted the benefits of nuclear energy at the conference.
"There is also a research and production facility in the North West province which is producing medical products to annually treat millions of patients and many other applications of nuclear energy," he said, according to the Times Live. "We need to highlight these and showcase the benefit that people are already deriving from our nuclear energy."