Government’s Decision to Return to Nuclear Energy in South Africa Questioned by Experts: Affordability Doubts Arise – South African News Briefing – December 13, 2023

Experts Question Govt’s Return to Nuclear Energy Amid Affordability Doubts,Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has announced plans to reintroduce nuclear energy into South Africa’s energy mix, claiming it was a cost-effective move, reports TimesLIVE.

Ramokgopa declared that the process to procure additional nuclear capacity was underway as the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) had given its go-ahead. Energy experts criticized the announcement, questioning the affordability and necessity of nuclear energy, especially in the absence of a finalized energy plan.

They highlighted discrepancies in Ramokgopa’s claims about nuclear energy being the cheapest option and raised concerns about the timing of the announcement, suggesting it might be a distraction from other significant developments in the energy sector, such as the PetroSA Gazprom deal.

In addition, some experts pointed out that the announcement could potentially serve as a financial opportunity for consultancy and legal firms involved in the procurement process, without a guarantee that the nuclear build will come to fruition.

Health Minister Defends Universal Health Care Plans Against Critics

Health Minister DrJoe Phaahla is taking the fight for the heart and soul of South Africa’s National Health Insurance directly to its opponents, arguing that the “status quo in our health system cannot remain” and the huge disparity between the haves and have-nots must be ended, reports IOL.

Phaahla argues that the two-tiered system, serving the affluent while leaving millions in the lurch, must be cracked open. South Africa’s stark disparities – where 10% control 80% of the wealth – demand radical reforms. Phaahla outlined a path forward, redirecting existing budgets and exploring progressive taxation to fuel the NHI Fund. He urged collective action, highlighting that social solidarity is key to building a unified, equitable healthcare system for all.

Johannesburg School Faces Backlash for Withholding Reports Over Unpaid Fees

A Johannesburg school reportedly withheld a domestic worker’s son’s report card due to outstanding fees, sparking outrage,  reports  Prega Govender in an exclusive News24 report.

The school demanded payment of R11,000 before releasing the report, causing distress to the mother and her Grade 11 son. The domestic worker, who earns R3,000 a month, added that her son was devastated when she told him his report had been withheld by the school.

Another parent owed R50,363 and faced similar humiliation. Education experts condemned withholding reports, saying that children have a right to their performance details.

While schools can demand fees, they’re prohibited from withholding reports under the South African Schools Act, a move seen as punishing the learner.

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