11 October 2014, Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma has given authority to Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to sign an agreement for the safe use of nuclear energy with France.
“President Jacob Zuma has, in terms of section 231 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, granted authority to the Minister of Energy, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson, to sign an agreement on Cooperation in the Development of Peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy, between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the French Republic,” said Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj.
In a statement, the Presidency said the details of the signing of the agreement will be discussed between the Energy Department and their counterparts in France.
Last month, President Zuma granted permission to Minister Joemat-Pettersson to sign an agreement between South Africa and Russia.
The Strategic Partnership and Cooperation in the Fields of Nuclear Power and Industry Agreement was signed on 20 September.
Earlier this month, the Presidency said media reports that President Zuma has negotiated or will negotiate and conclude nuclear power agreements alone are incorrect.
The Presidency said President Zuma works with Cabinet on the matter.
In the State of the Nation Address in June, President Zuma announced that the country would prioritise energy security and would pursue an energy mix including coal, nuclear, shale gas and renewable energy.
At a media briefing earlier this month, the Energy Department said it was doing preparatory work towards the procurement process of nuclear power.
“… There will be a procurement process and the work that the department is doing is preparation towards that,” Deputy Director General (DDG) for Nuclear Energy at the Department of Energy, Zizamele Mbambo, said at the time.
At the briefing, the department said it was due to sign an agreement with France this month.
South Africa has a number of nuclear agreements with several countries, including Russia and the US.