South Africa’s Energy Minister Fire’s Community Representative from Nuke Board

  • South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Mr Gwede Mantashe has fired community representative Peter Becker from the board of the country’s National Nuclear Regulator (NNR).
  • This follows Becker’s suspension late last month. Read more
  • Mantashe cites a conflict of interest as the reason.

The NNR Act of 1999 requires that the Board of the NNR includes a person representing civil society. Becker of the Koeberg Alert Alliance was appointed to the Board to fulfil this role.

Currently, there is a lot of attention on the work being done at Koeberg which requires prior approval from the NNR. There are meetings where technical aspects of these matters will be discussed and decided on.

Related news: Life extension programme at Koeberg Nuclear Plant poses significant risk 

Becker was first suspended and shut out of all NNR Board meetings in late January 2022. Becker strenuously denies all the allegations of ‘misconduct’ and ‘conflict of interest’ which have been made against him and hopes to challenge this decision and have it reversed. He then took the decision to sue Mantashe, forcing the minister to make a decision whether to retain him or fire him from the board.

Related news: South Africa’s nuclear legacy calls for a strong regulator and transparency

The NNR is currently pressing forward with deliberating on what approvals to grant the Koeberg Nuclear plant at a critical time when work is about to start to extend its lifetime by twenty years. This is precisely the time when it would be in the public interest to have someone with Becker’s expertise involved in oversight of NNR processes argues the Koeberg Alert Alliance.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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