Environmentalists gear up for hearing

Environmental activists were on Thursday gearing up for next week’s high court battle against Eskom’s plan to set up a second nuclear reactor on the outskirts of Cape Town.
Members of the NGO Earthlife Africa were painting banners and posters they plan to use in a demonstration outside court as the case gets under way.

Co-ordinator Liz McDaid said they would have liked to wear skull masks, to echo the grim skull and crossbones symbol on one of the banners, but this would have contravened a City of Cape Town by-law.

Eskom has received approval from the Department of Environment Affairs for the 110 megawatt pebble bed modular reactor it intends to build at Koeberg, alongside the existing nuclear power station.

Earthlife is challenging the decision on procedural grounds, arguing that it was not given full opportunity to comment and make representations.

McDaid said the hearing, before a full bench, had been set down for two days.

“It has been a long and tiring road but the rewards are enormous,” she said.

“If we can win this court battle, then we can hopefully play a small part in ensuring that South Africa directs its considerable human and capital resources into environmentally sound, affordable energy provision.”