The massive nuclear deal signed with Rosatom is not just about energy. At stake too is the future of South Africa’s foreign policy, and its place in global geopolitics – which, in case you were wondering, is firmly under the wings of a resurgent Russia.
Finally, this week, the governments involved confirmed what South Africa’s better journalists have been telling us for quite some time: that a Russian company has been given the multi-billion dollar contract to build the new nuclear power stations on which, for better or for Chernobyl, South Africa is staking its energy future.
We’ve all got plenty of questions. How safe is nuclear power? Why is it so expensive? Will it bankrupt our fragile economy? Is Rosatom really the best company for the job? How corrupt was the deal?
Another to add to this growing list: what does it mean for South Africa’s foreign policy? For a country that’s supposed to stand for democracy, human rights and all the other progressive values enshrined in our world-famous Constitution, this question is among the most concerning.
The thing is, buying a nuclear power station is more than just a commercial transaction. It’s a diplomatic statement…
Source : Daily Maverick