The department of environmental affairs has granted authorisation to Eskom to build a new 4,000 megwatt nuclear power plant in the Western Cape.
This is according to a letter to Eskom, seen by Reuters on Friday.
“The construction at Duynefontein, close to South Africa’s only existing nuclear site Koeberg, will only go ahead once the National Nuclear Regulator has granted an installation site license,” the letter from government to Eskom said.
No further details on the cost of the project or who will be behind responsible for its development have been disclosed.
Nuclear power is a topic of much controversy in the country, amid concerns that a potential deal with Russia could bankrupt the country.
An April 2017 high court ruling in favour of Earthlife Africa (ELA) and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) set aside the nuclear deal between the two countries.
The ruling also set aside a number of other deals, notably with the United States, after it found that the procurement processes were illegal and not in line with constitutionally sound administrative decision-making.
Despite the ruling, both Eskom and Government have confirmed that they plan to push ahead with a new nuclear build programme.