From Andy W Pienaar
Date: 14 June 2007
We representing the Namaqualand Action group for Environmental Justice has learnt about the public hearings of the portfolio committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
We herewith give notice that we wish to make an oral submission at the public hearings on Nuclear Energy on
Andy W Pienaar
INSAKE : KERNKRAG IN SUID AFRIKA
Ons in die Namakwalandse Aksiegroep vir Omgewingsgeregtigheid wens graag in reaksie tot u uitnodiging die volgende voorlegging aan u te maak oor ons vertolking van die kemkrag industrie in Suid Afrika en spesifiek in NamakwaIand.
"We have noted the intense haste in the debate on this subject by informed people. For us the most crucial; aspect and the crux of the matter is that we are stewards of our land, lives and of the future of our community. We are in no position to bargain our future away for a new crumbs namely jobs, infrastructure or a fleeting moment in the limelight. Let us remember that the whole reason for this new dispensation in
In our community our heritage is our land, already encroached on by sanctimonious monopoly-mines and estranged by a cynical government. When the mines close, as they will, and the nuclear facilities break down, as they will, we do not want to live in the shadow of the gallows."
Vir ons behoort kernkrag nie 'n opsie vir Namakwaland, Suid Afrika, Afrika en die hele wereld te wees nie.
"The representatives of bureaucracy and all kinds of elites often argue that we must sacrifice for the common good. We see no economic sustainability in nuclear power as opposed to alternatives like hydro or solar electricity. Our people as a whole are in tremendous need of basic facilities. The billions of rands to be spent on nuclear power could very well open the door to a creative future if spent on our real needs.
The technocrats of all stripes urge us to trust them and not stifle the advancement of science. Eskom go as far as to argue that the containment of nuclear waste is a problem solved. Leave it to the experts, they argue. One Eskom representative even complemented the Namaqua Community and said they have reason to be proud of the "Mercedes-Benz of a facility in waste disposal at Vaalputs". Our community decline that sort of compliment. As a community of faith, rooted in the absolute presence of God, we know it is impossible to put our trust in science and the assurances of men. We urge all the stakeholders not to belittle the moral imperatives and set themselves up as God.
Lastly, we regret that some heavy voices are calling for an energy industry that in essence will be a betrayal of the nature of our struggle. To invest billions of rands in a nuclear facility, clearly is no technical decision. It is an investment in everything that is undemocratic, even anti-democratic, where a few secretive groups control vast resource, where power is concentrated to an extraordinary extent. We cannot argue that "this government will not be prone to the temptation of misusing power.
Will history perhaps be witness to the fact that energy policies of a new government in SA laid the cornerstone for an authoritarian future or a future of participation, ecological health and dignity."
For the Komaggas and Namaqua people
Andy W Pienaar
recognizing the contributions of V Clarke; C Clarke JB Ruiter and T Mathews-Grove