I write with reference to an article written by your columnist, Dr Kelvin Kemm, who, I believe, is an old hand in nuclear circles and currently chairperson of the board of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, a parastatal. In the article, published on May 27, he pleads for emotion to be taken out of the nuclear debate.
Ironically, the article achieves quite the opposite, and here I speak entirely from the point of view of a layman who is uninformed on nuclear. It is folk like me, ordinary South Africans, who enable Kemm to pay his bills each month, where the doubt about nuclear resides. His article is offensively dismissive of this body of opinion, which has been the case all through from the time of the pebble-bed reactors to the present and through even to the Gupta family securing ownership of a uranium resource.
Moreover, not only are many of the so-called ‘matters of fact’ he mentions at variance with other credible information and opinions at my disposal – he also chooses to 'play the man, and not the ball', a stance I believe to be unbecoming of someone who claims to be ‘professional’ himself. This is a tendency now commonplace in the South African landscape, exacerbated by inadequate information and, so often, nondisclosure. This is precisely why trust in a sustainable future is fast evaporating. Like it or not, the Zuma administration has been completely discredited at most levels of governance. Kemm is part of the State apparatus and the simple question that must be asked is: Why should I now take any missive or utterance from that source as fact without reasoned and full disclosure of the facts for and against, including everything now going on in the background, and considering the Pravin Gordhan factor? Give me the facts, including a schematic of all vested interests and details on the whole web of intrigue surrounding nuclear, so that I, along with others, can make up our own minds. The emotion comes from the nonexistent disclosure that typically masks self-enrichment and I have no reason to believe that it will not be found in nuclear as well.