Eskom will ensure Kouga infrastructure in place before a Thyspunt nuclear site


Edited By Bev Mortimer

Thyspunt visit2

Photo taken by Bev Mortimer at the  proposed Thyspunt nuclear site.

Eskom will ensure  infrastructure will be in place before  the construction of a nuclear power plant at Thyspint. This according to Loyiso Tyabashe, Eskom Senior Manager – Nuclear New Build, who met with members of the Kouga Business Forum (KBF) and the Kouga & Rural Business Development Chamber (KRBD) earlier this month, on 20 September.

Tyabashe  made the above announcement in response  to the Forum’s concerns published by St Francis Chronicle last month,  which quoted Jordaan as saying that an estimated R5.5-billion worth of infrastructure needs to be in place in Kouga before the Thyspunt nuclear plant can be built.

Tyabashe, who led a high profile Eskom delegation that met with the KBF and (KRBD), also said policies will be in place to ensure local participation in the Thyspunt project and local Kouga businesses will be ‘on top of the list’ of vendors.

Eskom is waiting for the ROD and the NNR for the final licenses needed for project commencement, Tyabashe said. 

Tyabashe assured KBF and KRBDC that a lot of lessons were learnt from the Medupi new build in Lephalale. “Eskom is only too aware that all the stake holders and authorities must be on the same page.” Tyabashe reassured Kouga business delegates. 

Representatives of the Kouga Business Forum (KBF) and the Kouga & Rural Business Development Chamber (KRBDC) met with the delegation from Eskom to clarify issues around the infrastructure needed to implement the proposed

Jordaan, chairman of the KBF, welcomed the Eskom delegation to the Kouga and emphasised that a project, like Thyspunt if correctly executed can and will have a positive effect on the Kouga community, not just so far as job creation, but infrastructure enhancement and other spin offs. “This project will ensure better living conditions for all Kouga inhabitants the Kouga.” he said.   

However,  he warned that if the project is without proper planning  and timely  investment in infrastructure, the project could lead to chaos and disaster for generations to come.”

 Jordaan further emphasised that the KBF and KRBDC will only support Thyspunt if Eskom can ensure that proper planning and funding will be allocated to infrastructure needed.

The KBF and KRBDC presented Eskom with an Audited Requirement List  (ARL) of the current infrastructure in the Kouga and what will be needed to maintain this infrastructure considering an expected growth about 18000 workforce needed for the Thyspunt Project.  This ARL was done with the co-operation and input of Kouga Municipality. 

It is estimated that a total of R4.5-billion will be required. Current funds available in the Kouga Municipality’s budget for building new and maintaining current infrastructure is less that R300-million over the next three financial years.

Additional funds will have to come from Eskom.

Other concerns raised included social infrastructure (schools, hospitals, police) that fall under provincial authorities and these also need to revisit their budgets and plans for the next five years to include the sudden expansion of these additional needs in the Kouga community.

Finney said Tyabashe went as far as to give the undertaking that MOUs (memorandums of understanding) will be signed with local and provincial government to ensure all the needed planning , budgeting (finances) and service delivery will be available. 

The KBF  has also announced that it will, in the near future,  have a number of workshops on how to become a vendor with Eskom as well as how to strategically position your business to benefit from this project. 

Following a frank yet fruitful discussion Tyabashe and Jordaan agreed on a quarterly meeting between Eskom, the KBF  and the KRBDC.  It was also agreed to establish a representative body of all stakeholders in Kouga to meet with Eskom on regular basis. 

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