PUBLIC Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan has reaffirmed her support for the government-backed nuclear energy project.
Hogan was the keynote speaker at a Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) workshop yesterday on the nuclear power programme hosted by the Industrial Development Corporation and sponsored by Eskom.
Hogan said considering the energy crisis it was vital that nuclear energy development and component manufacturing be localised as much as possible rather than rely on foreign suppliers.
She said: "There is little doubt that nuclear is going to be one of the most important components of the country's energy requirements.
"The government is gung ho about localisation. The PBMR Company is home to South Africa's largest cluster of nuclear engineering and design skills.".
Hogan said energy development was a long-term project that would take as much as 50 years rather than ten to 15 years as some developers have projected.
The workshop was attended by more than 100 engineers, scientists and financiers from SA and abroad who heard specifications for PBMR's latest technology.
James Mahlangu, the Department of Trade and Industry's head of enterprise development, said the government would make incentives available for various power projects, including nuclear power, solar and wind.
"The incentives are there but the DTI won't be giving away money directly. Instead we want to use development finance institutions," he said.