The choice of atomic power for electricity in South Africa
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South Africa needs to both increase its electricity generation, and to incrementally transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources. The most cost-effective strategy would be a mix of imported hydropower, solar power, and imported gas, which is cleaner than burning local coal. A small but skilful atomic power lobby driven by a relatively few bureaucrats, engineers, and politicians has successfully dominated electricity decision-making over choice of generation options under both late apartheid and the first two decades of democracy. The Government’s tenacious determination to choose atomic power is price-inelastic, which indicates that political considerations, not economic, are the driver.