The media's attempts to have a trial involving nuclear issues conducted in the open is just a lot of hypocrisy, according to a release from Earthlife Africa.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The mainstream media has paid far too little attention to plans for nuclear power, and has bought into the government's monstrous plans for uranium mining and nucler energy.
The media release reads:
Mashile Phalane, Co-ordinator of Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (ELA Jhb) issued a strong statement in response to a recent media reports about the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œdeep concerns at the erosion of those freedoms and of the values in the Constitution in South AfricaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â by the S A National EditorsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ Forum (SANEF) which meets in Pietermaritzburg May 3.
The national media has unquestioningly bought into the governmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s monstrous uranium mining and nuclear energy program, refusing to convey the repeated appeals from anti-nuclear activists for public debate and transparent exposure over the South AfricaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s dirty past and the deadly future it plans, says Phalane.
It comes as no surprise that the media is now excited about being barred from a secret trial of South AfricaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s nuclear smugglers, but it is the media itself which has allowed democratic rights, freedom of speech and access of information to steadily erode because it has not fostered a healthy climate for open debate.
Daily more democratic rights are being eroded in our battle to be heard by the government over nuclear energy and uranium mining. Very few South Africans are properly informed, and in the midst of ongoing electricity blackouts, general public is being asked to guilelessly accept nuclear energy.
Even if you are ambivalent or support a nuclear option, the fact remains that no checks and balances are in place, health and safety regulations are far from satisfactory, the nuclear industry has not yet come up with clean up budgets, the rule of law is being broken, there is no participatory governance, there is no public access to information, the regulators have failed miserably in their legislated obligation to protect the public and nuclear workers, and the bad economics of this plan have become so secretive the burden will fall on taxpayers for generations to come.
It's a circus! Economically, Africa can't afford nuclear – not the construction, or employment of experts, or decommissioning or cleaning up spills. They cannot afford food – so they certainly cannot afford nuclear. What concerns us most is that the West has become very predatory – and they will take raw materials, or whatever resources that country has in exchange for nuclear agreements. ie. You give us food, we poison you. Like the SA agreement to provide Russia with food in exchange for nuclear technology – insane. We cannot feed our own people, but we trade food for science.
This is what Western powers will be doing – ransacking Africa for raw materials in the form of foodstuffs, uranium, biofuels etc and in exchange selling the overpriced nuclear "magic beans".
Many people are aware of this new aggressive exploitation, but unfortunately under governments like the Bush administration (that does not care about using uranium weapons with its own soldiers) and the Blair administration, that just follows his footsteps – most protests around the world have been ignored. Will AfricaÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â wake up, or also just allow itself to be a doormat.
And, at the latest count (unearthed from industry insider publications) are plans for 36 nuclear Pebble Bed Modular Reactors and at least 10 conventional nuclear Pressurised-Water Reactors, nuclear fuel plants and nuclear smelter plants and huge tracts of this country will be dug up for uranium eventually polluting large sections of this country with highly dangerous radioactivity for generations to come.
If the media insisted on doing its job, there would be a clear public voice against fast-tracked autocratic decisions that will see South Africa become a full-blown nuclear state pandering to a global nuclear power gang!