SA may step in to cut uranium exports

South Africa has put a provision in its nuclear policy to restrict uranium exports to satisfy local demand, but has no specific plans yet on when and how it would put it into force, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“We have a policy that gives us the instruments to restrict the export of uranium to satisfy local demand first,” Minerals and Energy Ministry spokesperson Bheki Khumalo said.

“But the matter is not on the table. There is no government position on that issue and the government is not discussing it at the moment,” he added.

Khumalo did not elaborate on what conditions would make use of the provision necessary.

South Africa has experienced sweeping power shortages this year as state utility Eskom struggles to supply growing demand for electricity in Africa’s biggest economy.

Nuclear energy has been identified as one way of increasing Eskom’s power capacity, diversifying energy sources and reducing reliability on coal, which is used to generate most of Eskom’s power supply.

South Africa, which has Africa’s largest uranium reserves, has categorised uranium as a critical mineral. - Reuters