Public debate presenters: The future of nuclear energy in South Africa

October 23rd, 2014, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: Energize

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The chairman at the debate will be:

Dr. Rod Crompton


Dr. Rod  Crompton has a PhD from the University of KwaZulu Natal in industrial policy. He was appointed the Regulator primarily responsible for petroleum pipelines at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) in October 2005. Prior to this he was a senior manager at the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) for 9 years. His responsibilities there included energy planning, petroleum products regulation, renewable energy and energy efficiency. He has advised ministers of minerals and energy on several major policy interventions and pieces of legislation. Before joining the DME he worked at the Department of Trade and Industry, and before that he ran the Minerals and Energy Policy Centre. He has been a non-executive director on several boards including CEF, PetroSA, Soekor and Mossgas. In all he has a working association with the chemical and energy industries spanning 27 years.


Arguing in favour of the nuclear new-build programme in South Africa will be:

Ambassador Xolisa Mabhongo

X-MabhongoAmbassador Xolisa Mabhongo is the group executive corporate services at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA). He was South Africa’s ambassador to Austria and permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) between January 2010 and December 2013. He was a member of the board of governors of the IAEA. As a career diplomat he served in South Africa’s missions to the United Nations in New York and Geneva. Ambassador Mabhongo has more than 15 years’ experience dealing with disarmament and non-proliferation issues, and has represented South Africa in many international conferences and meetings. He holds a masters degree in public administration from Columbia University in New York, United States. He undertook undergraduate studies at Rhodes University in South Africa, as well as a post graduate certificate in diplomatic studies at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Des Muller

Des-MullerDes Muller is the managing director for Group Five’s nuclear construction services division. He is also a board member at the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (NIASA), where he serves on the education and training committee. As a process engineer, he has over 20 years’ experience in thermal power plant construction and start-up commissioning on Eskom’s coal builds since 1980, and has worked extensively on gas turbine technologies as a constructor and developer. Since 2005, he has helped align the construction sector with South Africa’s renewable energy and base-load IPP programs, both as developer and EPC contractor. His current portfolio is engaged in raising local construction standards to the nuclear industry’s quality and safety requirements in preparation for the new-build programme, and has recently been successful in securing two major construction projects at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station for Group Five.

Arguing against the nuclear new-build programme in South Africa will be:

Dr. Grové Steyn

Dr-Grové-SteynDr. Grové Steyn is a director at Meridian Economics, specialising in infrastructure, regulatory and applied economics, with assignments covering economic regulation, project finance, competition economics and commercial litigation. His primary focus is on the energy sector, with projects in electricity, renewables, coal, piped gas, LPG, and petroleum pipelines and storage. He has also undertaken projects in petrochemicals, ports, telecommunications, healthcare, and other infrastructure sectors. Dr. Steyn played a central role in drafting the 1998 SA Government White Paper on Energy Policy, and served on the Sasol Windfall Tax Task Team appointed by the Trevor Manual, as a member of the Ports Regulator of South Africa and chair of its Regulatory Committee. His doctoral thesis investigated the impact of different institutional arrangements and financing options on the nature of power sector projects of the public and private power sectors in the UK and SA.

Mr. Dirk de Vos

Dirk-de-VosDirk de Vos is a director and founder of QED Solutions a boutique corporate finance consultancy.  He is a lawyer by background, with an LL.B degree from UCT. His recent focus has been consulting to private equity investors in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP). His special area of interest has been to secure local community and black investor groups in the equity structures of participating project companies. In this regard, Mr. de Vos was responsible for structuring NGO organisations as beneficiaries of local community and broad-based trusts as well as procuring the concessionary equity funding for these entities as shareholders. Previously, he has worked in the telecoms sector in developing markets principally in the area of broadband and wireless access systems. Mr. de Vos contributes to several publications, including those of EE Publishers and Daily Maverick, where he covers the topics of energy, ICT and economic policy. Some of his views on nuclear energy are given here.

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