South African Government Support for the Use of Nuclear Power for Peaceful Use





134. Mr D J Sithole (ANC) to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

(1) Whether the Government supports the use of nuclear power for peaceful use; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

(2) whether the Government supported both Iran and North Korea to continue their research in this regard and to use such development to advance their economic and developmental needs;

(3) whether the Government supports the selling of such technology to countries that have the capability but are refused by other powerful countries to increase their research and development; if not, why not; if so, what will happen to South Africa's capabilities in this regard?


(1) South Africa supports the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as provided for in Article IV of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Article IV of the Treaty states that "Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty".

(2) South Africa supports the right of ALL countries to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes only and in conformity with the NPT, particularly to further advance socio-economic development. At the same time, South Africa consistently emphasises the importance of full adherence to all nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation obligations by all State Parties to the NPT.

Article III of the NPT requires all non-nuclear-weapon State Parties to the Treaty to accept comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards in order to enable the Agency to verify the non-diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. South Africa has therefore called on the States not party to the NPT to join the Treaty and to place all facilities and material under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. Likewise, South Africa continually emphasises the importance of all States co-operating closely with the IAEA to enable the Agency to fulfil its statutory mandate and to provide the necessary assurances that material is not diverted to non-peaceful activities.

(3) As a responsible possessor of advanced technologies, South Africa supports the sale of such technologies only to countries in full compliance with their obligations under the NPT and in accordance with the provisions of the Non-Proliferation of Mass Destruction Act (Act 87 of 1993) and the Nuclear Energy Act (Act 46 of 1999). South Africa will continue to act on the basis of principle and in full compliance with its international obligations.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa