South Africa considering best time for nuclear power expansion: Zuma

FILE PHOTO: South Africa's President Jacob Zuma addresses an anti-crime meeting in Elsie's River, Cape Town, South Africa May 30, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday his government was considering the best time to launch a major expansion of its nuclear power fleet, after the finance minister said the country could not afford it.

Zuma was responding to a question in parliament by opposition leader Mmusi Maimane who asked why finance minister Malusi Gigaba had said the expansion would be delayed while energy minister David Mahlobo said the opposite.

“We have a policy of mixed energy and that includes nuclear,” Zuma said. “We are not saying we have changed policy ... Its a question of timing, when do we do it. We have been discussing that issue all the time in the government.”

Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Ed Cropley