Uncertain future faces South Africa’s national nuclear company

It is crunch time for South Africa’s state-owned national nuclear company, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), which ran out of operating capital several months before its financial year-end.

The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is desperately awaiting an annual grant allocation of some R500-million from the government for its new financial year, which commences on 1 April 2020. However, calculations based on current revenue, operating costs and financial commitments indicate that the grant will only see Necsa through to September 2020.

The latest crisis was precipitated when the board of its wholly-owned subsidiary, NTP Radioisotopes (NTP), refused to authorise a R45-million bridging finance loan to its parent company because of its own liquidity issues and financial obligations. Apparently Necsa has still not repaid an earlier loan of some R58-million from NTP, and the NTP board has agreed to defer repayment to 2021.

At the same time, information is being received that Nedbank is digging in its heels on requests to extend bridging finance to pay salaries at Necsa at the end of March 2020, without a guarantee.

Necsa has indicated it is exploring various options to stay afloat until the end of the financial year, and is…

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