SA simply can't afford nuclear: analyst

web_photo_Turkey_Point_Nuclear_Reactor_Building_28052017

A general view of the Turkey Point Nuclear Reactor Building in Homestead, Florida May 18, 2017.

JOHANNESBURG - One analyst says South Africa simply can&39;t afford the trillion rand nuclear deal.

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said the country would go ahead with the project in his mid-term budget speech, albeit on a scale and at a pace that&39;s affordable.

READ: Nuclear project on track

According to Professor Roger Southall of the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) Sociology department, "I really think the nuclear deal is stalking the whole economy in terms of expectations, international confidence, and in terms of what it means to everybody&39;s budget.

"I think it&39;s becoming increasingly clear that there are far better alternatives to nuclear and the nuclear option is likely to bankrupt our economy and the minister was very clear yesterday that the economy is in very considerable trouble."

Southall says: "If we take on huge expensive projects like a nuclear deal it won&39;t pay for itself. Even if it does, it will take decades to pay for, but our overall deficit is going to mount over the years. We simply can&39;t afford it, whatever the Minister says about affordability."