South African women win Goldman prize for stopping nuclear deal

Two South African women who successfully challenged a secret, multibillion-dollar nuclear deal have won a major environmental prize.

Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid led a five-year court battle against South Africa’s plans to build nuclear power plants with Russia.
South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma had reached an agreement with Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin in 2014.
It was worth an estimated ($76bn) £54bn.

The US and South Korea had signed co-deals, in 2009 and 2010 respectively, to be involved with the project.

But last year a high court ruled the plan was unlawful and unconstitutional, agreeing with Ms Lekalakala and Ms McDaid’s claims that it had been arranged without proper consultation with parliament.

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The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg says the nuclear plans were met with huge criticism and calls for protests in some quarters, not least because finance officials, including then Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, insisted that South Africa could not afford the ambitious project.

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