It gives me immense pleasure to present to our esteemed shareholder and all our valuable stakeholders, including the public, this 2018/19 Annual Report, which details the operations of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI), including the report of performance by objectives and the financial report that includes the audited financial statements.

A key objective during the year was to have Vaalputs staff transferred to NRWDI. I am pleased to report that the staff were transferred in principle to NRWDI with effect from 1 April 2018. Another achievement was the time expended by the NRWDI staff to develop the safety case for the licence application of Vaalputs, thereby executing NRWDI’s policy and legislative mandate. 

The Institute is in its maturing stages and has limited resources to fulfil its mandate outlined in the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute Act, Act No 53 of 2008 (NRWDIA). Globally the funding for radioactive waste management and disposal activities still remains a challenge and countries have established dedicated waste management and disposal funds. A Bill to establish the Radioactive Waste Management Fund (RWMF) for the collection of levies and imposition of applicable penalties on waste generators is currently being drafted. Once the Bill has passed the legislative approval process, the Institute will be able to source funds from the RWMF for the establishment of waste disposal and related infrastructure for the long term and sustainable management and disposal of all classes of radioactive waste. 

The mandate to design and implement disposal solutions for all classes of radioactive waste is a key deliverable in the medium- to long-term plans of the Institute. The realisation of this goal is, however, dependent on financial support from the government and the finalisation of the RWMF. I remain very positive that we will achieve this goal, given funding sustainability through the enactment of the RWMF.