India to access uranium from S Africa

Pretoria: Energy-hungry India is working out mechanisms with South Africa to access its uranium which is available in sufficient quantity in this country. Stating this while briefing on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s bilateral meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma, Indian High Commissioner to South Africa Virender Gupta said here on Tuesday that it was not a difficult proposition.

“We are already beginning to consider how to go for accessing uranium from South Africa. In the long term, it will be in our interest to access uranium directly from South Africa,” he said.
He maintained that he did not see any difficulty in this regard given the fact that India had signed civil nuclear agreement and had got a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group of which South Africa is a member. Giving details of the growing India-South Africa relations, the envoy said bilateral trade has been growing at an unexpected rate, surpassing targets set.

Last year, when Zuma visited India, the two countries had set a trade target of USD 10 billion to be achieved by 2012. However, by March this year, the trade has already crossed USD 11 billion mark.South Africa is now one of the largest coal suppliers to India. Singh also had a separate bilateral meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on the sidelines of the IBSA Summit.The two leaders discussed ways to enhance cooperation in various specific areas, said M Ganapathy, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry.

The Prime Minister also extended invitations to the Presidents of South Africa and Brazil to attend the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) Summit to be held in New Delhi next year, Ganapathy said.The Presidents of South Africa and Brazil accepted the invitation.