On 06 September 2021, the Radiation and Health Physics Unit, University of the Witwatersrand and VERTIC) hosted another online African regional workshop to further discuss the establishment of an African Nuclear Disarmament Verification hub.

The workshop was the fifth of a series of regional workshops.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss pertinent issues that may contribute to preventing the re-emergence of nuclear weapons once all nuclear weapons have been eliminated.

Three papers were presented:

Ms Melanie Reddiar: Chief Director of South Africa’s Non-Proliferation Secretariat, presented a paper on ‘Preventing the re-emergence of a nuclear weapons programme in South Africa: the evolution of South Africa’s policy, legislative and regulatory framework, and infrastructure’. Melanie, noted that the non-proliferation system in South Africa is continually advancing with increased co-operation and collaboration amongst stakeholders. Constant enhancements in the regulatory mechanism, ensures that South Africa will significantly contribute to global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts and to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in general.

‘Approaches to prevent the re-emergence of nuclear weapons through the application of safeguards and export control regimes: an African perspective’ was presented by Thabo (Lucky) Mametja, a final year Masters student at North-West University. Lucky argued inter alia that all African states should unilaterally declare their adherence to the Guidelines issued by the various multilateral export control regimes as a basis for their national control measures in the interest of international peace and security.

Professor (retired) André Buys spoke on ‘Developing appropriate policies to address the transition of former nuclear weapon programme personnel’. Prof. Buys evaluated different strategies and policies that could be put in place to mitigate proliferation risks posed by former employees. Use was made of a South African case study to determine the problems associated with the abolition of a nuclear weapons programme and the disposal of the human resources mobilised in the programme.