A South African court has ruled that the government plans to increase the country's reliance on nuclear power with help from Russia and other countries are unlawful.

The ruling Wednesday by the Western Cape High Court followed arguments by non-governmental groups that the public had not been sufficiently consulted about the plans and that South Africa could not afford more nuclear facilities.

Critics have been concerned that the nuclear deals could be vulnerable to graft at a time when President Jacob Zuma faces calls to resign because of scandals and the recent dismissal of a finance minister who was seen as a bulwark against corruption.

South Africa currently has two nuclear reactors that generate about 5 percent of the country's electricity.