Gigaba intervenes in Medupi matter

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pretoria - Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday met with stakeholders involved in the construction of the Medupi power plant to find a peaceful resolution that will ensure workers head back to work.

“The Minister’s intervention is aimed at assisting the parties to reach a negotiated settlement to end the industrial action and ensure that they develop collectively a lasting solution to the problems,” said his ministry.

Last week, protesting workers set an Eskom vehicle alight. In January, the power parastatal temporarily closed the Limpopo coal fired station when workers embarked on protest action.

“The Minister believes that it is critical to stabilizing the situation at Medupi and ensures that construction at the site resumes immediately as further delays will have an adverse impact on the economic development of the country,” said the ministry.

The parties agreed in principle to commit towards finding a resolution to the impasse and ensuring that work resumes as a matter of urgency at the power plant to ensure the project is completed within set deadline.

“The Minister is also aware that, the parties would require time to consult with their constituencies and partners as part of refining the agreement towards a lasting solution so that workers go back to work as soon as possible,” said the ministry.

The power station will have a total at 4 788 MW installed capacity and will ease the pressure on the country’s power grid.

The last unit of the plant is scheduled for commissioning by 2015 while the planned operational life of the station is 50 years.

Earlier this week, Energy Minster Dipuo Peters said interruptions at the construction site of Medupi could have serious implications for energy supply security. -