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Could Medupi face further delays as workers strike?

by , 10 April 2015

The Medupi power plant has made the headlines over the past few years as delays and rising costs continue to plague its opening.

And now work at Eskom's power plant is under further strain as interruptions hit the plant's construction for a second day.

Let's take a closer look at what's going on…

Eskom claims workers are blocking other workers from entering Medupi

Earlier today, Eskom said that the workers it dismissed “for destroying property at the Medupi power plant” are now preventing other workers from “entering the construction site,” reports BDLive.

The National Union of Mineworkers of SA (NUMSA) said that workers were also not going to work as a market of “solidarity with the fired workers,” adds BDLive.

Following a number of delays, Eskom had hoped that Medupi would start generating from “partial operations” in July, says IOL. This would add an additional 800MW of much needed power to South Africa’s electricity grid.

Events ongoing at the site means that “only some 3,000 of the 21,000 workers… are currently working,” notes MoneyWeb. Khulu Phasiwe, a spokesman for Eskom, says some of the fired workers are “intimidating and stopping others from entering” the site.

This means that construction work at the plant has ceased for the second day running, reports Fin24.

Eskom says the action by workers won’t delay Medupi’s first unit coming online

Yet Mr Phasiwe said this isn’t haven’t an effect on work at “unit six of the plant,” which is the first one to come on line in July, says BDLive.

The latest unrest at the power plants comes after a strike by workers on 25 March. Workers downed tools over wages and inadequate living conditions.

Once completed, the Medupi coal-fired power plant will be the first station adding to capacity to SA’s power grid in two decades, adds Fin24.

With load shedding blighting South Africa and putting unnecessary strain on an already strained power system, the issues at Medupi could put further pressure on Eskom’s plans to resolve its electricity producing problems.

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Could Medupi face further delays as workers strike?
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