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Fri May 27 04:24:55 SAST 2016

Construction at Medupi power station hit by another strike: DA

Sapa | 26 March, 2013 16:50
Medupi, which will one day be the world's fourth-largest coal-fired power station, has transformed the landscape. File photo
Image by: Times Media

The Medupi power station under construction in Limpopo has been hit by another strike, the DA claimed on Tuesday.

 “Reports today that strikes at the Medupi Power Plant have erupted once again are [an] indication that urgent action is needed,” Democratic Alliance spokeswoman Natasha Michael said in a statement.

Eskom’s media desk could not immediately confirm whether there was a strike underway at Medupi.  

National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) spokesman Castro Ngobese said it was believed that around 2000 workers were striking at Medupi power plant on Tuesday. He said the striking workers were not Numsa members.  

Michael said Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba needed to appoint a permanent mediation and negotiation team to deal with labour issues at Medupi.  

Such a team should be drawn from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to help negotiations and reach a peaceful agreement, she said.  

Gigaba’s spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete could not immediately comment on this.  

Michael said South Africa needed the Medupi power station to start contributing to the national grid to help provide for the country’s electricity needs.   Two weeks ago, workers returned to their posts at Medupi after construction was halted during a strike that lasted almost eight weeks.

The strike came to an end when Numsa and contractors reached a resolution on the Project Labour Agreement.

Workers had questioned the way in which their year-end bonuses were calculated, claiming this should have been done on the basis of a six-day week, and not a five-day week.

At the time, Numsa said part of the agreement to end the strike was that workers received a once-off payment of R2000, and a month’s salary. They would also get an interest-free loan to the value of 90 hours of work, which they could pay back over six months.


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