Eskom power plant evacuated amid violent protest

18 May 2018 - 14:41 By Petru Saal
Kusile Power Station in Delmas, Mpumalanga.
Kusile Power Station in Delmas, Mpumalanga.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Eskom’s giant coal-fired Kusile power station in Mpumalanga was evacuated on Friday after a labour dispute turned violent.

Staff were instructed to leave the plant when workers employed by a sub-contractor allegedly set vehicles on fire. Police were called in to restore order.

2018/05/18 Kusile Powerstation Kusili protest action ... +/- 4000 strikers ... SAPS dispatched. Take caution if in the area.

Posted by Intelligence Bureau SA on Friday, May 18, 2018

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said most of the staff had to be evacuated‚ except those keeping the power station running.

“We have employees who are employed by a scaffolding company. The company is sub-contracted by Mitsubishi and Hitachi‚” he said.

“The employees of that company are demanding pay increases and bonuses from their bosses. We have said to them that if they are going to be fightin…intimidating other people and burning things they are then going to have to leave the place. We have evacuated everyone at the moment.

“Only police and other law enforcement agencies are on the scene. The expectation from Eskom is that the employer is going to resolve this issue with their employees so that on Monday we resume work without interruptions like we saw today‚” he added.