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Eskom: We support, produce skilled locals

Eskom has denied claims it employed boiler makers from Taiwan instead of South Africa.

Eskom has denied claims it employed boiler makers from Taiwan instead of South Africa. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom on Saturday dismissed claims by staff that the parastatal had employed boiler makers from Taiwan, ignoring qualified locals in the construction of the Medupi power station in Lephalale, in the Limpopo province.

The power utility is adamant it will meet its deadline to commission the first unit at Medpui by the end of 2013 - despite a series of strikes since 2012.

Eskom was locked in talks with workers' representatives yesterday, in a bid to resolve issues that led to employees embarking on a strike on Wednesday, which brought construction to a halt.

Talks are scheduled to resume today.

Eskom's spokesperson, Hilary Joffe, said the company had contributed to training artisans for the country.

"We are training welders because there are not enough skilled welders in the country who can build boilers.

"We have identified that need and we have a school of welding, which we opened last year."

The issue of the employment of foreigners over locals is among many that workers want resolved.