MPs to visit Medupi

Parliament's oversight committee on Public Enterprises will head to Limpopo next week.

The committee visiting the Medupi power station want assurance the delay in operations won’t be long. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's oversight committee on Public Enterprises wants concrete assurances the delay in bringing the new Medupi power station in Limpopo into operations won't be a lengthy one.

The committee heads to Limpopo next week to find out the reasons for the six month delay announced by Eskom last week.

The giant power plant was to have started producing power in December.

But the power giant said on Tuesday this will now happen only in the second half of 2014.

Committee chairman Peter Maluleka said they want to meet with everybody concerned.

"When I say everybody, I mean everybody"

He said they don't want to take for granted that even a small person involved can cause a delay.

"We want to try and meet everybody, if possible."

Eskom has blamed industrial action, contractors and problems with the system controlling the plant for the delay.

The cost for the project will now rise to over R10 billion.

Maluleka said the size of the project means there will be glitches.

"This is not a small project. It's huge. It will come with some challenges but we must at least try to minimise those, whatever these may be."

The committee hopes to meet with unions and contractors as well.

Speedy completion of the new power station is crucial if the country is to avoid a devastating energy crunch.

Meanwhile, The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) last week called for an independent probe of contractors, blaming them for the delays.