Construction at Medupi expected to resume

Contract workers walked off site in protest over accommodation, housing allowances and bonuses.

FILE. The Medupi Power Station in Lephalale. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says it expects work to resume at the Medupi Power Station in Lephalale this morning after a one-day strike by workers over accommodation, housing allowances and bonuses.

Contract workers walked off site on Wednesday after their representatives were unable to resolve the dispute.

Workers are protesting transfers to hostel accommodation, allowances being cut and the refusal of Eskom to pay a bonus for Unit Six coming online.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says unions have a responsibility to ensure work continues.

"It really is up to the unions as to whether they will be coming back today but from our side we're expecting them to come in today. We met with them on Wednesday and will continue to do so. None of the people who were on strike are actually Eskom employees, they're all actually working for contractors."

But the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa head of collective bargaining at Eskom, Steve Nhlapo, says the issue is about Eskom executives getting rewarded while workers do not.

"Parliament in celebrating, government is celebrating that there's 200 megawatts on the grid. Workers have to sacrifice their time, working overtime and what they get is retrenchment."