Labour dispute halts construction at South Africa’s Medupi power plant

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JOHANNESBURG  – Thousands of workers at Medupi power plant that utility Eskom is building stayed away work on Monday to protest the firing of some of their colleagues, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) said.

Labour disruption and technical faults have increased costs at Eskom’s Medupi coal-fired plant, expected to start generating 800 megawatts of extra electricity by July.

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“The site is not operational and there is no work being done. We are currently negotiations with contractors and Eskom,” Steve Nhlapo head of collective bargaining for NUMSA told Reuters.

Once fully complete, the long-delayed power plant would become South Africa’s first new power station to come in 20 years and help to address a chronic shortage.