Eskom contractors fire more than 1 000 workers

Medupi boilers Eskom. (Madelene Cronje, MG)

Medupi boilers Eskom. (Madelene Cronje, MG)

“The workers were fired for embarking on an illegal strike on Wednesday. Over 3 000 employees took part in the strike, 1 000 of them were dismissed as they had previous records against them,” said spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe.

“The rest were issued with written warnings by the contractors.” They had demanded better working conditions.

Phasiwe said Eskom would meet the contractors to determine whether they planned to fill the positions or implement extra shifts at the power station. 

Medupi’s full potential
On March 2, Eskom announced that Medupi’s unit six produced power for the first time. “Within the next three months, South Africa will see Medupi unit six’s full potential of 794MW being fed into the South African national grid,” suspended Eskom chief executive Matshediso Matona said at the time. Unit six of the new power station has faced numerous construction delays.

It was announced last year that it was expected to be synchronised on December 24. Synchronisation, or first power, involves the generator being connected to the power grid so that it is aligned with all the other generators to deliver electricity.

In recent months, Eskom has battled to keep the lights on since the collapse of one of its coal storage silos, diesel shortages, and maintenance issues. Because of these constraints Eskom will ask for a review of tariff increases it was granted for the 2015/16 financial year.

The National Energy Regulator of SA confirmed Eskom wanted to reopen the multi-year price determination, allowing for a further tariff hikes. Two weeks ago, Matona, finance director Tsholofelo Molefe, group capital executive Dan Morokane, and commercial and technology executive Matshela Koko were asked to step aside as the power utility embarked on a fact-finding inquiry.
– Sapa

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