About 250 workers at the near completion Medupi Power Station construction project in Lephalale, Limpopo will be jobless at the end of June after hammering the last nail on their scope of work.
Medupi Project Manager Phillip Dukashe said the electricity venture will also demobilise 397 workers by the end of July, saying a further 413 will be out of work at the end of August, bringing the total number of affected workers to 2, 157 since May.
He explained that workers are laid-off because of a demobilisation process, which the project is undertaking due to completion of certain construction activities, resulting in certain skills no longer being required.
“Workers should note that demobilisation happens when the contractor or seconded employee’s task come to an end, Therefore, it is crucial to indicate that they should not confuse it with retrenchment,” said Dukashe.
He said about 2, 157 will finish their scope of work by the end of August.
Eskom expects the delayed construction of the power station which started in 2007, marred by violent protests to be complete by 2020.
“The project has reached 89.9% of its construction activities with the 10.1% outstanding works scheduled for completion in 2020.
At its peak, Medupi had 18,000 construction workers – 48% of those being from the Limpopo Province, 95% of the total being South Africans and 60% of that workforce being youth – and is sitting at just over 13,500 construction employees,” added Dukashe.
Aside from direct job creation, said Dukashe Eskom and its contractors have placed contracts for supporting services with many suppliers that have created about 2,000 additional supporting jobs besides construction workforce.
Unit 3 produced its first power in April 2018, making it the fourth of the sixth units of Medupi to the national grid.
By May 2018, it had reached full load.
Unit 3 is still in the testing and optimisation phase but will at the same time be delivering power.
Progress is also clear on Unit 2 as it achieved a chemical clean milestone in April 2018 and complete Unit 1 boiler hydro test in March 2018.
“It is milestones like these that will ensure the country has stable electricity supply, added Dukashe.