A throng of Alstom workers at Medupi says they live in fear of COVID-19

Lephalale: Temporary construction workers hired by Alstom to conduct scheduled maintenance at Medupi Power Station are scared of living in a crowded house rented for them by their employer, saying they are “highly likely” to test positive for the coronavirus.

“We are over hundred workers, six of us share a three-bedroom house, two in each bedroom, and all of us share bathroom, dining room, toilet, and kitchen,” Workers who chose to remain anonymous told Lephalale Express.

As temporary employees, says the workers, we have a tough choice to work or we and our families will face hunger.

“In the case of COVID-19, non-relatives living in the same house and in an abnormal environment of sharing facilities has brought great challenges. We come from different provinces, some declared hotspots and visit family and friends frequently.  We can spread the virus easily.”

Panic-stricken workers claim they are involuntary violating COVID-19 lockdown regulations. They claim they live in crowded rented houses that do not comply with the regulations, while permanent staff lives in accommodations including bed and breakfast (B&B) establishments – often private family homes.

“There is no social distancing being taken in crammed houses to halt the spread of the coronavirus”, workers say.

When contact for comment, Alstom Site Manager, Johan Roos did not deny or confirm the allegations.

“I don’t know what you are talking about. It is the first time I hear the complaint,” he said.

Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation and transmission.

The construction company’s scope at Medupi comprises the supply, installation, and commissioning of the Turbine Islands, air-cooled condensers, and the ALSPA Series 6 plant control system.

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