Eskom denied planning to retrench 17 000 contract workers at its Medupi power plant in Limpopo. “This is not correct,” said spokeswoman Hilary Joffe, last Tuesday.

“There are currently more than 17 000 workers on site at Medupi and [there is] a great deal more work to do to complete the power station project, which is due to be completed only in 2017.”

Earlier, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in Limpopo said the power utility was planning to retrench 17 000 workers in the next few months.

Provincial secretary Kushca Tlhoaela described this as “the largest single retrenchment in the post-apartheid South Africa”.

Last week, about 600 Eskom employees, contracted by Murray & Roberts Construction and Grinaker-LTA, who were due to lose their jobs, embarked on a violent protest at Medupi. They damaged several vehicles and some equipment.

Murray & Roberts said the workers had been informed of the demobilising plan. Although the protest was contained, all the workers were sent home as a precautionary measure on the day.

Source: iafrica.com