Work resumes at Medupi power plant

Construction of South Africa’s Medupi power plant has restarted seven weeks after violent labour unrest brought it to a halt, State-run power utility Eskom said on Thursday.

The plant, which is scheduled to start generating power this year, is crucial to the health of Africa’s largest economy as it grapples with tight electricity supplies.

"The Medupi site is open. The return to work at Medupi has commenced, with 7 000 workers on site yesterday, and it will continue over the next few days," Eskom spokeswoman Hilary Joffe said.

"We have asked the contractors for an assessment of the impact of the labour unrest and what plans they will put in place to mitigate it," she said.

Eskom has said the delays pose a "material threat" to the project’s timelines. Police last month arrested 46 protesting workers for public violence at the site.

"We have not changed the timelines but will be conducting an assessment with the contractors once operations are back to normal," Joffe said.

Labour unrest is a major concern for investors in South Africa. Wildcat strikes last year rocked the mining sector, triggering violence that killed over 50 people and hit output in the world’s largest platinum producer.

Edited by: Reuters


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