MPs to visit Medupi

2013-07-16 13:39

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Parliament has agreed to an oversight visit to the delay-ridden Medupi power plant in Limpopo.

The DA said its request to visit the site was approved for July 24 and July 25.

“The visit is crucial, especially in the wake of the recent extension of the deadline in the roll-out of the first phase of the project from the end of this year to mid-2014,” DA MP Natasha Michael said today.

The visit would be used to ask officials at the site “hard questions” about the delays which were caused by, among others, faulty construction and labour disputes.

“The work of contractors, such as Chancellor House-linked Hitachi Power Africa, and French company Alstom, will also be assessed thoroughly,” Michael said.

The ballooning of the project’s costs from R91 billion to R105 billion would also be interrogated.

“The DA will ensure that this is not another window dressing expedition to throw down the seriousness of the situation, but an opportunity for Parliament to gain clarity of the actual situation on the ground and ascertain whether progress is being made as suggested by the department and Minister (of Public Enterprises) Malusi Gigaba.”

Last week, Eskom said in a statement the new power station would probably begin contributing to the national grid only in the second half of next year. The previous target was December this year.

The statement came after Gigaba insisted earlier this year that the December deadline would not change.

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