Work resumes at Avon Peaking Power Plant

2015-11-18 06:00
KwaDukuza councillor Gideon Mbonambi, Group 5 executive director Willie Zeelie, municipal mayor Ricardo Mthembu, councillor Thulani Ntuli of KwaDukuza. From right - chairperson of KwaDukuza Infrastructure and Technical Committee Sandeep Oudhram and c

KwaDukuza councillor Gideon Mbonambi, Group 5 executive director Willie Zeelie, municipal mayor Ricardo Mthembu, councillor Thulani Ntuli of KwaDukuza. From right - chairperson of KwaDukuza Infrastructure and Technical Committee Sandeep Oudhram and c

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KWADUKUZA mayor, Ricardo Mthembu and Group Five executive director, Willie Zeelie announced last week that work would resume at the Avon Peaking Power Plant.

This follows the dismissal of workers who went on an unprotected strike that halted construction activities at the plant.

Furthermore, 70 percent of the workers who were dismissed during the labour dispute will be reinstated and will complete their contract.

He said 500 jobs have been secured. Mthembu said the agreement was reached following a “rigorous and constructive consultation process” whose results were positive for the local council, community and Group Five.

“It is not a matter of choice for us as a local authority to work to protect this facility, it is a matter of responsibility to create an investment-friendly environment for the sake of job creation. It is also our duty to protect private companies who provide these opportunities and as such we are happy that the project is back on track,” said Mthembu.

He said with the increased demand for power, the plant is very important not only for the country, but for the international community as well.

Mthembu commended all those who were part of the discussions.

“We commend Group Five for their commitment to resolving this matter which I think on its own reflects patriotism and national pride. We will ensure that we honour our commitment to ensuring that there is stability on this project going forward. No one must destroy this marriage,” he said.

Zeelie said: “I am very pleased to announce the re-mobilisation of the site and to confirm that with the assistance of the ward councillors, the re-employment process is running very smoothly and that our people on site are working and very happy to be back.”

He added that due to the delays the site team will be working under pressure to ensure that the project is completed on time.

“We therefore look forward to the continuation of the spirit of co-operation achieved in this regard. Group Five will employ about 560 workers at the plant. To date, about 70 percent of these employees were re-employed. We are hoping to reach our target of 100 percent by Monday, 16 November 2015,” said Zeelie.

In closing, Mthembu condemned those who vandalised the site saying it will cost a hefty sum to repair.

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