Medupi power station a matter of urgency: DA
Johannesburg - A reliable electricity supply from the new Medupi coal-fired plant is an essential precondition for economic growth and job creation, the Democratic Alliance said on Saturday.
"It is a matter of urgency that the Medupi power station comes on line as soon as possible and certainly not later than the time frame indicated by Minister Gigaba," DA MP Natasha Michael said in a statement.
She was responding to the Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba who said Eskom's Medupi plant will begin feeding electricity into the national grid from the second half of next year.
The power station is situated near Lephalale in Limpopo.
Delays in the start-up of the station's first 800MW unit - construction of the dry-cooled station started in mid-2007 - could be attributed to geotechnical, labour, and design and construction issues, Gigaba said in a written reply to a parliamentary question on Friday.
"The labour delays were a result of a number of strikes during 2010 and 2011 by employees of the contractors, which subsequently resulted in delays caused by labour disputes.
"The design delays were as a result of certain critical civil designs, which were not concluded timeously for construction. The construction delays experienced in the boiler area were attributable to structural steelwork design, manufacturing, logistics and construction."
Michael added that they will be asking parliamentary questions to determine how the department of public enterprises intends to monitor the Medupi power plant's progress.
"We will also be asking what risk management policies have been put into place to ensure that the project remains on schedule."