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All quiet at Medupi power station

Construction underway
at Medupi power
Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 25 May 2011 – The scene at national power utility Eskom’s Medupi power station, near Lephalale in Limpopo, was peaceful yesterday as contract workers signed a final written warning and a peace agreement.

“About 700 Murray and Roberts and Hitachi workers signed a final written warning and a peace agreement,” said Eskom spokeswoman Hilary Joffe. “We don’t want any violent protests again.”

She explained that the final written warning served to put the workers on notice that if they protested again, they did so knowing there would be consequences. “The peace agreement sets out proper conduct for the workplace,” she said.

Joffe described the site as “quiet” yesterday and said about 8,000 workers had arrived for work.

A protest by about 500 workers on 10 May had led to the closure of the site after vehicles had been damaged. Limpopo police said protesters had torched two buses and damaged four vehicles.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the protest had been over allegations that Eskom had been employing experienced foreign boilermakers, and not considering local residents for the positions.

No arrests were made and no injuries were reported.