By Natasha Michael, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of public enterprises

19 September 2012 – The recent violent protests at Eskom’s Medupi power station in South Africa are going to drag-out the power stations construction at the expense of the taxpayer. The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be insisting that Eskom brief the Public Enterprises committee on the recent bout of delays as a matter of urgency.

The Public Enterprises Committee has heard nothing from Eskom about the recent delays, despite the power station reportedly being about 20 months behind schedule and  the total costs, including interest, amounting to R116 billion and counting.

Previous delays have been presented by Eskom as being a mixture of labour relations unrest, design and implementation complications and contractual disputes.

Given the importance of this project to the nation’s economic future, Eskom must have open communication lines to parliament on the project’s progress. At present, this is not happening.

As we are already lagging initial completion estimates by over a year and a half, we simply cannot afford the risk of further complacency.  

As one of the primary financier of this project, the public deserves to be kept up-to-date with any and all incidents potentially jeopardising the successful completion of the project. Complacency is a luxury Eskom can no longer afford.