The final commercial handover of Medupi Unit 6 – the first unit to be completed – is only expected in August, Eskom acting CEO Brian Molefe told a committee of Parliament on Friday.
This is an extension of the earlier June deadline.
Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told Moneyweb the unit is nevertheless producing about 800MW that Eskom dispatches and charges customers for.
Phasiwe said Eskom wants to give technicians enough time to finalise all the necessary tests before it takes receipt of the unit from the contractor.
He said during this phase, the operational cost of running the unit is for the account of the contractor. Once commercialisation has taken place, the running of the unit will be taken over by Eskom’s generation division and Eskom will be paying for the operational costs.
Phasiwe said about 10 000 workers of the current work force of 12 000 are on site at Medupi. This follows the site being paralysed by an unprotected strike in April and May.
The remaining 2 000 workers are not yet back at work, pending their disciplinary hearings in relation to the unprotected strike. The spokesperson said the ringleaders of the strike continue to intimidate workers.
It is not clear yet whether two workers who were victims of a drive-by shooting at the bus stop at Marapong Village on Thursday were specifically targeted or whether it was part of the on-going intimidation. They were shot as they were waiting for transport to the Medupi building site. It is however a communal bus stop, which makes it difficult to establish whether the incident was related to Medupi or not, Phasiwe said.
He said the workers are in a stable condition in hospital and the results of the police investigation into the incident will inform further actions by Eskom.