Johannesburg - South African power utility Eskom has halted work at all its construction sites to review safety after an accident which killed six workers, its chief executive said on Friday.
The contractors died at the Ingula hydro electric plant being built in northeast Kwazulu Natal province after a wheeled gantry ran down an underground slope and collided with a monorail and other equipment.
Seven other workers were injured in the incident.
Ingula, a pumped storage scheme that has a planned output of 1,332 megawatts, is one of a series of Eskom projects designed to boost the power supply in Africa's biggest economy.
Other big projects include coal-fired plants Medupi and Kusile, in the northern Limpopo and eastern Mpumalanga provinces respectively, which will have a combined capacity of about 9,500 megawatts.
The two stations were expected to start coming online in the second half of next year but both have been delayed by labour unrest and other issues.
Eskom provides 95 percent of South Africa's power.
It has been finely balancing output and demand since the grid came close to collapse in 2008.
“I have instructed that there be a work stoppage on all of Eskom's construction sites throughout the whole country that would allow everybody to reflect on safety standards on sites,” chief executive Brian Dames told reporters.
He did not say how long the stoppage would last.
“It would last as long as it takes, as long as every Eskom manager and contractor manager is comfortable with safety standards,” he said. - Reuters