Lephalale - Construction of South African state-run power utility Eskom's Kusile plant, due to start up next year, has been disrupted by an illegal strike, the company said on Thursday.
News of the problems at Kusile came as Eskom pledged to still get power out of its Medupi plant this year to ease pressure on the grid, despite construction delays including labour unrest that have put the goal in doubt.
“There is a strike at Kusile, it started sometime this week and people are offsite today,” Eskom chief executive Brian Dames told Reuters on the sidelines of a visit by journalists to the site of the Medupi power plant.
Eskom spokeswoman Hilary Joffe later clarified that about 2,000 of the 15,000 workers at Kusile had gone home and some construction had been suspended. Officials did not say what prompted the wildcat action.
Kusile is supposed to start up in late 2014 but Medupi is more urgent and getting it on line by the December 2013 target is seen as crucial for growth in Africa's largest economy, which is heavily dependent on the energy-intensive mining industry.