LEPHALALE — According to Phillip Dukashe, Medupi’s Project Director, there are currently about 14 500 employees in service at Medupi Power Station. He added that once Medupi is completed about 800 employees would be required to run the power station.
Dukashe assured that Eskom is concerned about unemployment and that they do a lot to develop local employees which will enable them to get jobs after the completion of Medupi. “The Medupi Leadership Initiative is established to upskill them. A project has a start and an end and it is always a painful process when a project ends, but we have played open cards from the start of the project” he says.
There were plans in place from the beginning to try and accommodate workers once their contracts expired. They are taught skills that could be put to use on other projects in Lephalale. Dukashe confirmed that there are about 6 000 unskilled and semi-skilled people in Lephalale. Some people joined Working on Fire for training after their specific tasks came to an end. Some of the workers are part of an agricultural programme where they are taught skills in order to develop and maintain a successful and self-sustainable farm.
Dukashe said that in future Eskom will do more to teach learners the need to learn maths and science and that a mentor programme is already in place where young professionals help children to make the right decisions.
‘n Programme where 20 students from TVET College will be supported in order to become artisans is currently under way but they have to go through a selection process and it takes a lot of time.