I received the e-mail below from a friend:
I am a contractor and I have worked and at the Medupi Power Station. I wish to add a few comments to your e-mail.
The working staff gets the last day of each month off as well as half the previous day for pay day.
General workers arrive between eight and nine and start working on the new substations by ten.
Lunch starts at about 11:30 and finishes about 14:00
They leave at about 15:30
These are the general workers pulling in new cables, moving panels etc.
So very little real work gets done because of the short working hours.
I was working in a substation. The air conditoning system is not working because the controller is the wrong type. It has taken four months to find a replacement. It was 40 degrees in the substation
The two main chimneys at Medupi have been built facing the wrong direction. They are 180 degrees the wrong way round.
This means the pipework will all have to be changed. The efficiency of the blowers will be affected as the pipework is incorrect.
The management of staff is a mess. The staff sit and look at you if you ask them to do anything. They know that if they don’t like what you are asking, they can on strike and they have done it. So nobody messes with them.
The engineer who signed off the building of the chimneys the wrong way round has dissapeared. There was insufficient management oversight. The wrong air conditioning unit in the substation is also due to lack of managment.
The experience I had there was that basically no one is in charge.
No one takes the lead for fear of being fired for not performing
The skill set to do the work is not there.
And all this in the name of BEE.
Apparently the "kitchen" or food contract is run by the local ANC mayor or leader
The workers are guaranteed a hot lunch every day
There is a central kitchen and mess.
Thus a worker who is an hour away from the kitchen, is transported in a little bus. His lunch hour only starts when he picks up the plate to be served.
So an hour lunch break lasts 2 or 3 hours in some sections
When the workforce was on strike the lunch providers were paid full value - not just the profit section even though they were not supplying any meals.
The lunch contract has come up for review 3 times and every time the same person is awarded the contract despite better or other bids
Now this is just lunch.
Imagine the rest ?
Add this to our discussion of trade unions and ESKOM.