NUM in the dark about Eskom’s housing project

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The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it’s in the dark about Eskom’s housing project to accommodate its members at Kusile Power Station in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga.

Reports say Eskom is allegedly involved in fruitless and wasteful expenditure costing more than four times than what it was budgeted for.

The housing project of 336 units, which was meant to cost R160 million escalated to R840 million.

The unfinished project is said to have been abandoned for 10 years after the construction began.

NUM Spokesperson Livhuwani Mamburu says their members receive travelling and accommodation allowance.

“We are shocked with the media reports that Eskom was building a housing  project at Kusile Power Station. The NUM is not aware, our members are not aware of that, our members have housing and transport allowance, some of them live in Witbank, Bronkhorspruit and Pretoria, so they travel every day with the travelling allowance that they have.”

Eskom to sell housing project

On Wednesday, Eskom announced that there are plans to sell the Kusile housing project.

The power utility says it is negotiating with the Department of Human Settlements to purchase the abandoned blocks of apartments.

“Eskom stopped funding the project in 2019 after realising that it was not going to serve its intended purpose. The company is currently in negotiations with the department of human settlements to have it buying the flats and using them to provide housing for residents,” says Eskom Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.

SABC News’s Siphephile Kunene reports that the Kusile Power Station project is almost 90% complete:

Wasteful expenditure

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises has in a statement lamented the fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The committee is planning to summon Eskom next week Wednesday.

Earlier this month, the Auditor-General found that the Mpumalanga flats are now worth nothing:

Additional reporting by Siphephile Kunene.