Kusile Power Station. Picture: SUPPLIED
Kusile Power Station. Picture: SUPPLIED

Eskom’s giant coal-fired Kusile power station in Mpumalanga was evacuated on Friday after a labour dispute turned violent.

Photographs of burning vehicles at the power station were posted on the Intelligence Bureau SA’s Facebook page. 

2018/05/18 Kusile Powerstation Kusili protest action ... +/- 4000 strikers ... SAPS dispatched. Take caution if in the area.

Posted by Intelligence Bureau SA on Friday, 18 May 2018

Staff were instructed to leave the plant when workers employed by a sub-contractor allegedly set vehicles on fire. Police were called in to restore order.

Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said most of the staff had to be evacuated‚ except those keeping the power station running.

"We have employees who are employed by a scaffolding company. The company is sub-contracted by Mitsubishi and Hitachi‚" he said.

"The employees of that company are demanding pay increases and bonuses from their bosses. We have said to them that if they are going to be fighting … intimidating other people and burning things they are then going to have to leave the place. We have evacuated everyone at the moment.

"Only police and other law enforcement agencies are on the scene. The expectation from Eskom is that the employer is going to resolve this issue with their employees so that on Monday we resume work without interruptions like we saw today‚" he said.