Medupi power station. Picture: MAKWENA MANAMELA
Medupi power station. Picture: MAKWENA MANAMELA

Ann Bernstein’s article refers (A bridge too far for business if state does not know how to build or order it, August 3).

In my view, both the Business For SA and the ANC documents fail to address one fundamental “hole” — execution.

Let me quickly narrate what happened in Lephalale, the municipality that houses Eskom’s Medupi power station.

When construction of Medupi started, the road from town leading to the plant had two lanes and, consequently, in the morning there were long queues of contractors and workers needing access to the plant. Now we know why this R55bn plant has become a R200bn project. Delays.

The municipality agreed — this is within the competence of local government — to plan and build a dual carriage road leading to Medupi. Despite funding being available, the municipality came up with endless excuses for 18 months.

The road was finally built by Exxaro, which was badly affected by the delays. It took Exxaro two weeks to complete.

This is what awaits all of the 10 “priority” projects unless the president moves the execution from municipality and centralises it in the presidency. But then what will happen to local patronage?

Phuti Matlala

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