View Full Version : Einde van Ellisras as "boom town"

02-18-2014, 10:52 AM

INFRASTRUCTURE is almost complete in Lephalale, home to tens of thousands of workers and contractors, but many locals believe there will be almost no one left to use the world-class facilities in a few years' time.

Water, power and wide new roads are just about ready for those working on the gargantuan Medupi power station and the extension to Exxaro's Grootgeluk open-cast coal mine, but this comes as some of the bigger contracts are winding down and an exodus of workers begins.

A tarred double-lane road completed in the past few months stretches from the town to the two major construction points of Medupi and Grootgeluk, 20km away. Another connects the town to Vaalwater, 90km away on the road to Johannesburg.

The daily commute of thousands of trucks and buses to and from the mine and the power station has, until now, been on dusty, congested roads under construction.

Roman Crookes, Eskom's general manager at Medupi, said “it could take up to two hours to get to the site" before the road had been completed. He conceded that the timing of its completion “probably wasn't ideal".

Housing has also been a serious problem. Despite about 2,000 new houses having been built since the power station project began seven years ago, workers have jostled for a place to stay.

A severe power shortage has kept housing developments on hold and driven demand for accommodation through the roof. Rents in and around the town have reached levels akin to those in Sandton.

According to Arona Rossouw, an estate agent at Sold Properties, a 100m˛ house can be had for R7,000 a month and a prefabricated structure in Blikkiesdorp — named for its rows and rows of identical rectangular homes — goes for R12,000 a month.

Medupi is more than two years late, R30bn over budget and power has yet to be produced. But the labour-intensive groundwork is virtually complete and so far about 2,000 of the original 17,000 workers have been “demobilised" — and the process is expected to continue. The extension to Grootgeluk mine, which will fuel Medupi, is almost 100% complete and the number of workers is also thinning out.

Bob Naidoo, Lephalale's municipal manager, has had a tough few years trying to keep the town watered and lit. The new R300m internal water reticulation project will go a long way to ensuring enough water is available. “The project is 90% complete and will be ready in May," said Mr Naidoo.

The town's power supply has been stretched almost beyond capacity to service the existing housing developments and businesses, but Mr Naidoo said a R180m project to put in new substations by 2015 had been brought forward. By the end of this year, there will be twice the amount of electricity currently available in the town.

“It helps that Medupi is starting to decommission and Exxaro has finished its expansion," said Mr Naidoo. The irony seemed lost on him.


Jannie in die TRONK
02-18-2014, 04:31 PM
En intussen probeer die klomp elke dag vis-vang met my saam. Gelukkig het ek nog nooit lus gehad vir die aas wat hulle uitgooi nie.

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i158/Benbliksem/Ellisras_zpsca65311c.jpg (http://s71.photobucket.com/user/Benbliksem/media/Ellisras_zpsca65311c.jpg.html)

02-18-2014, 08:26 PM
Dit gaan seer wees.