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South Africa World Cup construction back on after strike

A significant threat to South Africa's 2010 World Cup ambitions was averted this week after a strike over pay and conditions at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban was resolved.

Group Five/WBHO/Pandev Joint Venture and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) announced on Monday that they had resolved the dispute that started on 7 November.

Work on the stadium resumed on Tuesday and the national secondary strike that was planned to start at other 2010-related projects this week was also abandoned.

An NUM spokesman said that a December bonus of £144.30 had been agreed on, followed by a second bonus of £288.60 at the end of the workers' contracts in May next year.

It was also agreed that an additional health and safety officer would be elected by the workers from among the JV's hourly paid employees.

The strike led to the loss of 11 working days. However, Group Five KwaZulu-Natal managing director Craig Jessop stressed that although time had been lost it would not jeopardise the city's ability to host the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

"We were ahead of schedule before the strike, so we will have to get back on programme after having lost a few days, but there is no concern whatsoever that the stadium will not be ready on time," confirmed eThekwini municipality head of strategic projects Julie-May Ellingson.

The delivery date for practical completion of the project is in May 2009, with full completion scheduled for October 2009.

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