Apart from the power utility Eskom’s aging machinery, there is rampant and deliberate acts of sabotage at a number of power stations in the country -- leading to the current regular load-shedding of energy nationwide, Eskom chief executive Andre de Ruyter disclosed on Monday.
De Ruyter said this in a statement following a recent arrest of a contractor working at Eskom’s Camden Power Station in Mpumalanga province after he was positively identified in an incident of sabotage at the electricity plant.
The unnamed contractor admitted to intentionally removing the oil drain plug causing oil burners to trip repeatedly at the Camden plant, de Ruyter said.
He said in another incident, instead of coal, rocks were delivered to Majuba Power Station.
And other mysterious failures have been reported as the country continued to endure the rolling blackouts, the chief executive said, adding that “the issue is quite pervasive and very serious.”
“We had an incident where an unknown person tried to cut through a conveyor belt, which feeds coal into the boilers, which would have led to a significant disruption,” De Ruyter said.
“We do have mysterious failures, oil leakages, and equipment knocked out. So, sabotage is a serious problem and it is quite wide-ranging,” he said.
The government said that Cabinet welcomed the arrests of those implicated in corruption at Eskom, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said.
“We are excited about the arrests. The arrests have been ongoing. Other matters are in the prosecutorial space,” Gungubele said.