The Hawks are investigating the alleged sabotage that occurred on a distribution line outside the Lethabo Power Station in the Free State.
At least eight supports, called stays, were found cut. They are galvanised steel rods and are 24mm in diameter. Eskom’s CEO Andre de Ruyter says they had no signs of corrosion and appear to have been cut with some instrument.
These supports are attached to a small pylon that carries power lines that feed electricity to the power plant’s overland coal conveyor. The incident resulted in the toppling of the tower onto a backup power line, rendering both inoperable.
It took nine hours for distribution officials to reroute the power to the Lethabo conveyor from a third supply line.
De Ruyter says he does not know who the perpetrators are. But adds that it’s clear they have an agenda which has damaged the economy as load shedding has had to be implemented.
The alleged sabotage comes as Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan have been under fire over the country’s ongoing energy crisis. Some groups have called for the utility’s management and the minister to be fired.
There are also questions about the timing of Eskom’s first bout of load shedding this month. It was enforced as its request for higher electricity prices was rejected by the energy regulator, Nersa.
[Header image: Supplied]
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