SANDF to guard four Eskom power plants under threat of sabotage and vandalism

Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya confirmed to Daily Maverick that President Cyril Ramaphosa had authorised the deployment of South African Defence Force troops ‘in response to the growing threat of sabotage, theft, vandalism and corruption at Eskom power stations’.
Following requests by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Defence Thandi Modise has deployed the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to four Eskom power stations.
The year 2022 has been the worst on record for rolling blackouts, with outgoing CEO André de Ruyter stating previously that Eskom and the country could attribute one or two stages of load shedding to sabotage.
In an interview with SAfm, he said: “This is a pattern. We found it at other power stations as well. At Tutuka, for example, people deliberately break equipment because that results in a maintenance callout, which puts money into the pockets of the maintenance contractors.”
“Of course, there are other factors in place where no doubt [these criminals] want to exacerbate load shedding, and we suspect to put more pressure on players including myself and the management teams.”
Read more in Daily Maverick: “André de Ruyter had a year from hell – and then he lost his political cover”
Now, as the CEO serves the remainder of his time at the utility, the government has brought in the big guns — literally.
Asked about the purpose, scope and duration of the deployment, Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya told Daily Maverick: “In response to the growing threat of sabotage, theft, vandalism and corruption at Eskom power stations, the minister of defence has responded to the request made by the Presidency and the minister of public enterprises to support the ongoing activities of the security cluster.
“This is expected to ensure that we continue to respond to security-related threats and risks to South Africa’s essential energy infrastructure; coordinate all security-related operations to protect South Africa’s essential energy infrastructure through proactive crime detection, prevention, investigation, prosecution and administration of justice involving such infrastructure, and conduct integrated joint planning sessions with relevant role players to address identified challenges affecting energy security/security of supply.”
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
Asked about the scale of the deployment, Magwenya said: “A minimum of 10 soldiers of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be deployed at power generation stations, with the initial deployment to Tutuka, Camden, Majuba and Grootvlei. Further deployments will be announced in ...
18 Dec 2022 1PM English South Africa News · Daily News

Other recent episodes

Canadian company exploring for oil in Namibia in credibility battle

ReconAfrica, a start-up oil exploration company with interests in Namibia and Botswana, is fighting for survival as its auditors resign, a cash crunch looms and a New York court battle with disgruntled investors comes to a head. Descending upon Namibia’s environmentally sensitive Kavango East region in 2015 was the easy…
15 Dec 2022 2PM 18 min

Water scarcity in Western Cape towns persists despite recent heavy rains

Despite recent heavy rains, which caused flooding in parts of the Western Cape, some towns in the province are still at risk of running out of water. The head of the Western Cape Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Ntombizanele Bila-Mupariwa, on Thursday said dam levels within the Western Cape…
15 Dec 2022 1PM 6 min