State power utility, Eskom, says a maintenance company contractor working at the Camden power station has been arrested after he was “positively linked to an incident of sabotage” during investigations.
The perpetrator caused Camden’s Unit 4 to trip after allegedly removing a bearing oil drain plug, which continuously tripped the oil burner. The incident occurred in October.
“Intensive internal investigations led to the culprit being identified and questioned about the incident. The evidence obtained and the confession made by the perpetrator revealed the plug was intentionally removed to cause the trip. This act of sabotage would ensure that his employer is awarded additional maintenance and repair jobs at the power station,” Eskom said.
The arrest comes barely a week after two truck drivers, who were working for an Eskom contracted ash transporting company, were arrested for alleged coal theft at the Kendal power station.
“This arrest, together with two last… is the result of persistent and excellent collaborative work by the Eskom Security Team and the South African Police Service (SAPS), who are working tirelessly to identify and disrupt criminal networks,” Eskom said.
General Manager for Security at Eskom, Advocate Karen Pillay, said the arrest bears evidence to the power utility’s suspicions that some contractors and employees were deliberately sabotaging power stations.
“It is disheartening to find that some of our contractors are unscrupulous, have malicious intent and are willing to plunge the country into further load shedding at a time when the electricity grid is highly constrained.
“We have always suspected that some of our maintenance contractors and employees are behind these acts of sabotage. We shall continuously work with the law enforcement agencies to bring these insiders to book and ensure that justice is meted out, but most importantly that those with similar tendencies across Eskom are arrested and removed from the organisation,” she said.
Meanwhile, load shedding stage three will be implemented from 4pm to 5am with stage two load shedding implemented during the day from 5am to 4pm.
The alternating stages will continue in that order until further notice.
Source: South African Government News Agency