Two people have been arrested at Eskom’s Matla Power Station in Mpumalanga on Monday for the alleged theft of coal at the power station.
According to Eskom, the two are workers of a transport company contracted to the power utility to transport coal.
“The arrests took place after the truck driver was found to be in possession of sub-grade coal destined for the facility. The coal swapping allegedly took place at a known illegal coal yard in the Mpumalanga area, prior to the delivery being made at the Matla Power Station.
“During questioning, the truck driver admitted to offloading the ‘good-quality’ coal he had received from the Arthur Taylor Colliery, located in Mpumalanga. He further alleged that he was acting on the instructions of his supervisor when he proceeded to the Rondebult coal yard to exchange the coal,” Eskom said in a statement.
The power utility explained that coal theft is a “highly organised criminal activity” which not only enriches syndicates but causes damage to power stations.
“The criminal black market for such commodities and establishment of illegal coal yards and dumpsites are expanding at a rapid rate due to the lag in law enforcement and the high levels of corruption and collusion.
“Eskom loses billions of rand due to the misappropriation of coal and similar commodities which directly affects production,” the power utility said.
Eskom General Manager for Security Advocate Karen Pillay said the arrests – which follow arrests on similar charges at Camden and Kendal power stations – are a significant step for the power utility.
“It also confirms the extent of criminality and prevalence of organised crimes affecting the organisation. Eskom has discovered through investigations that the control processes are deliberately bypassed by the criminal employees of the mines, transporters and Eskom alike. We shall pursue these unscrupulous individuals relentlessly and ensure that justice is served.
“It is a clear demonstration of our determination deal with criminality within Eskom,” she said.
Source: South African Government News Agency