Eskom on Thursday confirmed that sabotage, most likely by its own employees, was behind the breakdowns at the Tutuka power station in Mpumalanga this week.
“Eskom can confirm an incident in which a cable was severed at the Tutuka power station this week while the power station was finalising preparations to return unit 5 to service. The damage to the cable had the effect of delaying the unit’s return to service by three days as it took some time to locate the fault.
“Once discovered, the cable was repaired in a short space of time. The return to service of unit 5 was resumed. On the same day, a few hours later, it was again discovered that there was a station control air pressure drop and the same unit 5 turbine systems which consume control air for operation were de-energised. It was later discovered that the control air pipe supplying the turbine systems had been cut with a power tool and the entire bend removed.”
Eskom said it tried to repair the damage by welding the pipe back on and the system charged with control air before being normalised.