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More sabotage at Eskom's plants - Gordhan confirms incident at Hendrina

Eskom on Thursday confirmed that its own workers were likely behind the breakdowns at the Tutuka plant in Mpumalanga.
Eskom on Thursday confirmed that its own workers were likely behind the breakdowns at the Tutuka plant in Mpumalanga.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday confirmed an incident of sabotage at Eskom's Hendrina power station in Mpumalanga.

This is the third sabotage incident reported at the power utility's facilities in the past few days.

“Chairperson, I was informed by management of Eskom this morning that yet another incident has taken place at the Hendrina power station, where an important cable which is required to start a unit that was undergoing repairs and to get it synchronised with the rest of the system was cut,” he said.

Gordhan, speaking in parliament, said: “So these flexible copper bars which are required to synchronise this unit to the rest of the power infrastructure were stolen and the reactor earth bars, as they are called, were also stolen obviously by people working within the power station.”

“These are what engineers call single points of failure. In other words, if there is a problem with these bars and cables you cannot connect this unit — which is ready for connection and to supply power — to the grid. And these, among other revelations that have occurred over the past few days, the corruption with the supplier of oil, the cable that was cut at another power station a few days ago, these are all directly related to the load-shedding that we experienced today over and above other operational issues.”

He said corruption, disruption and sabotage must be combated, whether they are from within SOEs or from “counter-revolutionary quarters” and criminals outside SOEs.

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. 

The power utility confirmed that a cable was severed at Tutuka 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.”

TimesLIVE could not immediately reach Eskom for comment. The story will be updated soon.

TimesLIVE


Eskom on Thursday confirmed that its own workers were likely behind the breakdowns at the Tutuka plant in Mpumalanga.
Eskom on Thursday confirmed that its own workers were likely behind the breakdowns at the Tutuka plant in Mpumalanga.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

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