Home South African Task force to probe Eskom ‘sabotage’ claims

Task force to probe Eskom ‘sabotage’ claims

390

Eskom had opened the criminal case at the Standerton Police Station in Mpumalanga – Khusela Diko.

Johannesburg – A multi-disciplinary task force has been established to investigate President Cyril Ramaphosa’s claims of sabotage at Eskom that led to last week’s unprecedented Stage 6 load shedding.

This comes after Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said Ramaphosa had directed the police and the State Security Agency (SSA) to take the allegations of sabotage forward.

Police on Tuesday confirmed that a multi-disciplinary task force was investigating the alleged sabotage and tampering, damaging or destroying of electrical network infrastructure at Eskom.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Reconciliation Day event where Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address in Bergville on Monday, Diko said Eskom had opened the criminal case at the Standerton Police Station in Mpumalanga.

“The president directed that the allegations made by Eskom be investigated. Any further developments will be communicated by Police Minister Bheki Cele’s team,” she said.

Yesterday Eskom assured South Africans they could prepare their Christmas feasts without worry as it announced that the probability of load shedding was low for that period.

The parastatal said the technical teams would continue to work throughout the festive season to reduce the magnitude of unplanned breakdowns.

Eskom also said the probability of scheduled power cuts was low for the rest of this week.

“Eskom will continue to use emergency reserves to supplement capacity if necessary over this period,” the power utility said.

Consumers were warned to reduce consumption to help lower the need for load shedding.

In the final Cabinet meeting of 2019, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan was mandated to negotiate with Andre de Ruyter to take up his duties as the new Eskom chief executive earlier than the set date.

De Ruyter, currently the head of packaging firm Nampak, was set to take up the Eskom top job on January15.

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu yesterday briefed journalists on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting held on December13, and said De Ruyter would lead efforts to stabilise management and technical operations.

“The Cabinet fully supports all efforts meant to ensure electricity supply certainty in our country,” said Mthembu.

“Mr De Ruyter, together with his management team, will immediately deal with the concerning issues of governance, lack of financial management as well as stabilising the operations at Eskom.

“This includes dealing with the huge backlog of maintenance of the ageing fleet of their power stations and the structural defects in Medupi and Kusile power stations.”

Mthembu also announced that Deputy President David Mabuza would convene a resuscitated energy war room comprising Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and Gordhan.

However, DA Public Enterprises spokesperson Ghaleb Cachalia said it was not sufficient to re-establish an energy war room.

Cachalia described Mabuza, Mboweni, Mantashe and Gordhan as “the same quartet that has delivered the utility and the country to this parlous place”.

The DA called for a “full independent forensic audit” of Eskom.

Cachalia’s remarks followed a media interview in which Eskom chief operations officer Jan Oberholzer said the power utility had been “captured”.

The Mercury

Previous articlePitso says his pedigree gives him the right to speak his mind
Next articleNo loadshedding expected today …