‘We feel exonerated’: Parliament welcomes army deployment to Eskom

Emissions rise from Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd cooling towers. Tutuka Coal Power Station in Mpumalanga.

The deployment of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) to four Eskom power stations has been welcomed by the chair of Parliament’s Energy and Mineral Resources Portfolio Committee, Sahlulele Luzipo.

News24 reported on Saturday afternoon that a minimum of 10 soldiers would be deployed to each of the following power stations: Majuba, Camden, Grootvlei and Tutuka.

The move was “in response to the growing threat of sabotage, theft, vandalism and corruption” at coal and diesel power generation plants, said Presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya.

Luzipo said this was “on the heels” of a successful raid on an illegal coal farm by multi-disciplinary law enforcement agencies in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga on Thursday.

According to eNCA, more than 16 people were arrested and trucks and documents were seized as a result of the raid.

Luzipo said: “The committee has always held the firm view that the country’s electricity crisis is caused by Eskom’s inability to deal with the maintenance of aging power stations and internal sabotage rather than a political failure. Now we feel exonerated.”

And he added that the talks on the stabilization of the country’s electricity should be “disposing of technological mechanisms” to detect the first signs of criminality and sabotage, “considering that the deployment of the army alone is not a sustainable solution “.

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