South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that “acts of sabotage” at Eskom led to a massive power loss of 2000MW during the most recent load-shedding period. He said that “someone inside Eskom” had sabotaged the system, resulting in the boilers tripping.
He said: “What has also come out as a great concern is that there has been a measure of sabotage. Sabotage has led to loss of power during this period. Someone in the Eskom system disconnected one of the instruments that finally led to one of the boilers tripping, and the system losing as much as 2000MW.”
This loss of power would have been enough to move Eskom’s load-shedding schedule from stage 4 up to stage 6 immediately. Ramaphosa added that Eskom management had promised there would be no load-shedding over the Christmas period. “Between 17 December and leading into January, we will be able to have no load-shedding. We believe that through all of this, we will be able to have management being accountable. It will not be a dark Christmas – management has promised us that there will be lights.”
Ramaphosa said that he had taken action to ensure the possibility of load-shedding over the holiday period is minimised. He directed that all Eskom employee leave from now until January is cancelled, and that all executives and key managers must remain at their posts to ensure that no load-shedding is implemented.