Acts of sabotage at Eskom led to a massive power loss of 2,000MW during the most recent load-shedding period.
Speaking at a media event on Wednesday 11 December, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that “someone inside Eskom” had sabotaged the system, resulting in the boilers tripping.
“What has also come out as a great concern is that there has been a measure of sabotage,” Ramaphosa said. “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 2,000MW.”
This loss of power would have been enough to move Eskom’s load-shedding schedule from stage 4 up to stage 6 immediately.
The President was speaking after a meeting with the Eskom board regarding the recent power generation crisis and escalating blackouts.
He said that the acts of sabotage which threatened the national power grid would be investigated and added that Eskom’s security would be increased to prevent future sabotage.
No load-shedding over Christmas
Ramaphosa added that Eskom management had promised there would be no load-shedding over the Christmas period.
“Between the 17 December leading into January, we will be able to have no load-shedding,” Ramaphosa said.
“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 there will be lights,” he said.
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.