Eskom nails coal thief

Eskom has announced the arrest of a coal truck driver for selling a load of coal destined for Arnot Power Station to an illegal coal yard.

The power utility said the truck was spotted entering a coal yard in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, where it spent about an hour before joining the truck queue to offload at Arnot.

The Eskom Group Security Investigations team checked the truck and discovered that the coal had been discarded.

The driver admitted that he had sold the coal, which had been loaded at a coal mine in eMakhazeni earlier that same day, for R6,000.

Eskom’s security teams noted that the load in the truck was discarded coal containing stones, confirming suspected coal swapping.

They were immediately arrested, and criminal investigations are ongoing.

“We commend the Group Security Investigations and the Middelburg Hawks team for working tirelessly together in bringing coal thieves to book,” said Botse Sikhwitshi, acting general manager for security at Eskom.

“There is tangible evidence to ensure successful prosecution of the suspect.”

She added that the delivery of poor-quality coal can lead to unit breakdowns, something Eskom won’t tolerate.

“We hope the perpetrator, once convicted, faces the harshest possible sentence, which shall serve as a deterrent to others,” said Sikhwitshi.

Eskom says it will continue working with law enforcement to ensure illegal coal yards are shut down.

This is the second arrest Eskom has announced in a few days.

On Wednesday, 5 June 2024, the power utility announced the arrest of an individual who had allegedly interfered with Eskom’s infrastructure to try to steal copper.

Two subjects were arrested on 24 February 2022 after committing the crime earlier the same month.

Eskom said police arrested the two suspects with the assistance of drone surveillance after attempting to evade arrest by fleeing the scene.

“Both men were granted bail, but the convicted suspect remained in custody since the day of the arrest until sentencing,” it said.

“The other accused skipped bail and a warrant of arrest has been issued for him.”

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Eskom nails coal thief