Yet one more arrest has been made at Eskom’s coal-fired Camden Energy Station in Mpumalanga, the embattled state-owned electrical energy utility confirmed on Wednesday.
A coal supply truck driver was arrested at Camden on Tuesday, after he was discovered to have swapped the right specification of coal for sub-grade coal that was designated for Eskom.
The arrest comes after two different truck drivers had been apprehended after they had been present in possession of stolen coal two weeks in the past on the identical energy station. It additionally follows the arrest of an inner contractor final week, after he was linked to an incident of sabotage at Camden.
Learn: Eskom contractor at Camden energy station arrested for sabotage
In a press release issued on Wednesday, Eskom says: “Whereas the truck left the mine with the right specification of coal, the swapping with inferior high quality coal occurred at a recognized unlawful coal yard within the space, previous to the supply being made on the Camden Energy Station.”
“Throughout questioning, the truck driver admitted that he was allowed to exit the Wonderfontein Coal Mine by safety, with out the tarpaulins on the truck being sealed with the prescribed seals, and that the seals remained in his possession on exit.”
The facility utility famous that the motive force was arrested and a legal case encompassing a number of costs was opened on the Ermelo Police Station.
“Extra arrests are anticipated,” it provides.
Eskom says the Bidvest Protea Coin tactical process staff, contracted to research coal, diesel and gas oil theft instances, detected the truck because it left the unlawful coal yard in Middelburg. The staff adopted it to the Camden Energy Station the place it was stopped on the gate.
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“The motive force additional alleged that an worker of the mine instructed him to proceed to the unlawful coal yard in Middelburg and to dump the coal earlier than continuing to Camden Energy Station,” provides the utility.
“He was additional directed by the mentioned mine worker to ship the changed coal product to Eskom, which was sub-standard obtained coal from the unlawful coal yard.”
It says the trailer was then sealed on the unlawful coal inventory yard utilizing the issued seals after the swap.
Eskom additional identified that “in an attention-grabbing flip of occasions,” the investigator from Bidvest Protea Coin was supplied a R50 000 bribe for the discharge of the motive force, to which the investigator declined.
Furthermore, the ability utility says it has found that due diligence processes for the supply of coal, together with the inspection of coal vans on the supply and trailers, are intentionally bypassed by some legal parts within the mines, transporters, and Eskom workers alike.
“The substitute of high quality coal with discard coal has a severe detrimental impression on the vegetation and manufacturing on the energy stations,” says Eskom.
“Coal theft is very organised legal exercise and syndicates concerned are being enriched by the proceeds derived from the commerce in stolen coal.”
Eskom says it continues to lose billions of rands because of the misappropriation of coal and related commodities which instantly impacts its manufacturing.
“The arrest of those unscrupulous people is a big step in our struggle in opposition to crime in Eskom, and we will proceed in our pursuit to make sure that the perpetrators face the total may of the regulation,” provides Eskom’s common supervisor for safety, Advocate Karen Pillay.
Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.