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Army deployed to guard Eskom power stations amid load shedding crisis

Eskom says soldiers will be posted at four power plants – namely Majuba, Camden, Grootvlei and Tutuka power stations.

Eskom’s Tutuka power station. Picture: Nokukhanya Mntambo/Eyewitness News

SOWETO – Amid Stage 6 power cuts and reports of sabotage at South Africa’s coal-fired power plants – the army is now being deployed to protect certain stations.

Eskom says soldiers will now being posted at four power plants – namely Majuba, Camden, Grootvlei and Tutuka power stations.

Presidency spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya says something had to be done about ongoing cases of sabotage.

“The last three months or so, there’s been an increase in individuals being arrested, for sabotage, for theft and so on, so now what the president is doing is to just scale up that effort.”

READ: Another truck driver arrested for coal theft at Matla power station – Eskom

But the SA National Defence Union is asking why the police can’t do the job alone.

The union’s Pikkie Greeff says he’s concerned, and questions the timing of the deployment.

“One has to question whether it involves a power play by the current president, given the conference underway or whether the deployment is based on real-time intelligence reports, or thirdly, whether it’s a combination of both.”

Meanwhile, top energy expert, Chris Yelland, fears that South Africans aren’t fully aware of the level of criminality at some power stations in Mpumalanga.

It’s not yet clear how long they’ll be deployed for.

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