South Africa intends to spend R146.7 million within the next six months to safeguard Eskom’s state-owned electricity stations, an article from Bloomberg has stated. President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorized 880 members of the South African Defence Force to assist the police in protecting Eskom’s properties until mid-October.
This report comes after the announcement that electricity consumers must prepare for intensified power cuts of up to Stage 10 load shedding this winter as nearly half of Eskom’s generation capacity is offline due to breakdowns, according to IOL.co.za.
Earlier this year, former Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter accused the ANC of using the power company as a “feeding trough,” and alleged that senior politicians were directly involved in Eskom’s corruption.
In February, De Ruyter stated that approximately R12 billion (R1 billion per month) was stolen from the company every year. In fact, De Ruyter approached Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) in 2021 to seek funding for an investigation into Eskom’s risks, which BLSA provided with R18 million for an evaluation conducted by George Fivaz Forensic & Risk.
However, there are now ‘powerful actors’ seeking to obstruct progress, says Busi Mavuso, CEO of BLSA. Despite this, corruption at Eskom is not limited to senior management, with reports of theft and vandalism at all levels within the company.
In November 2022, a contractor at an Eskom power station in the eastern Mpumalanga province deliberately sabotaged the machinery, resulting in damages of R18.39 million and lost revenue of almost R110.3 million, according to a statement and report presented to lawmakers by Eskom.
Bloomberg states that this was one of over 760 criminal incidents targeting Eskom operations in the preceding 90 days ending in December. At every point in its supply chain, Eskom must defend itself against armed robbery, fuel theft, sabotage and corruption, all of which raise the likelihood of a total power outage that could devastate a country on the verge of recession.
Eskom is responsible for producing approximately 90% of South Africa’s energy.
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(Source: https://businesstech.co.za/, IOL.co.za)