A contractor working at the Camden Power Station was arrested on Tuesday (15 November 2022) after he was positively linked to an incident of sabotage following intensive investigative work by Eskom teams. The perpetrator, who is employed by a maintenance company working at the power station, intentionally removed the bearing oil drain plug from the bearing causing the oil burners to trip repeatedly.
This malicious act caused all the oil to drain out from the bearing, thus damaging the bearing which, in turn, prevented the mills from operating optimally. Camden Unit 4 subsequently tripped after losing all the mills. The incident occurred on Thursday 10 November 2022 at approximately 16:54. A case of alleged sabotage was immediately opened for investigation, at the Ermelo Police Station CAS 107/11/2022.
Intensive internal investigations led to the culprit being identified and questioned about the incident. The evidence obtained and the confession made by the perpetrator revealed the plug was intentionally removed to cause the trip. This act of sabotage would ensure that his employer is awarded additional maintenance and repair jobs at the power station.
“It is disheartening to find that some of our contractors are unscrupulous, have malicious intent and are willing to plunge the country into further loadshedding at a time when the electricity grid is highly constrained,” said Advocate Karen Pillay, General Manager for Security at Eskom.
“We have always suspected that some of our maintenance contractors and employees are behind these acts of sabotage. We shall continuously work with the law enforcement agencies to bring these insiders to book and ensure that justice is meted out, but most importantly that those with similar tendencies across Eskom are arrested and removed from the organisation,” said Adv Pillay.
This arrest, together with two last week where contractor truck drivers were arrested while in possession of stolen coal, are the result of persistent and excellent collaborative work by the Eskom Security Team and the South African Police Services (SAPS), who are working tirelessly to identify and disrupt the criminal networks.
Eskom urges the public to report information regarding any tampering and sabotage acts to the Eskom Crime Line: 0800 11 27 22.