Troop deployment to Eskom power plants in full force, says SANDF
SANDF spokesperson Andries Mahapa said that they would be stationed at the Camden, Tutuka, Majuba and Grootvlei power stations until threats of criminality subside.
JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on Tuesday said that the deployment of the army to at least four Eskom power stations was in full force.
The placement of troops at Eskom facilities was announced by the Presidency at the weekend.
It said that this was one of the state's responses to incidents of theft and sabotage that have been taking place at the beleaguered power utility amid crippling blackouts.
SANDF spokesperson Andries Mahapa said that the soldiers would be stationed at the Camden, Tutuka, Majuba and Grootvlei power stations until threats of criminality subside.
"As the defence force, it is one of our primary functions to protect critical infrastructure as part of Operation Prosper in support of the SAPS [South African Police Service]."
Eyewitness News visited the Grootvlei power station in Mpumalanga.
At least four surveillance cameras can be spotted along a three-kilometre road stretch leading to the facility.
While no member of the SANDF could be spotted outside Grootvlei, a security officer told Eyewitness News that several members of the army arrived on Monday night.
The news comes as a relief for energy analyst Matthew Cruise, who said that this was likely to address alleged sabotage of Eskom infrastructure by some staff members to create opportunities for external repair contracts.
According to Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy, there are at least 10 soldiers at each of the four power stations.