Valerie Mmanthe Mampshika,[Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English].
Two truck drivers contracted to Eskom were incarcerated at Kendal Power Station on the 9th of November in the late hours of the evening after they were found in possession of stolen coal.
The trucks which belong to an ash transporting company contracted to Eskom was departing from the power station coal gate,and the unknown drivers when were stopped by the securities who are accountable for conducting vehicle inspections on vehicles.
It has been rumoured that the truck drivers resisted the searches and declared that the trucks were vacant,in one way or another, the security team insisted on the search, and the stolen coal was found in the trailers.
The general manager for security Advocate Karen Pillay mentioned that coal theft is a highly organised criminal activity in the country, and syndicates involved are being become wealthy through the money derived from the trade in stolen coal.
Eskom continues to lose billions of rands due to the misappropriation of coal and similar raw materials, which has a direct impact on the production.Pillay further explained that few illicit coal stockyards and dump sites in the Gauteng province receive the stolen coal.
The current Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter stated a month earlier that the power utility had called for the assistance of the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) to determine which employees are doing business with the group and acts of sabotage which have led to breakdowns,load shedding and coal theft.
The SIU found that there is complicity amongst transporters who mix poor and goodnquality coal from various mines,as this ensures that contractually required quantities are delivered to all the power stations.
De Ruyter reported that the ongoing system has a certified stockpile of coal tested at the mines that is loaded into trucks afterwards,then covered with a seal, and all the vehicles are fitted with an unknown tracking device.
In any way,Mr De Ruyter said the group has unearthed that there is significant tampering with the seals and jamming devices used to block the tracking signal.
It was not necessary for the CEO to release confidential information by stipulating that the coal trucks are taken while they are ‘off the radar’ to sites where the good quality coal is swapped for discard coal.
Luckily,the drivers involved in this latest theft attempt were incarcerated, and a criminal case of theft of coal was opened at the Ogies South African Police Service station.