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Over 50 Eskom vandalism, theft-related arrests made since January – Mashatile


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Over 50 Eskom vandalism, theft-related arrests made since January – Mashatile

Deputy President Paul Mashatile
Deputy President Paul Mashatile

29th May 2023

By: News24Wire


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Deputy President Paul Mashatile has heaped praise on the joint Eskom and National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) security committee formed to tackle vandalism of Eskom infrastructure.

He said since its formation more than 50 suspected vandals were arrested. 


"We [the government] have adopted an integrated security approach in collaboration with law enforcement agencies. 

"To address infrastructure and associated crimes that affect Eskom's operations, Eskom and Natjoints established what we called the energy security priority committee and more than 50 infrastructure-related arrests have been made since January of this year," said Mashatile.


The deputy president made the remarks at an African National Congress treasurer-general's business breakfast in the North West on Monday. 

In February, Eskom said theft and vandalism of its infrastructure were at "disastrous levels." 

The power utility said damage to its network was leading to prolonged outages and putting lives at risk as it threatened essential services. 

In February, Eskom spokesperson in Gauteng Amanda Qithi said, "The vandalism and theft have extended to include pylons whose tower members are often stolen by unscrupulous criminal elements resulting in the steel structures collapsing and posing extreme danger to members of the public.

Qithi said the vandalism and infrastructure theft also came at a tremendous financial cost to the power utility. 

Mashatile said the government needed to ensure that Eskom infrastructure was protected at all costs as it forces ahead with trying to ensure that load shedding is ended. 

"We are committed to implementing all necessary steps to maintain the security of our infrastructure for the community's benefit. 

"Our government has on numerous occasions acknowledged the negative impact on livelihoods and on businesses that load shedding has, and we remain single-minded in our resolve to end load shedding within a much shorter time frame than initially expected," said Mashatile.

He added that government's approach going forward would focus on "improving Eskom's operational efficiency, bringing more power to the grid from other sources of energy such as solar, gas, renewables; and strengthening demand management measures including taking more people out of the Eskom grid".


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