Eskom arrests suspected coal-swapping thief

11th June 2024 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Eskom arrests suspected coal-swapping thief

The Arnot power station

State-owned power utility Eskom says the security investigation team at its Arnot power station has arrested a truck driver who is suspected of having participated in the swapping out of coal destined for the power station with lower-quality product.

On June 8, a tactical team spotted a truck loaded with coal to be delivered to Arnot entering a coal yard in Middelburg and then leaving after about an hour.

The team followed the truck to Arnot, where it joined the queue to offload coal. On closer inspection, the team determined that the coal to be offloaded from the truck was discarded coal containing stones.

Eskom says the driver of the truck then confessed to the security team that he had sold the coal destined for Arnot for R6 000.

The driver was arrested by members of the Middelburg Hawks Unit, which is currently undertaking further criminal investigations supported by Eskom Group Security Investigations.

“The delivery of poor-quality coal often leads to unit breakdowns and cannot be tolerated. There is tangible evidence for the successful prosecution of the suspect,” said Eskom acting security GM Botse Sikhwitshi.

“We commend the Group Security Investigations and the Middelburg Hawks teams for bringing coal thieves to book,” she said.

Further, Eskom will continue to work with law enforcement agencies to shut down illegal coal yards.

Members of the public are urged to report illegal electricity sales, fraud, the theft of coal, fuel oil and diesel and other electricity-related crimes to the Eskom Crime Line 0800 11 27 22.