Eskom already ordered an internal investigation in December last year after it established that it was regularly being cheated out of heavy fuel oil at the Matla power station in Mpumalanga.
Eskom said on Saturday that, with the help of Bidvest Protea Coin’s investigation team contracted to Eskom to investigate the theft of coal, diesel and fuel oil, it established months ago that fuel oil is regularly unloaded at unknown locations before empty trucks arrive at Matla under the impression that these trucks are unloading fuel oil at this power station.
Eskom says weighbridge slips are fraudulently registered and printed as if the heavy fuel oil had been delivered to the power station. Delivery notes are also signed off each time.
A senior shift supervisor from the Matla power station and a truck driver from a company that is subcontracted to supply heavy fuel oil to Eskom were arrested this week for their alleged part in this theft.
RNews previously reported that Siphiwe Sindane and Loveless Mabaso were arrested on Wednesday and have since appeared in the Kriel Magistrate’s Court on charges of theft and fraud.
It is alleged that Sindane and Mabaso sold and delivered the heavy fuel oil to someone known to them and later submitted a fraudulent invoice to Eskom claiming to have delivered the fuel oil.
Eskom suffered a loss of R1 million in the process.
The power supplier now says the theft of heavy fuel oil is a highly organized criminal activity.
“Syndicates are enriched by the proceeds from the illegal trade in the stolen products, while Eskom loses billions of rands due to the misallocation and falsification or dilution of these critical commodities which obviously directly affects production.