Power is ‘sabotage’, says Mbalula

Henry

Fikile Mbalula, secretary general of the ANC, is firmly convinced that load shedding is the result of high levels of sabotage.

He said this on X on Saturday, shortly after the introduction of load shedding, and confirmed it again in an interview on Sunday.

“It is very clear that the state should not rule out the possibility of sabotage, especially since high levels of load shedding correspond to major events in our country, such as Sona,” Mbalula said in an interview that he also shared on social media. Stage 6 load shedding applied over the weekend and was downgraded to stage 5 on Sunday afternoon.

“We as the ANC say the state must roll up its sleeves when it comes to investigations into these incidents and to investigate the possibility of sabotage.”

He says this “sabotage” is being committed to embarrass the ANC government and make it appear incompetent.

Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Minister of Electricity, responded to a question about this at a press conference on Sunday. He said that there are some incidents that are being investigated, and that he will be able to say more about this once these investigations have been completed.

The former head of Eskom, André de Ruyter, already blew the whistle on sabotage in 2021.

“It is possible that there are criminal elements who deliberately want to hamper Eskom’s operations and the hope for a stable power supply in the country,” he said after a supply tower at a Free State power station collapsed. At the time, additional security measures were introduced at several power stations that had been identified as targets for crime.

The Falcons said in February last year that they were investigating 53 cases that had a direct impact on load shedding. This includes sabotage. A total of 31 people were then arrested in connection with these cases.

Mbalula nevertheless praised Eskom for the work done to put an end to load shedding. “We know load shedding will be a thing of the past.”