Eskom has said two further suspicious incidents at power stations this week – a day after the power utility confirmed two acts of sabotage at its Tutuka Power Station – lend credence to fears that a concerted sabotage campaign is being mounted to try to scupper plans to end load-shedding.

News24 reported that in the early hours yesterday, Eskom officials at Hendrina Power Station were unable to start up unit five; an inspection found that during the night copper bars on the unit’s generator had been removed, and reactor earth bars, had also been removed.

Units two and six had suffered the same fate.

The news report said officials suspected theft, but that it was unclear how any thief would be able to gain access to the Hendrina premises and have enough time to remove the cables and the reactor bars from three units.

In another incident, the incorrect oil was used for unit two at Duvha Power Station, meaning a further delay to returning the 570-megawatt unit to service.

Eskom group chief executive André de Ruyter confirmed the incidents yesterday

News24 quoted him as saying: ‘We are investigating the incidents of sabotage at Tutuka, and other suspicious incidents at Hendrina and Duvha. It is important for the public to be aware that these incidents are the difference between Eskom being forced to institute load shedding and sufficient generation capacity existing to prevent this.’

Eskom said on Thursday that the sabotage at Tutuka was the fifth incident of sabotage since March 2021, all of which had been reported to police.