Eskom has charged police with sabotage at the Tutuka power plant, which has become another obstacle as utilities fight to meet electricity demand.

The most industrialized country on the continent is subject to regular power outages with a system run by Eskom that is prone to breakdowns. In addition to problems with aging infrastructure, a cable was cut and a pipe cut at a coal mill 170km southeast of Johannesburg this week as workers prepared to put the unit back into operation, the report said Thursday.

“Eskom believes that these were deliberate acts of sabotage by someone who had access to a site where only employees have access,” the statement said. This is the fifth sabotage incident since March 2021, all of which have been reported to the police.

The utility company has investigated previous incidents and tightened security. This year, South Africa expects record power outages. About 6,000 megawatts of the new generation will be needed for a stable power supply, Eskom said.

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