Eskom: Theft And Vandalism The Cause Of Miners Trapped Underground – South Africa – Eagle News Feed
Power utility Eskom said the underground entrapment of miners from Sibanye Gold Mine in Randfontein underground was due to theft and vandalism
- They were trapped after the power line collapsed
- They were evacuated safely
- The pylon structures were weakened by the theft of the tower members and the unstable ground caused by digging around the foundation
- The cause of the underground entrapment of miners from Sibanye Gold Mine in Randfontein underground was due to theft and vandalism.
IOL Monday reported that miners were trapped in the mine after power lines collapsed.
They were safely evacuated.
Eskom said it dispatched a team of technicians to promptly restore supply to Sibanye Gold Mine where its employees were unable to surface due to a supply interruption caused by power lines that fell as the integrity of the pylons along those lines were compromised by theft and vandalism.
“Cooke shaft 1/Cooke, Cooke shaft 3/Kagiso and Panvlakte/Cooke reduction’s 132 kV lines fell during the storm as the integrity of the pylons along these lines was compromised.
“The pylon structures were weakened by the theft of the tower members and the unstable ground caused by digging around the foundation.
“Production in the gold-extracting mine came to a grinding halt while Eskom worked to restore supply at significantly high costs.
“Theft of tower members leads to the instability and collapse of the pylons that carry high-voltage power lines, which then pose a serious safety risk to members of the public,” the power utility said.
It said this criminal practice has additional devastating impact on the economy and on Eskom’s ability to sustain the provision of electricity.
Eskom said it spends a fortune on replacing stolen pylon parts and other network equipment.
According to Eskom’s Maintenance and Operations senior manager in Gauteng, Mashangu Xivambu, supply was restored to Cooke shaft 1/Cooke and Panvlakte/Cooke, and technicians were still on site and working around the clock to energize Cooke shaft 3/Kagiso.
“We recently reported that vandalism and theft have extended to include pylons whose tower members are often stolen by unscrupulous criminal elements, resulting in the steel structures collapsing.
“It is disturbing that this incident happens a week after we raised a concern about incidents of theft and vandalism of pylons,” Xivambu said.
Members of the public have been urged to report illegal connections, theft and vandalism of electricity infrastructure to the Eskom crime line on 0800 112 722.