As the energy crisis worsens, the military has been deployed to protect power plants in South Africa.
According to the news agency AFP, a statement from South Africa’s presidency and Eskom, the state-owned electricity company, said that army personnel would perform security duties at the power plants.
Load-shedding has plagued the continent’s most industrialized country for years, but South Africa’s power crisis has worsened this year, with several hours of power outages per day.
According to a statement from Exom, the department responsible for generating electricity, “It is confirmed that the National Defense Force is being deployed and personnel have taken over security duties at four different sites.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesman Vincent Mgunya told AFP that at least 10 soldiers would be deployed at each station in the initial phase, with more deployments on the way.
He said the move was taken “in view of the growing threat of sabotage, theft, vandalism and corruption in coal and diesel-fired power plants”.
South Africa has been suffering from power shortages for the past 15 years, but this year loadshedding has reached new heights.
Due to the power crisis, the country has lost millions of dollars and at the same time trade and industries are also facing losses.
Prolonged load-shedding, which in some areas can be up to 11 hours a day, is fueling anger among citizens.