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SA National Defense Force to Be Reimbursed for Ensuring Power Plant Security, Minister Hopes

© Photo X / @SANDF_ZASouth African National Defense Force (SANDF)
South African National Defense Force (SANDF) - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 21.11.2023
Since December 2022, the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) has been deployed to assist the country's police service (SAPS) and South Africa's state utility company Eskom in protecting the enterprise's power stations from vandalism and theft amid the energy crisis in the country.
South Africa's Defense Minister Thandi Modise expressed hopes that the country's National Defense Force (SANDF) will be compensated for securing power stations, local media reported, citing the minister.
According to Modise, the SANDF carried on to conduct operations to ensure safety of the Eskom plants using resources currently available, which led to "increase of the cost of employment budget."

"This has increased our reserve force man-days and resulting in further increase of the cost of employment budget. This matter has been discussed and hopefully the Department of Defence will get reimbursed or refunded by the [South African] Department of Public Enterprises through the assistance of the [country's] National Treasury," she was quoted by the media as saying.

Eskom's electricity pylons snake across a hill in a Johannesburg suburb, Thursday, Nov. 24. 2011. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 05.11.2023
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The minister highlighted that the SANDF support allowed the utility company to fix and maintain its power plants, "contributing towards reducing load shedding," which includes scheduled blackouts to prevent the national grid from overloading.

"The deployment of SANDF has enabled Eskom to repair, maintain and secure power stations and furthermore has positively contributed towards reducing load shedding and enabled the government to continue to work towards stabilizing and increasing the energy action plan," she was cited by the outlet as saying.

Modise stressed that earlier this month, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the deployment of the SANDF was by another six months by March 2024, the report said.
Speaking about the energy crisis in the country, which led to the intensification of daily blackouts this year, Ramaphosa also underlined in late August that the authorities were boosting energy production and the problem would be resolved by 2024.