Copper culprits cause chaos

The theft of copper has increased

Copper Theft A Big Problem This Financial Quarter
For those who travel by Metrorail who have to embarrassingly explain to their bosses that Metrorail trains were delayed yet again to copper theft; and to those who walk outside their homes to realise their copper trimmings on the outside decor has been stolen, or that strangely, there is no electricity upon returning home, the truth of the matter is that simply translated, copper is worth a great deal of money while there have been strategies in place to prevent copper theft, it has in fact heightened criminal activities.

The challenge is that it causes huge challenges to society and the spin off is that it affects the economy too as the theft of such a commodity creates national blackouts, causes transportation issues, disturbs business and disrupts healthcare institutions, prevents municipal activities to continue and literally loses the economy millions on a monthly basis.

According to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the third fiscal quarter of 2012 indicates that the levels of copper theft have unfortunately increased.

The copper theft barometer indicated that 315 tonnes was stolen in the month of July which is a significant increase from the previous month which was recorded at 288 tonnes - this, after a decline of the international the spot price at the beginning of the year.

The solution to this, according to SACCI, is what is called the Second-Hand Goods Act, which prevents criminalisation from taking place but has caused the concern that while copper theft seems to have declined, where there is a will there is a way, forcing criminals to think a little smarter. 

It is clear that stronger policies, more stringent laws and public awareness including that of a reporting call centre is the next step.

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Issue 89


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