Jun 23, 2011
Copper cable theft declared a high-priority crimeBack
Engineering|Johannesburg|SECURITY|Africa|Cable|Copper|DataDot|Resources|Security|Africa|China|India|Saudi Arabia|South Africa|Security|Security|Dekker Van Wyk|Security|Simi Pillay-van Graan|Van Graan|Van Wyk|Cable
© Reuse this
Speaking at the Copper Cable Theft conference, in Johannesburg, she said the crime would now receive the focus and attention it needed and that government was realising the impact that copper theft has on the economy.
“Currently, South Africa’s International Trade and Administration Act does not allow for the policing of these processes, which makes it an open door for syndicated criminal activity to successfully enable stolen goods and nonferrous metals to leave the country.
“Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies and international trade administration authorities do not have the resources to check every container that leaves South Africa. This is a challenge and it is critical for us to address this matter with the Minister of the DTI and to have him incorporate stringent legislation, which will not hinder trade that builds the economy, but hinder the export or import of stolen or illegal goods,” she said.
The import and export processes were the first of four high-impact areas identified. Other interventions included the establishment of a central facility to coordinate data and more proactive policing.
“The South African Police Services (SAPS) has been very proactive in the provinces and nationally. However, there will be operational plans developed in each province and more vigorous policing.
“There are a lot of high-level developments within the SAPS, which will cater to and accommodate this,” Pillay-van Graan said.
But, what was most critical, and the fourth aspect of the high-impact areas was that “business needed to get its house in order”.
Pillay-van Graan said: “It is very easy to say there is a reliance on law enforcement organisations to do the policing but we believe most of the risks exist within businesses. There is a need for businesses to unpack their value chain and “clean up their houses”.
“Business also needs to identify internal risks throughout their value chain, from financial investment to security, skills and capability of staff, including outsourcing contracts.”
“We are quite positive about the export and import processes and believe it will probably have the highest impact on curbing nonferrous theft. We will look to a combination of the four aspects we have identified to help grow our economy. We are going to get more ‘purified’ money coming into the economy and South Africa will not be a conduit to facilitate criminal activity across our borders,” Pillay-van Graan told Engineering News Online.
But, she said that it was also key for industry and government in South Africa to understand that the theft of nonferrous metals was not only the result of local challenges, but also changes in the international arena.
The international demand for copper, particularly from developing economies like India and China, as well as Saudi Arabia were also driving organised syndicated crime in South Africa and increasing the level of incidents of theft.
Meanwhile, microdot manufacturer DataDot senior strategic analyst Dekker van Wyk emphasised the key role that technology would play in dealing with cable theft, and the need to start looking for solutions that could be deployed at a manufacturing level.
He believed that technology, including microdots, could be used as a cost-effective method of identification. “Cable is devoid of an identity once the casing has been removed. By the time it reaches the foundry or for export, it is in its raw state and the individual who has it in their presence can claim ownership.”
He advocated for a separate crime code for copper theft, given that copper is the third most stolen commodity in South Africa.
Van Wyk also pointed to the new Second-Hand Goods Act, of 2009, as key to curbing copper theft as it would place strain on scrap metal dealers. The new Act is expected to be implemented from January 1, 2012.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Article contains comments
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The multibillion-rand development of the Zendai Modderfontein New City, east of Johannesburg, will aim to exemplify an integrated city node, says property group Zendai South Africa COO Wenhui Du. The development will focus on the Modderfontein Gautrain station to be...
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) hopes to have finalised regulations for the flying of Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) – also designated Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) and popularly called drones – in the country’s civilian airspace by the end...
Various stakeholders have expressed optimism that the Small Business Development Ministry, created after the national elections in May, will add much needed impetus to enterprise development in South Africa, where a strengthening of the entrepreneurial culture is...
Capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) is the only way through which the world will achieve the lowest of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) global warming predictions, called the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6....
The City of Johannesburg has recovered R107-million following the arrest of 22 people allegedly involved in corruption, collusion, fraud and tampering with the city’s electricity systems, which had ultimately cost the city R200-million in lost revenue.