Jun 23, 2011
Copper cable theft declared a high-priority crimeBack
© 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
State-owned power utility Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown confirmed on Wednesday that contracts under the so-called short-term power purchase programme (STPPP) had been renewed ahead of the March 31, 2015, expiry date. Eskom told Engineering News...
State-owned power utility Eskom said on Wednesday that full power from Medupi Unit 6 should be reached by the end of May and that it was working to ensure that the completion of the remaining five units was not undermined by further technical or labour problems. The...
A new handbook, titled Understanding Power Purchase Agreements, has been published under the aegis of President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which was launched in June 2013 with the aim of facilitating the addition of 30 000 MW of new electricity...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...