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Mar 07, 2008

Copper should be declared a precious resource – Minister

© Reuse this “We have to look into declaring copper as precious, or our economy will not be able to grow,” said the Minister of Communications, Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, at the official opening of black-empowerment cable manufacturer Malesela Taihan Electrical Cable’s new telecommunications cable manufacturing facility in Vereeniging.

“We need to find ways to reduce copper wire crime, as it places a damper on our economy,” she added.

Matsepe-Casaburri noted that even though the newly established facility would contribute greatly to the country’s economy, the products it would produce were highly sought after by criminals.

She said that “small-scale” criminals were not the problem in the copper wire industry, but rather large-scale syndicates that made a living out of stealing copper wire.

“There will always be thieves wanting the product,” she added.

She remarked that, in order to create jobs, reduce crime and upskill employees, it was important that M-Tec set an example in the information and communications industry by training and upskilling its employees.

“We need important skills that can be developed in the information and communications industry, or else we will not be able to have an economy that grows at a satisfactory rate,” she said.

Although the industry is facing challenges, she commented that its future was looking “great”.

“A telecommunications cables expansion is currently taking place in South Africa and in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in order to connect the East and West Coasts. “This project is on course, which means that all countries in between can now be connected. Finally, we do not need to have our communications signals transmitted to Europe before they can be transmitted to other African countries,” she added.

“It does not matter which country – all that matters is that SADC countries are going to need wire and fibre optic cables, and the new facility in Vereeniging will assist greatly in the project,” she concluded.


Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
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