The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs applauds the national government for moving quickly to make it illegal to trade in scrap metal.
This will stop criminal groups from destroying municipal infrastructure in our province, which has cost hundreds of millions of rand and hurt the economy.
With this decision, which was made public yesterday, November 30, by Trade, Industry, and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, criminal gangs that steal and pillage important infrastructure that provides services like electricity, water, and sanitation will be hit hard, as they will no longer have a market to trade the stolen electricity cables and other components.
The limit was put in place after the Cabinet approved a set of policies to limit and regulate waste trading and stop metal theft, which hurts the economy and public infrastructure.
These new initiatives show how committed the government is to stopping the theft of public infrastructure.
As a department, we continue to collaborate closely with the sphere of local government to ensure that the necessary safeguards are in place to protect the public infrastructure that is used by so many people on a daily basis.
The trade in stolen cables and metal places an unbearable burden on our municipalities, as they already have limited resources and are sometimes forced to sacrifice other service delivery priorities in order to replace stolen material.
We are sure that the government’s action will make it harder for organized crime groups to steal public property for profit.
Issued by MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sihle Zikalala.