Dealing with ongoing copper cable theft has become a national crisis and government has decided to intervene.
With the copper cable theft costing the economy billions of rand a year, the government says it will be tightening laws to deal with the problem. “The state security [department] would provide the extent of the problem in due course, not only in metros, but throughout the country,” Co-operative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan told Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Co-operative Governance, together with justice and correctional services, state security, and public enterprises, as well as the SA Police Service, has formed a working group to identify and make proposals to deal with the matter.
Gordhan conceded that persistence of the crime meant that current legislation did not adequately address the problem.
“It only imposes obligations on dealers in second hand goods and provides for various prohibitions.
“The discussion of the working group has placed the issue of the legislation dealing with cable theft high on the agenda,” he said.
He explained that attention was being paid to the Second Hand Goods Act “as an instrument, which deals with the possession of the cable once it has been stolen, to deal also with the actual stealing”.