SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) in South Africa announced launch of an action plan aimed at curbing scrap metal theft, especially the theft of copper, which in turn has resulted in huge economic loss and frequent service disruptions. Incidentally, copper thefts have been a serious threat to infrastructure including rail networks and electrical grids.
The ambitious plan will be implemented in three phases. In the initial phase, DTIC plans to impose a six-month ban on exports of all ferrous and non-ferrous waste and scrap metal from the country. In the second phase, it aims to incorporate stricter regulations in the Second-Hand Goods Act, which in turn will strengthen reporting requirements for scrap metal dealers and recyclers of the metal. The final phase will see introduction of additional controls, including prohibition of cash in scrap metal transactions.
Announcing the decision, Minister Ebrahim Patel hoped that the new measures would lead to formalization of scrap metal trade in the country and bring more transparency in transactions involving scrap metal trade. Furthermore, it will facilitate closer monitoring of the physical movement of these materials and ensure effective actions by enforcement agencies to stop illegal trade.