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Thread: Western Cape copper exports to China!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Western Cape copper exports to China!

    I can't beleive this. Not only that we're exporting stolen copper, but that the value is known - and not small change either.
    South Africa has no copper mines, but copper exports to China are booming: the result of a cable theft epidemic which regularly plunges whole suburbs into darkness, strands thousands of train passengers and is wreaking havoc with the national economy.

    Although the Western Cape province has no copper mines, local business leaders reported that the region exported R77-million worth of copper to China last year.

    "Some people might say that exports to China are good for the economy. They're not. There is a huge criminal activity going on that is enormously damaging to the economy," said Albert Schuitmaker, of Cape Town's Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    Nationally, it costs an estimated R500-million to replace stolen cables every year and R2,5-billion in knock-on losses, including the impact of power outages and commuters being late for work when trains don't work.

    At a crisis meeting on Tuesday with scrap metal dealers, Cape Town mayor Helen Zille warned that the wholesale plundering of insulation cables, wires and even manhole covers threatened to bring the tourist hub "to its knees" - a fear shared by business leaders throughout the country.

    The cable crisis is not unique to South Africa. Record prices for copper and other metals have led to an upsurge in theft and associated disruption in many other countries, ranging from the United States to Britain to Vietnam, said Rens Bindeman, a consultant advising South African authorities on how to tackle the problem.

    But in South Africa - already plagued by one of the world's highest crime rates - authorities fear it is spiralling out of control and will only worsen as the country rolls out infrastructure projects ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
    full story from IOL here
    WTF!
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I concur - WTF!!!

    So they know the R77-mil is being "legally" traded, even though there are no imports of copper?!? Shut down the freakin industry and kill the economics of it!

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    The Crime of theft or sale of copper, should carry the penalty of sabotage, because at the end of the day that is what it is to South Africa.
    Yvonne

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yvonne Symons View Post
    should carry the penalty of sabotage,
    Oh yeah. What a thought, Yvonne.

    If anyone sees a prosecution coming up related to copper theft, that's a great flea to drop in the prosecutor's ear!
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Eugene's Avatar
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    I agree with Yvonne on this one. The thieves do not realize the impact that their acts has on businesses being affected by it. Hang the buggers!

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    Silver Member Eugene's Avatar
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    My personal opinion is that the goverment and media has to such a large extent de-sensitized the public that we rarely think about it. We are so bombared with crime in any newspaper (and have become used to it) that you just scan the headlines and move on to the sport section... If you have time to kill, take a red marker and draw a line through all articles in any newspaper which is negative - you'll be surpised how little "good news" is left!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Well, here's progress.

    A scrap-metal dealer and two workers at the City of Cape Town have been arrested for theft of copper cables, the municipality said on Friday.

    Pieter van Dalen, chairperson of the City's cable-theft task team, said the workers were arrested this week after confessing to stealing the cables and selling them to a scrap-metal dealer.

    The dealer was arrested when cables and drain covers were found at his premises on Tuesday.

    The arrest follows a summit on theft of copper cables this week, where Cape Town mayor Helen Zille called on the scrap-metal industry to rout out unscrupulous dealers trading in stolen metals.

    Van Dalen said task team investigators recovered 70m of copper cable weighing 625kg as well as water meters and other council equipment.

    "The black-market value of the stolen council property is estimated at R73 000," he said.

    The copper cable was still covered in PVC that prominently displayed the name of the City of Cape Town, and the water meters were clearly identified as council property.

    "The scrap-yard owner was unable to explain how he came to be in possession of the goods, nor was he able to produce documentation of their purchase," Van Dalen said.

    The equipment was traced back to the council's water-services depot in Bellville where two council workers confessed to the theft and were arrested. "Investigations are ongoing and further arrests are expected," he said.
    full story from M&G here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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