Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mayor to host copper cable theft summit

By Tarryn Le Chat
16 June 2007

Mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille, will be hosting a summit on copper cable theft and how they plan to put a stop to copper cable theft.

Copper cable, at the estimated amount of R77 million has reportedly been exported from the Western Cape to China last year. The Western Cape, however, has no copper mines.

This comes as Mayor Zille, who initiated a top-level summit with Business Against Crime, the Cape Chamber and representatives of the scrap metal industry as an offensive against syndicates that steal the copper cables.

In the past 12 months alone, the Cape town ratepayers have had to cough up R22 million in tax to replace stolen and repair vandalised cables and equipment.

The City of Cape Town recently set up a 15 member ‘cable theft task team’ to combat the scourge.

According to a statement, syndicates ‘employ’ individuals to steal copper cable, as well as other non-ferrous metal items such as sheeting, grids, ladders, water meters, taps and manhole covers. These are melted down and sold to scrap metal merchants.

Councillor Pieter van Dalen of the City of Cape Town was unavailable for comment.

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