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Addressing Copper Cable Theft: Mitigating Infrastructure Damage



In a bid to combat the rampant issue of cable theft and its detrimental impact on critical infrastructure, Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola is advocating for a centralised approach to the collection of scrap metal. Masemola emphasises the urgent need for local authorities to devise innovative strategies to effectively address this problem, which has severely disrupted the distribution of electricity and railway services as reported by ENCA.

Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, Masemola expresses concern over the significant scale of theft and its associated challenges. In light of this, he strongly recommends reevaluating the policies governing the export of materials, particularly copper. Masemola believes that thoroughly reexamining existing regulations is essential to curb the illicit trade of copper and its subsequent impact on the nation’s infrastructure.

To tackle the pervasive issue of cable theft, the focus needs to be on centralising the scrap metal collection process. This approach would entail consolidating scrap metal collection centres, streamlining the monitoring and tracking of scrap metal transactions, and implementing stricter regulations governing the export of copper. By centralising the collection, it becomes easier to establish proper oversight and ensure that scrap metal disposal aligns with legal and ethical standards.

Also Read: Government Eyes Crackdown on Scrap Metal and Copper Cable Theft

Furthermore, Masemola calls upon local authorities to actively brainstorm innovative solutions to combat cable theft. This call for new ideas indicates a proactive approach to tackling the issue, as it recognises the necessity of adapting and evolving strategies to stay ahead of increasingly sophisticated theft techniques.


The impact of cable theft on essential infrastructure cannot be understated. The disruption caused to the distribution of electricity and railway lines has far-reaching consequences, affecting not only the functioning of these services but also the overall economic stability of the region. With a centralised collection system and stringent export policies in place, the illegal trade of copper can be curtailed, leading to improved infrastructure reliability and reduced financial losses.

In conclusion, Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola’s proposal for a centralised approach to scrap metal collection, coupled with the call for innovative solutions from local authorities, underscores the urgency to address the problem of cable theft. By revisiting export policies and implementing stricter regulations, the nation can safeguard its critical infrastructure from the damaging effects of copper theft, ensuring a more secure and reliable future.


Also Read: 


Cable Theft Threatens South Africa’s Infrastructure and Progress

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