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Government Eyes Crackdown on Scrap Metal and Copper Cable Theft



The Cabinet has recently reviewed a comprehensive report detailing the progress made in implementing strategies to combat the theft of scrap metal and copper cables.

During a media briefing in Pretoria, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni reaffirmed the government’s commitment to addressing this issue, which inflicts significant economic damage to billions of rands. The theft also leads to power outages and disruptions in essential services as reported by SA News.

Ntshavheni announced that the regulations regarding this matter have been published for public comment. A statement will be released once the feedback has been thoroughly considered.

Moreover, during the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, the bi-annual performance progress reports covering the period from October 2022 to March 2023 were approved. These reports are integral to the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2019-2024.

The Department of Planning, Monitoring, and Development is scheduled to provide a detailed briefing on these progress reports in the coming weeks.


Ntshavheni acknowledged that the review period coincided with disruptive load shedding, hampered economic activity and affected service delivery across the country. Nonetheless, Cabinet expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved in implementing key objectives. The recovery programs outlined by the respective clusters were also noted.

Also Read: Cable Theft Threatens South Africa’s Infrastructure and Progress

In October 2019, Cabinet sanctioned the MTSF as a five-year program to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 and fulfil the electoral mandate of the sixth administration.

The departmental reports from various clusters focused on the government’s seven priorities for the sixth administration:

  • Building a capable, ethical, and developmental state.
  • Economic transformation and job creation.
  • Education, skills, and health.
  • Enhancing the social wage through reliable and quality basic services.
  • Spatial integration, human settlements, and local government.
  • Promoting social cohesion and safe communities.
  • Advancing Africa and global partnerships.

Ntshavheni highlighted progress in the crucial area of social protection, which is vital in ensuring income security and safeguarding vulnerable South Africans. To advance Priority 4, the social wage budget 2023 increased to R1.165 billion, significantly improving the living conditions of over 18 million impoverished citizens.

Furthermore, in response to the impact of COVID-19, more than 27,344 grants were disbursed to eligible individuals by March 2023.


The Minister also noted that law enforcement agencies have intensified efforts to combat organised crime. Notably, the conviction rate of individuals arrested for cable theft has risen by 86.7%. This development is particularly significant considering the country’s ongoing electricity challenges.

In another significant move, Cabinet approved the draft National Small Enterprise Amendment Bill, which will be presented to Parliament. This proposed legislation aims to amend the National Small Enterprise Act (Act 102 of 1996) and establishes the Office of Small Enterprise Ombud Service.

The bill seeks to enhance fair processes for small enterprises through the Ombud Service, which addresses and resolves complaints lodged by small businesses. Implementing these amendments will stabilise the sector and foster economic opportunities by creating jobs through small, medium, and micro enterprises.

The amendments encompass the establishment and registration of the Office of Small Enterprise Ombud Service, the appointment of an Ombud and Deputy Ombud, allocation of powers and functions, complaint handling, jurisdiction and investigation, determinations by the Ombud, staffing, and delegation by the Ombud, Deputy Ombud, and Director.

Also Read: 


Pretoria North Residents Combat Cable Theft By Greasing Poles

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Photo: Facebook / @City Press

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