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Legislative changes to fight copper theft - minister

May 07 2015 14:02
Donwald Pressly

Cape Town - Tightening of legislation governing electricity regulation and the purchase of copper from electrical cables is part of the fight to curb energy losses, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has told MPs.

Inkatha Freedom Party MP JA Esterhuizen asked whether Joemat-Pettersson had implemented measures to curb “and constrain non-technical or energy losses of municipalities in the light of the 28.2% of power purchases in the city of Johannesburg ... being lost through meter tampering and theft”.

READ: Call to stop paying cash for scrap metal

In a written reply Joemat-Pettersson said she “participated in the process with the minister of police, which led to the amendments to the Second Hands Good Act.” She pointed out that this act controlled the sale of copper from electrical cables.

“The legislation requires all scrap metal dealers engaging in recycling of any controlled metals to be registered as a recycler, in addition to being registered as a second hand goods dealer,” she said.

The amended legislation made it compulsory for scrap metal merchants to request a copy of the seller’s identity document and proof of address “and an indication of where the scrap was found before they (can) purchase the metal”.

Joemat-Pettersson said her department was in the process of introducing provisions in the Electricity Regulation Act relating to the theft of electricity, which would make the punishment for copper theft “more stringent”. She did not spell out these measures.

But she reported that “these measures” were meant to reduce the “non-technical” losses associated with electricity distribution networks.

ALSO READ: Mokonyane: Cable theft economic sabotage

electricity  |  copper theft
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