MAT CUTHBERT: We must safeguard our infrastructure
Export economy, service delivery and public transport are hit worst by copper cable theft and damage to rail stock
You got it right in your editorial last week (“The problem is crime, not trade policy (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/editorials/2022-05-10-editorial-the-problem-is-crime-not-trade-policy/)”, May 10). The DA has argued against banning scrap metal exports, not only because it doesn’t deal with the source of the problem but also as it is part of the government’s centrally planned localisation drive (“Pravin Gordhan calls for ban on scrap metal exports”, May 4).
The theft of copper cable and rail stock became particularly pronounced over the past five years. Transnet reported that theft of copper cables rose 177% in this period. In a statement in July 2021, Telkom, Eskom, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and Transnet said cable theft and infrastructure vandalism contributed to a direct loss of R7bn and a R187bn knock-on effect on the economy each year...