Thieves steal copper worth R42m

2010-09-14 14:21

Copper worth R42 million has been stolen between 2005 and March this year, said energy minister Dipuo Peters.

Responding to questions by Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Kobus Marais, Peters said 7 269 incidents of copper theft were reported between 2005 and March this year.

The total length of the copper was 1 134km, according to her parliamentary reply.

Most of the cables were stolen in Gauteng. Only about 30% of the stolen cables were recovered.

“The rest is processed through the recycling industry,” Peters wrote in her reply.

Between 2008 and March this year, cables worth more than R23 million were stolen, with the highest amount (2 179) stolen in the 2008/09 financial year.

According to replies to another DA MP, Pieter van Dalen, copper cable theft cost Eskom R71.7 million last year, including replacement and security costs. Transnet lost R158 million through the theft.

Telkom lost copper cables worth R1.3 billion in 2008 and R674 million a year before.

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