scrap metal

Dear South Africa

436 comments delivered, (closed 26 August 2022)

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) gazetted its draft policy proposals to regulate and restrict the trade of scrap metal in South Africa for public comment.

    • Theft of copper and other metals hit South Africa’s infrastructure hard, leading to extended power disruptions in neighbourhoods and industry, and even toppling entire railway systems for months on end.

The department proposes a host of policy measures to put a stop to this, including:

  • Imposing a six-month ban on the exports of scrap metal from South Africa;
    Expanding the definition of waste and scrap metal to include other common types of metal that are exported;
  • Temporarily suspending the price preference system (PPS) for scrap metal exports, with some exceptions;
  • Developing a permit system for the export of these metal products;
    Developing a permit system for the import of furnaces and other scrap transformation machines;
  • Creating a registration regime for scrap metal sellers with enhanced registration and strict reporting requirements;
  • Restrictions on who can sell scrap metal and adding requirements that buyers only purchase from registered sellers;
  • Beefing up border controls;
  • Prohibiting the use of cash in scrap metal transactions;
  • Black listing offenders.

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    Dear South Africa


    President Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address 2022 stated that the damage caused by the theft of scrap metal and cable on our infrastructure like electricity, trains and other vital services is enormous. We will take decisive steps this year both through improved law enforcement and by considering further measures to address the sale or export of such scrap metal”.

    On 08 June 2022 Cabinet approved “[t]hat public consultations be undertaken on proposals to restrict the trade of illegally obtained scrap and processed metals. The theft of scrap metal and copper cable from public infrastructure hinders the performance of the economy by imposing enormous costs. Some of the disruptions include the supply of energy and rail services due to vandalised rail tracks. They impose additional transport costs on commuters due to disrupted commuter transport. Vandalised and unsecured electricity cables pose safety risks to communities, especially children. Cabinet directed that the dtic should lead the consultations within a limited period, and solicit inputs from the public and relevant sectors on effective measures that government can implement to stop the vandalising of critical economic infrastructure. Thereafter, Cabinet will pronounce on the approved measures.”

    Having regard to the above, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (“dtic”), following consultations with the Department of Police, National Treasury, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, the Department of Public Enterprises, and the Department of Transport, requests public comment on the policy proposals (“the Draft Policy”) including the various options identified in the document.


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