No will in rooting out illicit scrap metal dealings

Johannesburg- Around two decades ago, a friend told me how big and lucrative the scrap metal business is; how the market is cornered by a few companies that made it almost impossible for new entrants to come in; and how often cargo ships, laden with scrap metal, left our shores to sail to destinations in the East, mainly.

By and large, the scrap metal business was legitimate then. Big companies, including Eskom, Transnet, Prasa and other large ones, were sources of scrap that fed the business.

Over the years, the scrap metal business has morphed into a devastating saboteur of the South African economy. Not a day passes by without huge chunks of cables being stolen from Eskom, Prasa, Transnet and others.

These public companies, especially Prasa, are on their knees, with some predicting that they will completely collapse in a few years unless something is done quickly.

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