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South Africa Minister calls to ban export of scrap metal

Christian Fernsby |
Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, has called for a ban on the export of scrap metal as the theft and vandalism of critical rail infrastructure sabotage the country’s economy.

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“We are unequivocal in our call to ban the export of scrap metal and will support any measure that will bring us closer to this reality,” the Minister said on Monday.

Addressing a media briefing on the White Paper on the National Rail Policy in Pretoria on Monday, he said taking this step will reinforce government’s interventions aimed at protecting public assets and making the theft of cables and other metals less lucrative.

“The criminality behind the rampant theft and vandalism of railway infrastructure that has stripped bare our stations and rail network requires extraordinary interventions that go beyond merely stepping up security.

“We must eliminate this perverse incentive by banning the export of scrap metal and therefore limit the market that aids this criminality. The corporate sector must come to the party and bolster our efforts to deal a decisive blow to this criminality that is enabled by scrap dealers buying stolen scrap metal,” Mbalula said.

“Government will ensure that industrialisation and the local production of steel and other inputs, rail lines and supplies, and rolling stock is promoted through policies that will require state and private operators to procure all supplies from South African-based manufacturers,” the Minister said.

The department working with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) will set up a joint committee to develop the strategy and will engage the private sector on investment plans required to unlock opportunities in the sector.

Rolling stock as a key pillar to railway operations will be an integral part of this approach.

“Train operators and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) can lease their rolling stock to any other party and to encourage new entrants in the market. With regard the role of Private Sector Participation in railways, the department will spearhead the development of a Private Sector Participation (PSP) Framework for the rail industry,” Mbalula said.


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