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Copper theft izinyoka being strangled

The SA Chamber of Commerce said on Tuesday copper theft is decreasing substantially.

The South African Chamber of Commerce said on Tuesday copper theft is decreasing, partly due to the drop in the price of the meta

CAPE TOWN - The South African Chamber of Commerce said on Tuesday copper theft is decreasing, partly due to the drop in the price of the metal.

Its monthly Copper Theft Barometer records losses reported by Transnet, Telkom and Eskom.

About R18 million worth of copper was stolen in June, compared to an alarming R34 million in March.

The Chamber of Commerce CEO Neren Rau said: "Currently the global copper price is at very low levels. Even though we've seen a decline from June to July, the levels that we're currently experiencing in terms of the international stock price of copper is much lower than the year to date average of 8,000 dollars."

He said police are also playing an influential role.

"This month we'd like to report that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has once again upped its game in terms of training police officers to detect copper theft under the second hand goods act."

Meanwhile, Neil Arendse of Cape Town's Metal Theft Unit, the Copperheads, said they have noticed a drop in reports of copper theft.

"It could be due to the onslaught of crime prevention and raids and inspections at your local scrap-dealer, which of course is the market on which this whole industry runs."

However, Arendse warns vandalism is still robbing the city of millions.