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City of CT plagued by copper theft

The City says copper theft has escalated and measures are needed to prevent it.

The City of Cape Town's proposed new logo and pay-off line. Picture: Mia Spies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town says it's having a hard time dealing decisively with repeat copper theft offenders.

Out of the 107 suspects arrested over the past year, only 46 have been successfully prosecuted.

The city's metal theft unit says it's recovered more than a kilometre of stolen copper over the last year which is up from 2013.

But the city's JP Smith says repeat offenders are the real problem.

"We are looking at province writing tougher legislation on this to make the trade of metal regulatory more effectively and make penalties more severe. We are also looking at the city health department to do a bylaw on problem businesses."

Previously, the export of scrap metals moved to other ports when law enforcement made things difficult for the criminals in Cape Town.

Smith says drastic action was needed to stop copper theft.