SCRAP METAL: Tax On 'Used' Copper Proposed
Recent Western Cape Business News
COPPER scrap is a valuable resource for local industry and everything possible must be done to discourage its export, says Michael Bagraim, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce.
One measure that could be taken was a tax on ‘used” copper when it was exported.
“There is even a case for an outright ban on the export of scrap copper, but I don’t think we need to go that far,” said Bagraim. “A tax should be sufficient to encourage dealers to look for local customers who would put the copper to good use in local factories.”
A tax would also improve the monitoring and control of scrap exports and that would discourage dealers who exported stolen copper.
“We are dealing with a multi-billion rand problem and drastic steps are necessary if we are going to get on top of the copper theft problem. We cannot allow the infrastructure of the country to be vandalised by thieves.”
The problem had to be tackled from both ends. The first target was the copper thieves and the bucket shop dealers who stripped the cables and removed any identifying marks before on selling the metal to dealers. The second target was dealers who knowingly exported stolen copper. A tax would make it that much more difficult for them to operate.
Scrap copper was needed in South Africa for the manufacture of products like solar water heaters. “It is shocking to think that stolen copper could be exported to another country, used to make solar panels which were then imported and their sale subsidised by Eskom,” he said.
“We need to put South Africa firsts and do everything possible to ensure that any genuine copper scrap is used to make local products,” Bagraim said.
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