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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU Welcomes Criminal Matters Amendment Act's Signing into Law by the President

15 December 2015

“COSATU strongly welcomes the President’s signing of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act into law.

COSATU believes this is a badly needed long over due intervention to stem the flood of cable and other essential public infrastructure theft and vandalism in South Africa. Cable and other essential infrastructure theft has a severe impact upon government’s ability to deliver electricity, water and other badly needed service delivery.

COSATU supports the increased mandatory sentence periods for those convicted as a step towards dealing with such criminals. COSATU welcomes the targeting of scrap dealers and agents who are the master minds of this criminal trade.

• It is estimated that cable theft costs South Africa up to R7 billion per annum. Much of this, workers’ hard earned tax money.
• 2 people died, 19 were critically injured and a further 281 injured when two trains collided near Pretoria in January 2011 due to the theft of two 25 metre cables disrupting the signalling system. The financial cost of this accident to the trains and rails was more than R22 million.
• Telkom reported that in 2010/11 it suffered losses of up to R183.5 million due to cable theft. In certain areas Telkom has simply stopped replacing stolen cables due to high theft.
• Eskom, Telkom and Transnet reported combined losses of more than R3.12 billion due to copper theft between 2006 and 2011.
• Workers jobs at these parastatals are then threatened as those state owned companies funds are drained repairing the damages caused by cable and metals theft.
• Workers and companies suffer financial losses due to the constant train delays caused by cable theft.

Lastly COSATU urges government to conduct an intense publicity and information campaign to ensure that all members of the public and the law enforcement fraternity are aware of this new law and to implement it with the full force that it requires.

For further information, please contact:

Matthew Parks
COSATU Parliamentary Office

Tel: 021 461 3835
Cell: 082 785 0687
Fax: 021 461 4034
Email: matthew@cosatu.org.za

10th Floor, Plein Park Building

69 Plein Street, Cape Town 8000”

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