Metal Theft

Metal Theft


As with all industrial countries, South Africa is plagued with theft of metal from public installations such as power lines. These are often found in remote locations and are stolen and sold to certain scrap metal dealers.

SA Metal Group does not purchase material known to be or suspected of being stolen. All our purchasing staff are trained to identify such material and to alert management immediately if any such material is delivered.

We regularly receive warnings of specific metal which has been stolen and if such metal is delivered to any of our yards, the owners are immediately notified.

All purchasing is carried out only during normal office hours and in full view of the public. All metal purchased is photographed and all details of the seller are carefully recorded. All activities in our yards are recorded with CCTV cameras.

The public is continually bombarded with media accounts of metal theft and often experiences the effects in the form of electricity blackouts or interruptions of train services. As a result, many members of the public have come to believe that most scrap metal is stolen. In fact, the theft of only a small piece of copper cable can cause huge disruption and massive cost of repairs. Approximately 10 000 tons of scrap copper per month arises in the South African economy and only 150 tons per month (1.5%) is reported stolen.

Probably because of the measures it takes, SA Metal Group very rarely finds any stolen metal being offered to it. Most reports of stolen metal found by police are in small scrapyards in remote areas which operate after dark and do not keep proper records. However, our staff are cautioned to remain vigilant.

SA Metal Group has proposed to the appropriate authorities that it be made mandatory that scrap metal is paid for by cheque or bank transfer, and not in cash, to ensure that a proper record of the seller remains. This measure has been adopted in the UK and many other jurisdictions and it is hoped that it will be adopted in South Africa soon.

SA Metal Group is a proud supporter of the South African Police Services’ Crime Reporting Board.

Report stolen metal here. Please ensure that your email includes a detailed description and photographs of the goods.

Theft