The Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel was speaking in Parliament SONA Debate when he reminded South Africans and all those doing business in the country that Parliament passed the Criminal Matters Amendment Act which will be implemented soonest to severely punish thieves who steal metal from public infrastructure and business outlets doing business with the thieves.
“We will crack down on cable and metal theft from trains and electricity substations,” Patel stated as he disclosed the new Act stipulations.
According to what he said, theft from essential public facilities will be attracting up to 30 years prison sentencing where as companies that conspire with the thieves will get fat fines of R100 million.
With that, Patel bragged that the government spent R290 Billion on Infrastructure the previous year. According to him, that amount “translates to more than R1 billion every working day” which in turn transformed South Africa.
“Behind these numbers are South Africans whose lives were improved. A total of 200 000 workers are now employed on government’s public infrastructure programme. This helped millions of people in townships and suburbs to experience change in their lives…Unlike opposition parties who resort to schoolboy tactics, the ANC rightly focuses on the economy.
The new global economic context has a profound impact on South Africa and we need to step up efforts and organised labor to create jobs and heal factious relationships.”
The economic development minister also boasted about the creation of 712 000 jobs in the agricultural, construction and business sectors.
Meanwhile in line with what Patel said about copper thieves, BuzzSouthAfrica gathered from “The Copper Theft Barometer” published by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci), that copper theft cost South Africa between R5 billion and R7 billion per year.”