Draft scrap metal arriving by the end of July, Patel says

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel.

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  • Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel said the government will have a draft scrap metal policy by the end of July.
  • In his budget vote in Parliament, Patel said his department and the Department of Public Enterprises have worked with industrialists to improve planning based on the infrastructure needs of businesses.
  • He said last year’s competition deals allowed 100,000 more employees to become shareholders in their employer companies.

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel told Parliament that South Africa could expect a draft policy to tackle the illegal trade in copper wire and scrap metal by the end of July.

Patel presented a 10.9 billion rupee budget vote in Parliament on Friday for the Department of Commerce, Industry and Competition.

The government is grappling with the illegal scrap metal trade, which has been largely fueled by the theft of the country’s freight and passenger rail network.

Earlier this month, Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan called for a temporary ban on the sale of scrap metal in the country to eliminate the external market for infrastructure that has been vandalized and stolen.

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Patel told Parliament on Friday that he and Gordhan were working together to build support structures for industries to address challenges, including energy challenges and stop scrap metal unions. He said a scrap metal policy was in the works and would be drawn up soon.

“We are building an environment conducive to industrialization [that] it requires the protection of our key grid infrastructure, such as energy and logistics, and the protection of our power and rail network from the continuing threat of scrap metal unions.

“By the end of July, we will have developed and presented a draft metal scrap policy, which will introduce a combination of domestic and export measures to address the illegal trade in copper wire and scrap metal,” Patel said.

Patel said he and Gordhan have decided to start a forum to unite Eskom, Transnet and other entities with industrialists to “improve collaboration, advanced planning and problem solving.”

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The minister also highlighted the department’s interventions aimed at supporting disadvantaged businesses and transforming the ownership of large companies.

Patel said that thanks to five competition deals, another 100,000 workers at Shoprite, Burger King, and Imperial Logistics have secured stock in the companies they’ve worked for over the past year, bringing registered worker participation in the economy to over 400,000. to date.

“To fuel economic recovery and deepen industrialization, the department together will offer Rand 22 billion in customized support packages to companies over the next twelve months. This will be complemented by strategic support to deepen the implementation of our master plans, including the launch of a new R400 million Furniture Growth Fund in partnership with manufacturers and retailers, ”said Patel.

Patel said that to support localization efforts, the department would aim to achieve a Rand 40 billion increase in targeted local industrial manufacturing output. He said this would bring South Africa closer to the government’s five-year target of R200 billion in local industrial production.

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