How can copper wire disappear?

SINCE the beginning of this year, there has been an escalation in the theft of copper wire telephone lines throughout the interior of the Eastern Cape.

From Middelburg to Alexandria farmers find themselves without telephones for weeks at a time. As soon as the lines are restored, they disappear within days.

One would imagine that to break the syndicates responsible would be relatively easy. First obviously would be to monitor all scrap metal dealers. Check the source of the copper used by manufacturers who make articles containing copper. Some maintain it is shipped abroad as telephone wire.

Surely an inspection of a few shipping containers would lead to arrests? I have never heard of the apprehension of a single copper wire thief. Is it because it doesn’t smell like abalone does?

The whole situation “smells” very fishy to me! How can literally tons of copper wire disappear without a trace?

Jenni Rogers, Middelburg

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