Pretoria - Four truck drivers employed by the City of Tshwane were arrested on Friday for allegedly stealing metal skip bins worth R7 million, a spokesman said.
They allegedly sold them to a scrap metal dealer in Akasia, where they were cut into pieces and taken to Durban Harbour to be shipped overseas, spokesman Selby Bokaba said in a statement.
The drivers were arrested at the Pretoria West waste management depot.
Last Wednesday, senior officials from the city's waste and environmental department visited the bin yard at the depot as part of a routine inspection. They noticed some of the old bins, which needed refurbishing, were missing.
The city's forensic audit executive director Dorothy Mmushi discovered that 52 bins had gone missing since January.
“Through the tracking devices installed in our trucks we managed to trace where the bins were being delivered to and we solicited the assistance of the Hawks,” Mmushi said.
They went to the scrap metal dealer and found people cutting up the bins.
“When they saw us, they fled the scene. Some of the bins had already been loaded onto the truck destined for Durban Harbour from where they would be shipped abroad as scrap metal.”
The dealer's owner allegedly confessed to buying the bins for R4 000 each from the city's truck drivers.
“The owner has been co-operating with us and the police. The metal skip bins are worth R120 000 each”, Mmushi said.