Cape Town-140416. The City of Cape Town's Metal Theft Unit carried out a few raids or operations in various parts of the peninsula today. These youths were apprehended near the N2 for melting the plastic from the copper wire and were asked to put out the fire. The leader was then fined for causing air pollution.This wire was not confiscated. reporter: Chelsea Geach. Photo: jason boud

Pretoria -

Copper thieves will be shown no mercy, Cabinet vowed on Thursday.

“The law enforcement agencies will ensure that those arrested face the full might of the law,” Communications Minister Faith Muthambi told reporters in Pretoria, following the executive's fortnightly meeting the day before.

Cabinet condemned the theft of cables from rail, electrical and municipal public infrastructure.

In recent months, the theft of copper cables has caused train delays and power cuts in parts of the country.

Muthambi said the thefts hampered the smooth running of the country's economy.

“Cabinet further reiterates its commitment to clamp down on scrap metal companies that feed off and fuel this crime. Communities are urged to work together with government by reporting to the SA Police Service,” she said. - Sapa