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

Johannesburg -

The cost of copper theft decreased to R13 million in November from R13.2m in October, according to the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (Sacci) Copper Theft Barometer.

“The November figure is 1.51 percent lower than a month ago and 36.8 percent higher than a year ago,” Sacci said.

“The slight downward movement is welcome but by no means an indication of a downward shift from the stabilisation of the barometer above the R12m mark.”

The Copper Theft Volume Indicator decreased to 174 metric tons in November from 176 metric tons in October 2014.

Sacci said the international average monthly spot price of copper to date decreased to US6480 (R75 149.86) in December from US6715 (R77 747.28) in November 2014.

The price of copper was linked to other international commodities like oil, which had lost almost 50 percent of its value over the course of 2014, Sacci said.

“The outlook for copper theft is neutral but with a sizeable risk of a worsening situation,” Sacci said.

“The weakening of the rand exchange keeps the US dollar denominated copper still attractive despite the weakening of the commodity price in international markets.”

Sacci said 2015 could hopefully be the year in which business and police would force a significant reduction in copper theft. - Sapa