On Friday, 14 June 2019, the Piet Retief cluster SAPS held joint operations led by cluster commander Brigadier Gous and Lieutenant Colonel Blose.
Other stakeholders, including the Mkhondo Traffic Department, Mkhondo Fire-rescue members, Transnet members, Customs, Environmental Health members and Mkhondo Law Enforcement Officers were also present at the joint operations.
The operation was divided into three groups, to be able to reach a bigger area. The first group was in charge of visiting supermarkets in Piet Retief CBD and expired food was confiscated by Customs, Environmental Health members and Law Enforcement Officers.
The second group visited scrap-metal dealers, pawnshops and secondhand dealer shops. They were checked for the necessary licences and for stolen goods.
The third group held a roadblock on the N2 Pongola road and a stop-and-search on the Commondale road, in partnership with CPF members of Commondale. During this whole operation, two suspects were arrested for dealing in dagga, two traffic fines were issued and a lot of expired food was confiscated from supermarkets in Piet Retief.
According to the SAPS, secondhand good dealers are required, by law, to have registers in place that provide proof of acquisitions. They have to be able to prove that they are not dealing in stolen goods, this is also the case for secondhand car dealerships.
When a store is purchasing secondhand goods, it is of the utmost importance that the seller provides a valid ID and a copy must be filed for inspection purposes. Since there is such a big market for stolen copper, any metal bought by scrap metal dealers must be kept for seven days, with verification of where it was bought, before it is sold.
Please be aware of these laws and be careful who you buy your scrap metal from.