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Waste tyres used to deter cable theft

Waste tyres used to deter cable theft

Oct 24, 2014

Cable theft is estimated to cost the South African economy over R7 billion a year. However, industrious South African’s are finding new ways to curb this increasing problem.

According to Stacey Davidson, director at the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA), since the REDISA Plan was implemented a little over a year ago, it has been amazing to see how inventive entrepreneurial South Africans are.

Piet Lombard is one such entrepreneur and in 2010 he opened Scarab Cable Protection (PTY) Ltd, a company in Heidelberg that creates products which deter would be cable thieves. This includes clam cable protection which acts as an anti-digging device, while wave cable protection is used at high risk tunnels, bridges and railways.

“REDISA is not a recycler, but supports companies, both large and small, who recycle waste tyres into saleable products. Our support for recyclers ranges from business plan development, to assisting with Environmental Impact Assessments, and also includes free delivery of waste tyre feedstock to the recyclers. In addition, over the last year and a half the recycler has been receiving an infrastructure development grant at 31c a kg which has helped the company to develop their infrastructure and buy their equipment. By doing so, the recycling company is able to focus on its core business – namely, developing its market and making product.

“We applaud the work that Scarab Cable Protection has done to date, and the company is certainly proof that there is opportunity to be found in products otherwise disregarded as waste,” said Davidson.

As part of the Plan, REDISA works with transporters, depots and recyclers. Waste tyres collected by REDISA registered transporters are first sent to depots then to recyclers across the country and turned into various products including rubber crumb, carbon black, and now cable protection products.

Scarab Cable Protection is one of the 12 recyclers which have benefited from the 40 541 tonnes of waste tyres collected by REDISA.

When Lombard established the company, many people had their reservations. “Our radical concept was naturally doubtful and regarded as suspicious from the consumers, and proving the effectiveness and durability of the Scarab Cable Protection products took a lot time,” he said.

Scarab Cable Protection’s client base has grown substantially since then. The company’s customers now include Sasol, Anglo Coal, Transnet and City Power.

For more information, visit the Scarb webiste here.

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