By Anil Mathews (ScrapMonster Author)
February 16, 2016 05:10:22 AM
KAMPALA (Scrap Monster): The Metal Recyclers Association (MRA) of South Africa has raised opposition to the amendments to the pricing preference system (PPS) guidelines on the exportation of ferrous and non-ferrous waste and scrap. The recycling body has made a submission to the International Trade Administrative Commission of South Africa (ITAC) highlighting its dislike.
According to MRA, the amendments, effective February 15th,, 2016, especially with respect to copper theft, will only pave way to encourage local, unmonitored copper melting practices. Also, there are chances that ‘stolen’ copper will be exported as unidentifiable copper which has been remelted by unscrupulous traders. MRA further noted that the PPS implemented in 2013 has not managed to achieve its goals.
MRA has requested all related associations and industry bodies to come together to arrive at a mutually beneficial solution for the entire industry. The proposed amendments will have bigger impacts on informal sector, MRA noted. The changes with PPS will have direct effect on the employment opportunities within the informal sector. Incidentally, estimates suggest that the industry currently has over 400,000 informal scrap collectors. In addition, any impact on informal sector will risk the sourcing of scrap metal.
The sector has witnessed significant job losses and unemployment since the inception of PPS. On top of job losses, the proposed amendments may lead to administrative burdens which in turn may result in unnecessary barriers to trade. This is in violation of the WTO directive which states that regulatory measures adopted must be least restrictive for trade. The amendments which are feared to limit legitimate exports are also in violation of the ITA act, MRA noted.
MRA is made up of organizations that are engaged in the collection and processing of more than 80% of all scrap metal in South Africa for beneficiation by downstream industry.