State to lift ban on scrap metal business

Economy

State to lift ban on scrap metal business


ScrapMetal

A scrap metal yard at Umoja in Nairobi on February 8, 2022. FILE PHOTO | NMG

bonface_img

Summary

  • The State now plans to lift a ban it imposed on exports and dealings in scrap metal in a move set to offer a sigh of relief to traders whose businesses closed since the directive in January.
  • Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Wednesday said the ban will however be lifted only if scrap metal dealers apply for fresh licenses and join associations before being allowed to ply the trade.

The State now plans to lift a ban it imposed on exports and dealings in scrap metal in a move set to offer a sigh of relief to traders whose businesses closed since the directive in January.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Wednesday said the ban will however be lifted only if scrap metal dealers apply for fresh licenses and join associations before being allowed to ply the trade.

In the proposed regulations, Mr Matiang’i said that licensed dealers, millers, and smelters will be charged Sh250,000 in annual fees while agents and jua kali collectors will fork Sh150, 000 and Sh50, 000 respectively.

“We are not going to allow the sector to continue operating in an unlicensed manner and no amount of political intimidation or pressure will make us abandon the resolve, ” said Mr Matiang’i.

“We are not building infrastructure for scrap metal vandals. We’d rather the scrap business died but we managed to protect our critical infrastructure. ”

President Uhuru Kenyatta in January imposed a ban on exports and deals in scrap metal, hitting hard traders who were operating in the sector.

Mr Kenyatta put a moratorium on the export or the buying or selling of any scrap material until proper guidelines are put in place to regulate the sector.

He said the moratorium will ensure that materials are not coming from the hard-won investments that the Kenyan people have made.

The ban followed the vandalism of transmission lines and critical road and rail infrastructure.

In one of the incidences in January, a breakdown at Kenya Power’s transmission line caused a blackout that affected customers across major cities in the country such as Nairobi.

The electricity distributor then said that the outage was caused by a collapsed tower on the Kiambere-Embakasi high voltage transmission line.

Regulations in the sector were needed to implement the Scrap Metal Act of 2015.

The law will among other things require scrap metal dealers to keep track of the source of their metal in a bid to guard against vandalism of infrastructures like bridges, railways, roads, and electricity transmission lines.

The Scrap Metal Act was enacted in 2015 but is yet to take effect due to the absence of regulations to govern the scrap metal trade.

Most dealers in the sector are not licensed, making it hard for authorities to hold players accountable to losses in the country’s strategic investments.

“Only 20 scrap metal dealers are officially licensed in the country while 91 others have their applications pending,” said Trade Secretary Betty Maina Wednesday.

.

Leave a Comment