Johannesburg Water says vandalism of water infrastructure is wasting money and water


The City of Johannesburg has condemned the vandalisation of water infrastructure saying this hampered its ability to deliver services efficiently.

Johannesburg Water said vandalism of water meters cost the municipality R1 500 to repair adding that the money could be used to address other important basic needs.

In Norwood and Orange Grove, there are a number of water meters on the sidewalks of Louis Botha Avenue which have been vandalised and are leaking, putting pressure on the water shortage that South Africa is experiencing.

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Johannesburg Water spokesperson, Hilgard Matthews said the costs were immense as they went beyond repairing only a meter or a pipe. “We have to dispatch trucks and staff to do the work and have to pay them overtime. That is costly to Johannesburg Water, which buys its supply from Rand Water,” he said.

“When infrastructure is vandalised someone has to pay for it and it’s unfortunate that it has to be the taxpayers who have to pay the bill.”

He added that vandalism was an inconvenience to residents because when the water utility repaired infrastructure they had to shut off the water entirely, leaving residents without access for many hours.

Read: 4 ways we waste water in South Africa

According to the utility, the city had enough water supply for now but it urged residents to use it sparingly to avoid shortages.

“The water is at a good level but that does not give anyone an excuse to vandalise or waste it. The water that we do have is purchased from Rand Water so that means every drop of water we have is important and needs to be preserved,” he said.

Matthews said they were working with the Metro police to enforce laws on perpetrators who vandalise infrastructure.

Edited by Beryl Knipe.

By Thabo Jobo

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