The theft of manhole covers is a regular occurrence in Germiston and surrounding areas and poses a real danger to motorists and pedestrians alike.
According to Mobilitate user Chris Stuart manhole covers are being stolen on a regular basis in and around the Primrose area in Germiston.
Stuart reported an open manhole in Gorst Street after the cover was stolen.
“Normally the person(s) stealing the covers leave some or other marker, i.e. a tyre or rubbish bag to show that the cover is gone.
“But this morning I only noticed that the cover was missing once I’d entered into the traffic circle. Luckily I saw it in time, but this is really becoming a major problem and very dangerous to cars and trucks,” said Stuart.
According to Cllr Tania Campbell the theft of manhole covers in the Primrose area is rife.
“They get stolen all the time and sometimes they even get stolen the very same day that they were replaced. The Ekurhuleni metro cannot always keep up with the demand for these covers,” she said.
Traditionally these manhole covers were made of cast iron and nowadays they are produced from steel. The theft of any iron or steel products is a problem because of the demand for it on the black market.
The regional executive manager of Ekurhuleni’s Transport department, Johan Hattingh, said they recently had a presentation from a company who produces manhole frames and covers from alternative materials.
“The frame and the hole are also attached to one another. If criminals want to steal the cover they would have to take out the whole frame and that would prove to be more difficult,” Hattingh said.
These news frames and covers were tested at the Edenvale depot and the feedback was positive but, said Hattingh, the cost implications would have to be considered.
“In the meantime all the relevant departments (mainly transport and water) have been made aware of the priority of open manholes,” he said.
Report an open manhole cover here.
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