Help stop water-meter thieves

2016-08-03 06:00

POLICE are making a desperate appeal for information as water-meter thieves run amok in Copesville, robbing not only residents, but the city itself of resources.

The police have asked residents and scrap-metal dealers to be their eyes and ears as authorities rally together to bring what is suspected to be a criminal syndicate, operating in the area, to its knees.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said in the past two months, 250 water meters have been stolen in the Copesville area alone, resulting in wastage of water­ during a “perilous” drought period and residents­ being left in the lurch with taps running dry.

Ebrahim said municipal water meters can be identified by their serial number, which are between nine and 12 digits long.

Msunduzi Water and Sanitation manager Brenden Sivparsad said about R600 000 is needed to replace the 250 brass water meters - money that is not part of the city’s budget.

“We are in the first month of our financial year and already R600 000 that was not budgeted for, is needed,” Sivparsad said.

Sivparsad said city management is now working in conjunction with municipal security and the Mountain Rise police station to halt the thefts.

He called on the community to “do the right thing” and report any suspicious activity or information to the police or to municipality’s whistle-blower hotline.

“People must not be afraid as they can call in anonymously. Do it for the sake of your community,” Sivparsad said.

‘People must not be afraid as they can call in anonymously.
Do it for the sake of your community’

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