Water meters stolen in PMB

2007-11-19 00:00

When they went to inspect, they discovered that three water meters had been stolen.

A resident who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of being victimised said she heard dogs barking in the early hours of yesterday morning and suspects this might have been the time the thieves were stealing the meters.

Another resident said he heard a hissing sound and found water flowing down the roads in the morning. “On my way to work I saw water flowing on both roads. I saw that water meters had been removed,” he said.

The Witness has over the past weeks received a number of complaints from residents whose meters have been stolen, presumably to be sold as scrap metal.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesman Skhumbuzo Mpanza said there is nothing practical that can be done at this stage to curb the problem. He agreed that yesterday's thefts were not an isolated incident.

“It seems to be an ongoing crime that the municipality is faced with. We have to replace all the meters that are being stolen in each of the houses.

“The main problem is that it is difficult to stop the demand for scrap metal in the city, no matter what the seller presents to the willing buyer,” said Mpanza.

He said eight water meters were stolen in Prestbury a few weeks ago and 20 meters were previously stolen in Cleland/Mkondeni area. These have since been replaced.

Asked why it is so easy for criminals to steal the meters, Mpanza said ordinary plumbing techniques are used to attach meters as is done countrywide and internationally. Mpanza said municipal security is aware of this problem and is doing its best to monitor the situation.

He said stolen meters are replaced immediately to avoid wasted water.

“This vandalism hinders service delivery and causes unnecessary liability to the municipality as water meters need to be constantly replaced,” said a frustrated Mpanza.

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