Free State municipality spends R60m on fixing vandalised property

Copper cables (Supplied)
Copper cables (Supplied)

Bloemfontein – The Mathjabeng local municipality in Free State said on Friday that they are facing the growing scourge of theft and vandalism across the municipality.

"Almost every day we lose cables, copper taps, water meters, manhole lids and roadside post in the municipality", said spokesperson Khojane Matutle.  

He said in the past financial year, the municipality had spent R60m on fixing the damaged property.  

"I don’t know if we should blame it on the illegal miners or not. But we have experienced a high rate of cable theft in our community – which is costing us," Matutle told News24.  

He said almost 20 copper taps were stolen from the municipality every day, which had resulted in a shortage of water in some areas.  

"The money could have been used for service delivery. We have also noticed that most of the things that have been stolen from us, are being sold in other provinces," he said.  

He said arrests had been made, but that the problem continued.  

"It is becoming difficult to deliver to our people because we use more money on fixing damaged property, meanwhile our people still don’t want to pay for services they consume," he said.  

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