Table View resident to lay theft charge after ‘City’ removes water meter
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Cape Town - While the City said there has been an increase of water meter theft reported across the city over the last two months, a Table View resident said her private meter was removed by the City.
Schulla Pronk said during the 2017 water crisis they installed their own private meter but this was removed when the City shut the water due to a water leak on their property in April.
“I bought my own water meter from a company that I deal with daily and installed it with the council meter to check if they correspond around water usage. Private meter simply means it was my property and I was not home when they removed it.
“It was plumbed in such a way that they had no need to touch it as it was after their meter. The City is clear that we as property owners are responsible for what happens after their meter around water loss.
“Unfortunately I have had no feedback on my personal water meter that was illegally removed by the City and it's been three months since the theft. We have escalated this to the top management and logged two C3 complaints but we are yet to receive our property.
“Why would the City not want us to double check their meters? Because they are quick to tell a person that their meter is faulty when they bill one incorrectly,” said Pronk.
Pronk said that while she could not speculate whether the City “stole” the water meter because it didn't want them to ensure that the readings on both meters corresponded, she would lay a charge of theft as she had exhausted all possible avenues.
The City said it would look into the particulars of Pronk’s allegations and respond in due course.
The City said from July 1 last year to June 30 this year, a total of 2 198 cases have been reported. It said an average of 152 water meters a month were stolen between July last year to April this year.
In May, 287 cases were reported and this increased again in June to 386 cases, it said.
Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste Xanthea Limber said water meter theft resulted in water wastage and drained City resources.
“On average, it costs approximately R2 600 excluding Vat to replace a 15mm conventional brass meter and approximately R3 000 excluding Vat to replace a 20mm conventional brass meter.
“We condemn these attacks of vandalism and theft of public infrastructure and encourage residents to report any information related to the theft of water meters to SAPS, to assist with investigations and hold the responsible individuals accountable,” said Limberg.