Cape Town -The City of Cape Town may have a revolt on their hands after two communities chased out contractors who came to install the dreaded new blue water meters.
City contractors installing Water Meter Devices (WMDs) met their match in Bishop Lavis and Tafelsig last week when angry residents chased them out of the area.
Fed up residents say they have had enough of the blue water meters, which keep breaking, and the City who does not consult them about the installations.
Residents across the city have complained about the meters, which are being installed at homes where water usage is too high, saying the faulty devices are continually popping, causing clean water to flow into the streets.
The meters, which restrict users to 350 litres per household per day, is part of the City’s strategy to save water amid an ongoing drought in the Western Cape.
Residents have also complained about unfair billing and claim the devices, supplied by Aqualoc (Pty) Ltd and Sakikhaya Supplies, are not approved by the South African National Standards (SANS).
However, the City has previously denied this claim.
Victor Altensteadt of the Bishop Lavis Action Community (BLAC) says they held a meeting last week where several irate residents raised concerns.
He says on Friday morning when a resident spotted contractors in Bluegum Road, the fed up community came to express their unhappiness.
“Those things are faulty and they are not approved. They just come and put it in and then people must pay R4 000,” Altensteadt says.
“There has been no public awareness around this and the people are confused. People think because it comes from the City it must be right and they just accept it.
“Those guys wanted to call the police for us but we called the police who told them to just go.
“We will not allow them in Bishop Lavis until the City comes to clear this up.”
Meanwhile, Tafelsig residents also chased City contractors away last week.
Sulyman Stellenboom of the Tafelsig Activists Forum (TAF) says this was prompted by widespread confusion.
“Even the people in Lost City have come out to complain. We chased the contractor out and spoke to them but they just shift the blame to the City, but our problem is how can they install stuff that they know is faulty? Everyone is refusing it now,” he says.
The Cape Town Water Crisis Coalition has also called for the Public Protector to investigate the water meter issue.
The City did not respond to questions on the issue by last night.