Tshwane officials from the Water and Sanitation Department came under attack while cracking down on illegal connections at the Mabopane Reservoir, north of the city.
The officials were held hostage for some time and threatened with violence when angry residents who had connected illegally to the network blocked the entrance of the reservoir with rocks to prevent the officials who had finished executing the disconnection action from exiting.
The officials, who were accompanied by a Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) team managed to flee the scene unharmed after police back-up was summoned.
Tshwane conducted the disconnection action at the Mabopane Reservoir earlier this morning in a bid to address the phenomenon of illegal water connections on its water distribution system.
These illegal connections have been causing significant water supply interruptions to high- lying areas in Mabopane, particularly in parts of Block A, B, D, M and S (Sun Valley). Block V, R and T, located under the Odi Hospital and Klipgat Reservoir zone.
The paying customers in the above areas have endured intermittent water supply outages due to the illegal and criminal actions of the residents who live in and around the said reservoir.
“The City of Tshwane takes this matter very seriously and has adopted a firm stance against those who engage in water theft and illegal connections to its reservoirs and water distribution lines,” spokesperson Selby Bokaba said.
“These actions not only compromise the integrity of the water supply system but also deprive legitimate and loyal customers of their rightful access to water.
“Water theft and illegal connections pose a significant challenge to the sustainability of the water supply infrastructure.
“Tshwane urges all residents to refrain from engaging in such activities and to report any suspicious behaviour or unauthorised connections to the relevant authorities such as the ward councillors, metro police or the nearest customer care walk-in customer centre.
“The city remains committed to providing reliable and uninterrupted water supply to all its residents. Efforts are being made to strengthen the water infrastructure and enhance monitoring systems to prevent future incidents of water theft and illegal connections.
“The city administration appreciates the cooperation and understanding of its loyal paying customers during this operation. By working together, we can ensure a fair and equitable distribution of water resources and maintain the integrity of our water supply system.”