The City of Cape Town says there has been an increase in the number of stolen water meters across the city over the last two months. Brass water meters are often stolen for their scrap value and while the city is no longer installing them there are still a large number of meters in operation.
WATER METER THEFT ON THE RISE
Over the last year – from 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021 – 2198 cases of stolen water meters have been reported to the City of Cape Town.
“The City of Cape Town notes with concern that there has been an increase in the rate of theft of water meters over the previous two months,” said the City in a statement on Thursday, 15 July.
This comes after 287 cases of stolen water meters were reported in May 2021 and then increased to 386 in June 2021. In contrast, an average of 152 meters was stolen between July 2020 and April 2021.
CITY NO LONGER INSTALLING BRASS METERS
The increase in theft over the last year means that the City no longer installs brass water meters because of their scrap value but as there are still many brass meters in service it will take some time before the meters are replaced with plastic ones.
“Theft of water meters results in water wastage but is also a drain on City resources,” said City MayCo member for Water and Waste, Xanthea Limberg.
“On average, it costs approximately R2600 excluding VAT to replace a 15mm conventional brass meter and approximately R3000 excluding VAT to replace a 20mm conventional brass meter,” said Limberg.
“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.”
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR METER IS STOLEN
If a water meter is stolen it should be reported to the City immediately in order to obtain a reference number and arrange a replacement via one of the following channels:
- Online: http://www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- SMS: 31373 (standard rates apply)
- Phone: 0860-103-089
- In person: Visiting a City walk-in centre — http://www.capetown.gov.za/facilities can be used to find the nearest one to you.
The City is supposed to visit your property within 24 hours for an inspection and a replacement will be done within 24 hours of the inspection, if necessary, in most cases.