Problems flow as water meters continue to be stolen in the ’Plain

Frances Petersen from Eastridge is missing a water meter.

Eastridge has the third highest rate of water meter theft in Mitchell’s Plain with 74 meters stolen since January.

According to the City of Cape Town, 444 water meters have been stolen in Mitchell’s Plain this year.

Topping the list is Portland with 127 stolen meters and in second place is Tafelsig with 126 meters.

The City spends between R4 560 and R4 732 to install the water management devices.

Eastridge residents are sick and tired of thieves stealing their meters and leaving them without running water.

Frances Petersen and her neighbour woke up to missing water meters on Wednesday November 8, at 5.45am.

“The thieves have become so desperate that they are even stealing water meters, it is ridiculous. When the incident occurred we called the City and they arrived after four hours, by that time water was wasted because it was running outside, but we are glad they came out,” she said.

Another resident, Peter Reynolds, said meter and copper theft is becoming more frequent in the area. “In most of our streets such as Melkhout, Essenhout and Klipspringer, meters are being stolen and sadly it is becoming more common. I am sure something can be done to prevent thieves stealing the meters. If you look at the Telkom boxes, they are locked so thieves cannot get into it. Why can’t the City do that to the water meters and give residents the key.

“With our water crisis we cannot afford to waste water, and as we know, water is an essential part of our lives,” he said.

Mayoral committee member for area south, Eddie Andrews, said it is not possible to lock the boxes as they need to give customers an opportunity to check how much water they are using. He said replacement meters are made of plastic as a deterrent.

He added that the City of Cape Town is experiencing regular theft of older water meters as these are made of brass and have scrap metal value. He said after residents report the stolen meters, the replacement will be done as soon as possible.

Stolen meters can be reported to the City’s call centre by calling 0860 103 089, emailing Contact.us@capetown.gov.za, SMSing 31373 in a maximum of 160 characters or WhatsApping 063 407 3699. Response times will vary according to operational requirements at the time.