CDM cautions communities about water theft

Capricorn District Municipality cautions all communities to be vigilant against theft of water pump engines and electrical transformers. This heinous crime has become a serious perpetual challenge across the district, which contributes to water shortages and further creates new delivery backlogs.

The Municipality spends millions a year in replacing pump engines and electrical transformers as a result of theft, but the judicial system treats this as petty crime.

The district has, in the past few months, experienced a sharp escalation of theft and this seriously inhibits the social development and economic growth of the district and we have to find ways to combat it. We don’t want to see communities losing their livelihood and businesses suffering as they can’t cope with water supply interruptions as a result of this.

The main headache is in rural settlements where communities are not watchful of this crime. This is not only costing ratepayers money, but it is causing devastation in communities. These criminals steal our infrastructure and they dismantle water pump houses to have their hands on engines – an asset that leaves communities without water for weeks and months at a very least, as there are no local suppliers in the country and can only be procured outside South Africa. Replacing these assets takes longer, and communities unfairly bear the brunt.

Stealing pump engines is stealing water from our people and this is a serious criminality; an act of sabotage that should not be tolerated, and no village is immune to it.

The district municipality, as water services authority, spends millions in capital budget every year to roll out new water infrastructure to keep water flowing to villages for their quality of life to change. But these efforts are undermined by saboteurs and bandits who are hell-bent on thieving for their own selfish personal ends.

The inherent culture in communities of turning a blind eye should be changed. We urge communities to come together on this and report it. Municipalities alone cannot win this battle. We need active involvement of communities to be vigilant and help us put a stop on this.

We are also engaging with the justice system to make them take this crime seriously by showing them the vast devastation that theft has on socio-economic quality of life of our people.

For enquires, contact Moffat Senyatsi at 082 417 2759.

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