Vandalism of critical water infrastructure drains Cape Town’s coffers.
Zahid Badroodien, a member of the Mayor’s Water and Sanitation Committee, announced this week that the city has spent R36 million so far this fiscal year to clean up destroyed pumping stations to be modernized and repaired.
Badroodien said the theft of water and sanitation equipment resulted in sewage spills and pollution of the waterways.
The city has now dealt with the water and Sewage Authority teamed up to fight the scourge.
Badroodien and the department’s communications manager, Malusi Rayi, launched an awareness campaign on Friday about the impact of theft and vandalism on water and sanitation infrastructure.
Badroodien and Rayi visited the sewers of Fisantekraal pumping station where cables were stolen. The facility will run on a generator pending repairs.
“The Water and Sanitation Directorate welcomes all efforts by partners and community members to support our mission to combat the scourge of critical infrastructure theft and vandalism to work to ensure that our communities can live, work and play in clean, healthy and safe spaces,” Badroodien said. which should only be opened by employees when they need to inspect the network or release the pipeline.
“The ongoing theft and vandalism of our critical water and sanitation infrastructure is a pain to our residents and is costing the city millions by Rand. The Wallacedene pumping station that was set on fire is the latest example.
“Such reckless actions by a few perpetrators impact many households, who are adversely affected when sewage leaks onto the streets and stormwater and waterways are polluted .”
Badroodien said that people who steal equipment are “essentially stealing from our denizens”.
“It costs a lot to replace and repair them and would have money lot may have been used for other services. These actions bother the community and create safety hazards such as open manholes and health hazards when sewage spills onto the street.”
Rayi said his department condemned the vandalism. “We are appealing to anyone with information to report this to law enforcement.
“We need to create an environment where communities take ownership of water, sanitation and other government infrastructure because it serves them. This allows them to protect it and report any form of vandalism.”
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