Plastic water meters around the City of Johannesburg help reduce crime

In recent years, South Africa has experienced an astonishing amount of crime when it comes to objects made of copper, brass and other metallic objects.

With yet another video of thieves stealing a water meter making the rounds on social media, we are reminded to keep our eyes open in our neighbourhoods for criminal activity and to report it immediately.

Among the popular objects being stolen are water meters.

For a lot of people who live in horrible conditions in townships and rural areas, stealing metal water meters is how they make their money.

In an interview with JHB Live, general manager of operations at Johannesburg Water, Etienne Hugo said, “Older water meters still have brass bodies. These brass bodies have scrap value and the meters are stolen for this.”

Areas which still have metal water meters are prone to criminal activity and therefore make these neighbourhoods unsafe for residents because of the criminals.

Read: Johannesburg Water says vandalism of water infrastructure is wasting money and water

Ward 69 councillor, Genevieve Sherman stated in the Northcliff Melville Times that water wastage is a very big problem with the theft of these meters.

“The big problem here is the amount of water wastage that comes from this. This is why it is important to report the matter immediately. With the recent droughts and water restrictions, these criminals have not made it any easier for local residents and municipalities,” said Sherman.

In hopes to combat this issue, Johannesburg Water has continued to replace all the meters which have metal or copper with ones which are made of plastic.

According to Sherman, this would hopefully reduce the crime in vulnerable areas. “This is not an overnight procedure and, therefore, even though there a number of neighbourhoods that now have the new plastic meters, there are still a number of areas which do not have and, therefore, continue to experience theft.”

Details: To report thefts call 011 688 1699;

Edited by Stacey Woensdregt

Click here to watch video

Have you had any experience with this theft in your neighbourhood? Let us know on the North Eastern Tribune Facebook page.


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