It seems as if municipal water, paid for by the tax payer, is being ‘stolen’ by building contractors for the controversial Sunway development in Rietfontein.
Water trucks, belonging to Chokzo Construction, that is contracted by the developer of Sunway, has been carting hundreds of thousands of litres water from a fire hydrant at Sediba Plaza In Melodie to the development.
During a one day observation, Kormorant established that a single truck makes more than five trips per day, carting 10 000 litres at a time.
According to residents of a security estate in Melodie, the truck initially filled up at the estate’s fire hydrant but was stopped when the estate locked the hydrant.
Tapping water from a fire hydrant is illegal according to health and safety act. Representatives of NECSA Emergency services, as well as councillors and residents had already reported the matter to the Madibeng municipality, but it seems to no avail.
“This means that the residents are paying for water used by a private developer,” said Madibeng ward councillor Eddie Barlow.
Barlow had brought it to the attention of the Madibeng Municipality Director of technical Services who undertook to look into the matter immediately.
In the meantime, the Kormorant has established that the same truck is being used by the municipality to transport water to informal settlement at a cost of more than R 100 000 per month. This is one of a number of trucks contracted on a monthly basis. The municipality pays in excess of R1 million per month for water trucks.
The Sunway development has become a bone of contention in the past months.
More than 1 000 houses are to be built in the RDP and low cost housing development but no bulk services are available yet.
DA ward councillor Erna Rossouw said that this again proves that lies are being told concerning the development.
“The developer, as well as the municipality assured everyone that a Rand Water pipeline to the development had been installed and is ready to provide water. Now it seems the development is based on lies,” she said.
“Who is benefiting from this ‘stolen’ water? Is the developer invoicing the municipality?”
She said according to the Director of Technical Services the developer had no permission to use municipal water and was supposed to supply his own for building purposes.
The municipality has not responded to the Kormorant’s enquiry.
Kormorant 8 August – 14 August 2013