The DA in Tzaneen laid a complaint with the Public Protector against the Greater Tzaneen Municipality for negligence to secure water outlets and water theft in the area.
Ongoing water shortages exacerbated by loadshedding has increased theft of water by syndicates.
WATER THEFT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT
Theft occurs in broad daylight from water hydrants in residential areas and the stolen water is transported in Jojo tanks on trucks.
The DA says they received multiple complaints from residents daily who are also intimidated by the syndicates.
“We started our own investigations and encouraged residents to report all suspicious activities and reported our findings to the municipality,” said Councilor Rene Pohl.
“When it became apparent in May 2022 that the municipality was not going to act. We opened two criminal cases of water theft to date; CAS 195/5/2022 in Letsitele and more recently CAS 376/02/2023 in Tzaneen.”
DA CLAIM GREATER TZANEEN MUNICIPALITY REFUSES TO ACT
“The municipality’s refusal to act raised serious concerns. It became evident that there is no detailed plan in place or the political will to combat crime. Instead, the municipality’s negligence created an ideal environment for corruption and criminal acts to take place.”
“We further requested residents to donate locks for the fire hydrants to curtail further theft. On 3 March 2023 a water tanker engagement session was called by the municipality. It was admitted that the water crisis was out of control. Police assistance was requested and 2 water trucks have since been impounded.
“The DA is committed to also work with communities to solve the water crisis. We will not be deterred by intimidation,” the party said.