Truck ‘steals’ water from fire hydrant

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June 2, 2017
Truck ‘steals’ water from fire hydrant

OUTRAGE: Truck was snapped pumping water at 1am from a fire hydrant in First Avenue, Grassy Park, on Wednesday. CREDIT: Facebook

The City of Cape Town says it’s investigating after this water truck was spotted “stealing” water.

Yesterday, Level 4 water restrictions came into effect after dam levels dropped to under 10 percent this week.

Grassy Park residents are furious after photographing the truck pumping water out of a fire hydrant during the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Community activist Bradley Ruiters posted images of the truck, with the company name “Wilcon Plant Hire” as well as the word WATER on it, on the Proudly Grassy Park Group on Facebook.

“Can anyone explain why this truck is extracting water from a fire hydrant in the dead of night?” he asked.

The truck was spotted in First Avenue in Grassy Park on Wednesday about 1am.

Willie Conradie, the owner of Wilcon Plant Hire, in Blackheath, says he owns seven trucks and that “this particular truck had been hired by roadworks company Power Construction, also located in Blackheath.

The angry owner said he would ask Power Construction to contact the Daily Voice for comment.

“Now my company’s name is being posted all over Facebook, this could be very damaging to me,” he said.

On Facebook, angry residents lashed out at the company for “stealing” water while everyone is trying to save it.

A resident who asked not to be named says she’s angry because she hardly showers.

“Look how my garden looks and these people act like thieves in the night stealing water and here we take two-minute showers. It’s not fair.”

Bradley even accused the company of being in cahoots with the City.

“So, we are told to shower standing in a plastic bucket, while their contractor buddies suck tens of thousands of litres of drinking water.”

However, a spokesman for Power Construction says they are contracted by the City and have been busy with roadworks in the area.

Bongani Mgayi, marketing and stakeholder relations director of the Power Group, said they had permission to use the water.

“Power Construction was appointed by the City of Cape Town to rehabilitate a section of Prince George Drive, near Grassy Park,” he says.

“Since this is a busy road, construction work occurs in the evenings from 7pm to 5am. The company has a permit to draw water using a standpipe, which is registered and monitored by the City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation Department.”

Councillor Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services and Energy, says contractors are allowed to use water from fire hydrants if approved.

“While it is legal as we have taken the approach to balance the water conservation efforts and economy, we will liaise with all contractors to work out the real need for the use of potable water in terms of alternative water and essential work being concluded as we are now in a crisis,” she says.

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