Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Three people have been arrested and three trucks impounded after they were caught stealing 58,000 litres of water from a fire hydrant in Waterfall, Midrand.

One of the trucks is allegedly owned by the JSE-listed construction company Group Five and the other by Labucon, an empowered civil engineering company. The suspects appeared in the Midrand magistrate’s court on May 11.

The news has come from a City of Johannesburg media statement issued by mayor Herman Mashaba. The arrests come barely a week after member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for finance Funzela Ngobeni’s visit to sites in the area.

"During the MMC’s visit last Thursday, it was established that some water meters were not reading, despite continuous use of water," Mashaba said on Tuesday.

"It is alleged that the truck drivers were sent by their employers to get water from the fire hydrants and use it at the development sites around the Waterfall area.

It is disturbing to learn that this criminal activity has been going on every day for more than two years. This allegation was confirmed by one of the directors from Labucon, who was on site after the incident," Mashaba said.

The suspects were subsequently arrested by the South African Police Service and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, working together with the city’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service during what was called Operation #BuyaMthetho.

Mashaba said Johannesburg derives revenue from services such as water, sewage, refuse and property rates. Theft of services affects the poorest communities in the city.