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The Danish engineers were puzzled. They had just spent half an hour explaining that the best part of their shiny new water meter was that it had no moving parts. None. But the first questions from a group of SA water specialists all related to inserting a moving part. “Can you put a valve into the meter?” they asked.

Why ever would you want to do that, thought the Danes. It was explained to the visiting delegation that water clients in SA sometimes fail to pay for their water. There needed to be a mechanism to cut off supply. The engineers nodded and promised to go back to the drawing board but the concept of someone not paying for a received service was difficult to grasp for citizens of a country where crossing against a red light is unimaginable.  ..

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