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Stolen equipment at CT aquifer drilling sites amount to over R5 million

The municipality has three major aquifer projects in Atlantis, at Table Mountain and on the Cape Flats.

The site of an aquifer in Mitchells Plain pictured on 11 January 2018, which will assist with water supply as the city battles drought. Picture: Graig-Lee Smith/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – The City of Cape Town says more than R5 million worth of hydrants, meters and valves have been stolen and damaged at aquifer drilling sites since July last year.

It's led to delays as the city awaits much needed additional water supply.

The municipality has three major aquifer projects in Atlantis, at Table Mountain and on the Cape Flats.

Mayoral committee member Xanthea Limberg says mostly the Cape Flats aquifer sites between the airport and Mitchell's Plain have been affected.

She says thieves are stealing tools, batteries, vehicles and any materials that have scrap value.

Limberg says they are working on getting private security at the sites to prevent theft and vandalism.

Some of the aquifers were due to come online this month, but that's now delayed to April, May and June.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town says there's no guarantee level 6B water restrictions will be lowered any time soon.

The curbs were introduced last month; at the time, the city said they'd been in place for 150 days.

But Limberg says whether they are eased depends on the rain and water relief projects.

“If we get to a stage later in the year where we get adequate levels of rainfall, and more of our water augmentations have brought in more water into the system then we would be in a more comfortable position to take a confident and clear decision around scaling back on the levels of restrictions.”