Vandalising of water infrastructure is a huge setback for service delivery.The Department of Water and Sanitation is responsible for ensuring that water is supplied to communities without fail. Vandalizing of infrastructure does not only disrupt water supply to communities but it also impacts on the financial well-being of the Department as well the relevant stakeholders in the water sector, particularly municipalities. Acts of vandalism of infrastructure are as a result of theft of such property which is prevalent both in urban and rural settings, such as is happening in Buffalo City. These acts include vandalism and theft of valuable metal pipes, fittings and manhole covers, leading to an increase in the maintenance costs by the relevant Water Services Authorities.
Water theft through bypassing of meters or tampering with pipes and fittings to make illegal connections is also a serious challenge, especially for downstream water users. Destruction of water infrastructure generally results in reduced access to a suitable quantity and quality of water to users broadly.This affects the sanitation services, with associated impacts on public health and personal dignity. The Department of Water and Sanitation is therefore calling on communities to refrain from destroying water infrastructure, but to protect it. “This will result in improved water and sanitation services, especially in areas that are challenged with water shortages.” says the department in a statement.