Two property developers arrested for 'illegal' water connections at Waterfall City

Image: 123RF/Andriy Popov

Two property developers were nabbed yesterday for alleged illegal connection of water at the Waterfall City development in Midrand, north of Johannesburg.

The two allegedly colluded with a City of Johannesburg official to steal millions of litres of water that was used at the development.

The duo will be charged with theft, while the official was charged with fraud and corruption.

Their arrest was confirmed by Lucky Sindane, the spokesperson for the city’s Group Forensic and Investigative Services Unit (GFIS).

He said that through their preliminary investigations it has been found that 90% of water meters in Waterfall City have been obtained illegally including those of a well known mall and auditing firm.

Sindane said the theft of water by developers cost the city up to R8 billion in recent years. 

He said they were able to recover R408 million over the last four months.

“When developers want to construct they are supposed to apply for bulk water meters. These can cost between R100 000 and R140 000 each. Ninety percent of the buildings that have been constructed here (Waterfall City) have never applied for these,” he said.

Sindane said that the investigations had begun three weeks ago in collaboration with operation ‘Buya Mthetho’ led by Johannesburg Metro Police Department.

“More arrests are expected as investigations continue. We are still going to be doing audits on all the businesses in Waterfall City,” Sindane said.

Waterfall City was not immediately available for comment.

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