Pretoria - Johannesburg Water has warned that repeated illegal water connections will result in the prosecution of the offender.
Johannesburg Water spokesperson, Baldwin Matsimela, said that the department was currently implementing the infrastructure upgrade programme in various areas across the city with the Greater Soweto area being part of the beneficiaries of the programme.
"Johannesburg Water has taken a decision to revisit properties in Soweto, mainly in areas where Operation Gcinamanzi was implemented to address leaks and or rectify illegal connections or meter by-passes.
"The focus is mainly on property intervention to fix leaks on all plumbing fixtures, upgrade the prepaid water meters to include Automated Meter Reading and trickle flow functions. Furthermore, secondary water mains as well as yard connections that are leaking will equally be upgraded," Matsimela explained.
He said when revisiting those customers that have by-passed meters and/or vandalized meters or illegally connected their homes to the system, home owners will first be given amnesty and Johannesburg Water will fix the leaks and replace all the vandalized meters at no cost to customers.
However, Matsimela warned that once the property has been revisited to fix leaks and meters are upgraded or new meters are installed, Johannesburg Water will enforce by-laws to offenders, which could lead to prosecution.
All customers who have tampered with the pipe network of water supply through the meter will be dealt with by the law.
"Customers identified to have by-passed water meters will be served with notices to rectify the by-pass and report to any of the City of Joburg's People Centres closer to them within seven days from the date on which the notice was issued.
"A fee of R1 515 31 will be levied against the customers in the case where a meter is still in a working condition or R3 053 67 where a meter is not in working condition, Johannesburg Water will then reinstate and rectify the by-pass but customers will be expected to produce proof of payment before technicians could reinstate the by- pass.
"Customers who do not respond within the seven days' notice period will have the illegal water supply terminated by cutting out the supply. If a customer chooses to have the supply restored, a reconnection charge of R3 053 67 will have to be paid prior to restoration of the water supply," Matsimela said.