Blowing the lid off manhole cover theft in Centurion

Presented as written by Eliot Mahlase, journalist at Centurion Rekord:

Blowing the lid off manhole cover theft in Centurion

Image for illustration only. Photo: File

Manhole cover theft is becoming an increasing problem in The Reeds, Centurion.

About eight manhole covers were stolen last week in the area, said Mynhardt le Roux, spokesperson for Wierdabrug Sector 2 CPF.

He said exposed manholes create a risk for pedestrians as they could get injured, especially at night.

Ward councillor Casper McDonald said a quick fix was needed.

“We have reported the issue to the Tshwane metro but nothing has been replaced,” he said.

An expert and manhole cover producer, Strauss Heigers, previously said the need for non-metal covers which can only be opened with a mechanical key cannot be stressed enough, as once they have been installed, they do not need maintenance and remain intact for more than 30 years.

ALSO READ: Manhole in Centurion has residents gasping for air

“This then nullifies the need for constant maintenance and gets rid of the element of covers being stolen or opened by vagrants who damage or extract various cables underground,” said Heigers.

“With the increase in vandalism and sabotage of municipal water networks, it has become paramount to look at alternatives to protect valuable assets and maintain sustainable service delivery.”

East ward 59 councillor Shaun Wilkinson said in his ward alone 50 manhole covers were stolen in December.

Wilkinson said manhole covers were stolen and sold to scrapyards or metal dealers for anything from R100 to R200.

He shared Le Roux’s view of exposed manholes being a danger to pedestrians.

“A manhole is about 1.6m deep; this could be very dangerous if a toddler or even an animal falls in,” he said.

ALSO READ: Elderly man falls down manhole in Laudium

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