Joburg Water lives in a parallel universe

We are regularly told to “save water”, “stop leaks”, and so forth.

So why have Joburg Water ( JW ) “disabled” the stop valves at all their residential meters, making it impossible to turn off the water to fix the leak or burst pipe?

I was told of this “disabling” when I called them as I thought my stop valve was rusted or jammed. I wanted to replace a tap or tap washer that was leaking.

When I asked why it was disabled, I was told you should have your own stopcock on your premises. I have occupied my house for 33 years and as this disabling seems to have been done recently, my question is when was I supposed to be informed that a stopcock was a mandatory requirement?

JW went on to say that for a fee of R1 800 I could arrange for my plumber to install a stopcock at my expense. All I had to do was get a date and time for the installation from my plumber, inform JW of this date/ time and they would dispatch one of their people to turn off the water whilst my plumber installed the stopcock.

Yeah, right and that was going to happen! JW seems to live in some “parallel universe” if they think that scenario would ever be achievable.

The big question is why JW needed to send out their employees to heaven knows how many million homes to disable the stop valves in the first place? Were they concerned that bored homeowners with nothing on the TV would go outside to the street and turn their stop valves on and off multiple times?

More questions spring to mind:

1. What if my stopcock needed attention, was itself leaking – how do I service it if I cannot turn off the water supply to it?

2. What if the section of pipe from their water meter to my stopcock on my property burst? No way to turn it off!

I am sure other readers can come up with many more questions.

Being a “gatvol” resident of this South Africa ridden with corruption, greed, theft and incompetency, I would suggest that actually the Save Water slogan is just a smokescreen. As long as I am paying for every drop of water that my meter says passed through it, JW are smiling.

So my tap is still dripping ! Sorry Cape Town, but I have tried.

Roelien Vorster

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