Copperheads Quick Action saves Macassar Sewage Plant from Shutdown | Western Cape Government


Copperheads Quick Action saves Macassar Sewage Plant from Shutdown

26 October 2009
The City of Cape Town's Waste Water Treatment Plant in Macassar could have been put out of action for as long as three months had it not been for good detective work by the City's Metal Theft Unit, known as the Copperheads.

Thieves stole mesh covers, checker plates (that cover drains), mesh walkways, galvanised guard railings and an incline conveyer cover and lining (alone worth R30 000) from the plant. The conveyer cover and lining were specifically designed by a company in Johannesburg and replacement could have taken up to three months, leaving the plant dysfunctional for that time.

"When the Copperheads were alerted to the theft they immediately questioned all the scrap metal dealers in the vicinity and one revealed that he had bought metal components from the plant without being aware of their origin," said Neil Arendse, Media Spokesperson for Specialised Law Enforcement Services. "He provided details of the sellers but, before these leads could be followed up, the suspects returned with more items stolen from the plant and were arrested."

"The critical item that could have taken three months to replace was the conveyor cover for the sludge dewatering plant. The recovered items, including the conveyor cover, were inspected by the Plant Manager and found to be undamaged. They were re-installed and the plant started functioning again from noon today (Tuesday 27 October)."

"The two men, who live in Macassar, are known to the workers at the plant. They are expected to appear in the Somerset West court shortly," Arendse said.

Issued by:
Communication Department
City of Cape Town

Media Enquiries: 

Neil Arendse
Tel: 021 900 4021
Cell: 078 472 5903