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The city of Johannesburg says it has collected R8.2-million from various developers at the Waterfall Estate in Midrand whose water meters were not on the city’s billing system.

In a statement‚ the city said its Operation Buya Mthetho (‘Bring Back The Law’) collected this amount from various developers at the estate after they allegedly illegally connected water meters which were not procured through standard processes‚ stealing water from the city.

Operation Buya Mthetho is a multi-departmental operation aimed at enforcing by-laws. It targets properties across Johannesburg which are not paying for municipal services.

The city said it was clear that its officials assisted these developers in illegally obtaining water meters and connected them so that they could carry on with their developments.

“Working with law enforcement agencies we are confident that arrests will be made in the next few days‚” the city said in a statement.

The municipality said it supported various developments across the city leading to job creation and economic development.

“Unfortunately‚ some developers have found ways to engage in irregular practices which seek to circumvent due process and end with massive revenue leakages for the city. This practice amounts to the contravention of water and electricity supply by-laws and carries hefty fines for property owners and developers.”

The municipality said it loses between R5-billion and R8-billion annually due to revenue leakages and accounts being deleted off the billing system.

It said its Operation Buya Mthetho has collected about R408-million in revenue previously not billed by the city.

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