Whistleblowers receive award
By Sonata Lee
28 May 2007
Four whistleblowers who alerted the City of Cape Town to an illegal water connection in Philippi were rewarded today by the city. Executive Mayor Helen Zille presented each of the four Capetonians with cheques for R2 000 during a brief ceremony.
“The city decided that it should reward them for coming forward and for taking a risk and exposing themselves to the kind of victimisation that whistleblowers sometimes get subjected to and we are very grateful to them,” said Robert MacDonald, the Mayor’s spokesperson. “This is part of a larger initiative that the city has put underway to try to combat theft of council property.”
The whistleblowers, who are farm workers in Philippi, alerted authorities of the illegal water connection on January 16 of this year. After launching an investigation, the city determined R2,2 million of water was stolen over a period of 31 months.
It’s alleged that two farmers illegally connected their water pipes to the City’s main water supply and used the stolen water to irrigate their garden, fill dams and sell the water to their labourers.
The city has set up a toll free number for whistleblowers to report water and copper cable. Whistleblowers may remain anonymous, 0800 222 771.