My water meter was replaced, six hours after reporting the fault — no kidding

by David Biggs

We hear so many negative things about government departments at all levels these days that I feel strange to be writing a column in praise of official efficiency, but here goes.

Last week I cleared some overgrown weeds from the green verge alongside the road in front of my house.

To my mild surprise, I found a municipal water meter buried down there.

I don’t think the municipal meter reader had seen it because it had been hidden in a small jungle for more than 20 years.

In all that time the meter had become rusty and corroded and vaguely resembled an unwashed potato. And it leaked.

A steady drip had formed an extensive mud puddle beside the road.

I phoned our local municipal office and reported the leak and an efficient receptionist told me the matter would be attended to within 24 hours.

I didn’t believe her. Of course not. I was dealing with the government.

One assumes government employees lie.

That afternoon, less than six hours after reporting the matter, a large lorry arrived at my house and a team of four efficient workers disembarked, excavated several rotten copper pipes, replaced them, fitted a brand new water meter and were gone within an hour.

The following day I was chatting to a friend in Joburg and told him about my meter replacement. He didn’t believe me.

He said that in Gauteng problems like a leaky water meter took at least two weeks to be dealt with and then they probably required at least one follow-up call to find out what happened to the original call.

He said he thought my story was the muttering of a maniac and suggested rather nastily that he thought I had been at the Muscadel again.

But my story is true. I will show you the new meter if you don’t believe me.

Last Laugh

Donald Trump, and were on a round-the-world tour hoping to provide international peace.

As their aircraft circled the planet, Donald announced: “We are passing over America. I just touched the Statue of Liberty.”

A few hours later, announced: “We have just flown over London. I touched Buckingham Palace.”

Soon afterwards Cyril announced: “I believe we have just flown over South Africa.”

“How can you tell?” asked Boris, “Did you touch Table Mountain?”

“No,” said Cyril, “my watch has been stolen.”

* “Tavern of the Seas” is a daily column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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