Chief superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the covers, found in Barney Simon Road, were the property of the City of Johannesburg.
“A 40-year-old Cameroonian national was arrested. Police also found three manhole cover frames and five more that belong to Telkom,” said Minnaar.
The estimated value of all the recovered goods was R65,000.
“It is growing trend we see here in the city. The city has even taken to replacing the lost or stolen metal covers with plastic ones.”
Minnaar said it was common for the covers to be melted and exported.
“The dealers melt the covers and sell the metal to people or companies outside South Africa.”