Granny vs state: ratepayers can’t pick what they pay

2013-04-26 16:00

The Constitutional Court has denied a Kroonstad resident’s appeal to prevent the municipality from cutting off her power after she stopped paying rates in a protest against service delivery.

A resident could not pick and choose which components of their rates bill to pay, the court ruled today in a majority judgment written by Judge Raymond Zondo.

Olga Rademan, a member of the Moqhaka Ratepayers and Residents’ Association, declared a dispute with the Moqhaka municipality in June 2008.

She and other members withheld payment of their rates and taxes in protest against poor service delivery, but paid for electricity, water, and other services.

Read: Granny vs state in landmark battle

The municipality disconnected her electricity in August 2009.

Today, the court held that there was no conflict between the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA), the Municipality Systems Act, and by-laws, and that Rademan had failed to comply with the provisions of the systems act and by-laws.

After her electricity was disconnected, Rademan brought an application in the Kroonstad Magistrates’ Court, which ruled that the municipality was not entitled to disconnect her electricity.

The municipality appealed the ruling in the Bloemfontein High Court.

The municipality argued that residents had no right to pick the services for which they wanted to pay.

Rademan argued that, in terms of the ERA, the municipality was not entitled to cut electricity supply to her property.

The High Court overturned the lower court’s decision.

Rademan appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which dismissed the case and said a municipality had the option, under the systems act, of consolidating the accounts for various services.

This was intended to prevent residents from electing which municipal accounts they wished to pay.

She then took the matter to the Constitutional Court.

More on the case: ConCourt considers if taxpayers should pay for poor services ‘forever and ever’

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.