ConCourt to hear rates dispute

2013-02-05 11:38
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court will hear a case on Tuesday involving a woman who had her lights cut off because she refused to pay her rates on the grounds that her municipality was not delivering services.

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

Rademan and other members of the association withheld payment of property rates from the municipality in protest against poor service delivery.

She was paid up for the electricity and water portion of her bill, but the municipality disconnected her electricity in August 2009 because she would not pay the rates and taxes on the property.

Rademan brought an application in the Kroonstad Magistrate's Court, which ruled the municipality was not entitled to disconnect her electricity.

The municipality appealed the ruling in the Free State High Court. It argued it was entitled to disconnect electricity when a ratepayer failed to pay for the provision of any service in terms of the Credit Control and Debt Collection By-Laws.

Supreme Court of Appeal

This legislation and the Local Government: Municipality Systems Act showed the municipality had done nothing wrong because it was entitled to do so even if the actual service terminated was paid.

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

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

The high court overturned the lower court's decision.

Rademan then appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). It dismissed the case and said a municipality had the option, under the Systems Act, of consolidating the accounts for various services.

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

The Constitutional Court will hear argument on whether there is a conflict between the ERA and the Systems Act, and whether the ERA should prevail.

The municipality contends there is no conflict and that the Systems Act should prevail.

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.
Read more on:    constitutional court  |  bloemfontein  |  electricity  |  service delivery
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Habana believes in younger Boks
All Blacks ready for a 'hell of a battle'
Barnes to ref Boks, Wales clash
Brave Blossoms: 'Sport heroes of Japan'

Your incisive and innovative mind is on fire. You may be keen to explore new avenues that can help to inspire you. You more

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.