Relief for Flamingo Court tenants in water bill battle

2015-09-04 21:08

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

Cape Town - Relief was on Friday granted to residents of Flamingo Court in South Durban who have been unable to afford to pay back debt owed to the eThekwini Municipality for unpaid water bills.

In a ruling in the Durban High Court, the local council was ordered to fit separate water meters to each unit in Flamingo Court, the Legal Resources Centre said in a statement.

Th municipality was further ordered to write off the outstanding water arrears in accordance with the municipality’s Debt Relief Policy.

The LRC represents the residents of Flamingo Court, which was built in 1968, and is home to some of Durban’s poorest communities, a spokesperson said. 

"The building was owned by the municipality and offered as low-cost rental accommodation to indigent persons, single parents and low income earners. 

"Between 1998 and 2002, the municipality converted the property into a sectional title scheme.

"However, the municipality did not undertake enough consultation with the residents regarding the levy charges, which many tenants are unable to afford. In addition, supply of water to the units was not individually metered."

The body corporate, the LRC said, failed to collect enough levies to pay the cost of water and the debt owed to the municipality has run into millions.

The body corporate is also unable to fund the cost of building maintenance, the LRC said. 

"The municipality took a decision in 2013 to disconnect the water supply to all units in the building if the arrears were not paid."

The municipality and the Flamingo Court residents on Friday only settled part of the matter, the LRC said.

"The municipality has been directed to write off a portion of the debt and install separate water meters. The court has also asked that oral evidence be presented at a later date on other issues. 

"The municipality’s conduct will be looked at and questioned as to whether they took all necessary steps to rehabilitate and restore Flamingo Court so as to bring it into a sustainable condition, prior to selling and transferring the sectional titles.

"The court will then have to decide whether the municipality’s conduct was valid and lawful in light of our Constitution."

According to the LRC, the court would also hear evidence on whether the municipality failed to adequately consult in relation to the implementation of the sectional title scheme. 

They would now proceed to approach the court to set down a date for oral evidence.

Read more on:    lrc  |  durban  |  local government  |  water

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.
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

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.