City of Joburg ‘unapologetic’ for Gautrain water cuts

(Supplied)
(Supplied)

An urgent application for a mandatory interdict forcing the City of Johannesburg to reconnect the water supply  to the Sandton Gautrain Station has been halted by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

This is as a result of the station's landlord, Cedar Park Properties, failing to pay R1m as security in case they lose the case against the City.

On Thursday, the City brought an application seeking security for costs against Cedar Park Properties. 

In a statement on Friday, Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said: "This followed the City discovering that Cedar Park's shareholder had filed papers to place Cedar Park under business rescue. This was in response to a creditor filing papers to liquidate Cedar Park.

"Given these developments, and the fact that Cedar Park has failed to pay its R8m debt to the City for property rates and services, the City was concerned that Cedar Park would be unable to cover the costs of this litigation."

As a result, the High Court has given Cedar Park 20 days to cough up the money, or else the City would be granted leave to apply for the dismissal of the case.

"The City remains confident it can win this case. We are unapologetic for cutting the water supply to the property on which the Sandton Gautrain Station is situated and the taps will remain off until Cedar Park settles their R8m account with the City," Mashaba said.

Mashaba added that "absurdly" the Gauteng provincial government and the Bombela Concession Company is also taking the City to court on October 1, "instead of assisting the City in ensuring that this debt is paid".

The provincial government seeks the exact same relief, which Mashaba says, "is wasting public money in unnecessary, duplicated litigation".

Mashaba added that it would be unethical for government to incur costs while providing free services.

On Thurday, Mashaba announced a forensic investigation into the apparently irregular sale of the Sandton Gautrain land to Cedar Park, in which Cedar Park had not made any bond repayments due to a suspensive clause in the development lease agreement.

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