Named and shamed: Tshwane cuts power to SARS, SAPS and Gautrain station over 'non-payment' of bills

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The City of Tshwane of Tuesday cut power supply to SARS.
The City of Tshwane of Tuesday cut power supply to SARS.
PHOTO: City of Tshwane

The City of Tshwane on Tuesday cut the power supply to the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the SA Police Service (SAPS) headquarters, and the Gautrain station in Hatfield.

The City said Gautrain owed R10 million and had last paid its account in 2020.

The City said Mendo Properties, which is the landlord at the SAPS headquarters, owed R5.1 million.

It was, however, still unclear how much SARS owed the City.

READ | UP calls Tshwane's attempts to cut power over unpaid bills 'political grandstanding'

"SARS is the tenant, we are owed by the landlord," the City clarified.

The City of Tshwane also disconnected the National Emergent Red Meat Producers' Organisation for a meter that was tampered with. A penalty fee of R621 000 was added to the amount owed.

It said the Independent Development Trust owed R8 million, and had paid R4.3 million before being disconnected on Tuesday morning.

Bloed Street Mall was also disconnected; it allegedly owed R1.2 million.

The MMC for Finance, Peter Sutton, said that in the last week, 420 disconnections of businesses had taken place. It was part of the City's #TshwaneYaTima campaign to get their "credit control actions in line".

"Less than 2% of those cases have been challenged in court and less than 1% of those cases have been successful against the City.

"It is not true that all those cases are being challenged in court. We do take a lot of care in the evenings to go through those accounts to deal with them, but I think it is very important to know that, when you have a dispute on a service item on the account, it is for that item only and not the entire account.

READ | Court orders City of Tshwane to restore power to Club Crossing mall which allegedly owes millions

"What we often find is people will declare dispute on, for instance, their electricity or water consumption or usage on the bill, and then they will stop paying the bill in [entirety].

"The law does state clearly that the item that is in dispute, all other services must still be paid for. So, in fact, a lot of those credit control actions is not relating to the actual dispute of that account, but for other services of that account not in dispute and not being paid for that we take the credit control action."


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