Tshwane can disconnect electricity to centre

Published Apr 24, 2024


THE recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in favour of the City of Tshwane against a contested move to disconnect electricity at the Zambezi retail park centre, has been hailed as a victory that empowers the municipality to enforce its credit control by-laws.

The judgment overruled the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruling interdicting the City from implementing its credit by-laws and terminating the electricity supply to the centre.

Municipal spokesperson Lindela Mashigo, said: “The high court ruling refers to a case where a sectional title unit owner in the body corporate of Zambezi Retail Park approached the court after the City disconnected electricity supply to the Retail park in April 2022 due to the continuous failure by the body corporate to pay for services.”

The City lost the case in the high court, but appealed the ruling in the SCA where it succeeded.

Mashigo said he City argued against the high court order on the basis that it was, “incompetent because an owner of a sectional title unit in the body corporate of Zambezi retail park is not entitled in law to receive electricity in an individual capacity”.

The City also contended that the high court’s verdict, “impermissibly interfered with the constitutional obligation of the City to ensure the collection of revenue for services it provided”.

“The SCA upheld these arguments and found that the high court should not have granted the interdict. The SCA’s judgment confirms the obligation of customers to pay for services rendered and (that) failure to pay empowers the City to enforce its credit control by-laws. The SCA also confirmed that sectional title owners cannot hide behind a dysfunctional body corporate to compel the City to provide services to which sectional title owners will not ordinarily be entitled to,” he said.

Mashigo emphasised that the body corporate needed to ensure that their affairs were properly managed.

According to him, if the body corporate’s affairs were not well managed then sectional title unit owners “must take recourse against the body corporate in terms of the applicable laws governing the functioning of sectional titles in the country”.

Mashigo added, “The City is also calling on all customers, both business and residential, who are in arrears to settle their outstanding bills or make payment arrangements to settle as soon as possible.”

To initiate a payment arrangement, he said, a customer must pay 30-percent of the outstanding debt and pay monthly instalments of the remaining amount together with the current account due.

“The City of Tshwane would also like to commend those customers who settle their bills on time. Your commitment to fulfilling your financial obligations contributes to the overall well-being of our communities,”Mashigo said.

Pretoria News

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