Pay your rates or else

A Kroonstad resident who was fed up with a lack of service delivery from the Moqhaka Municipality decided to withhold rates and levies payments while carrying on with payments for water and electricity bills.

The Moqhaka Residents Association supported the action taken.

Will we see more service delivery strikes in Jeffreys Bay. Photo: Hilton Crous

However, the Municipality then cut off the resident’s electricity supply despite the electricity bill being fully paid up and the matter subsequently landed up in the Supreme Court.

In the case Rademan v Moqhaka Municipality (173/11), the Supreme Court made the following judgement:

That section 102 of the Municipal Systems Act makes it clear that entwined in a municipality’s obligation to charge and receive payments for municipal services, it further has the option to consolidate the accounts for the various services it provides and thus the unilateral refusal by the ratepayers to pay for services which they enjoy cannot be condoned.

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The Supreme Court found further that there is no statutory instrument in existence requiring a municipality to obtain a court order prior to the discontinuation of its services and therefore the Court found in favour of the Municipality.

The judgement has far reaching affects on the residents of Jeffreys Bay, who have also been talking about a rates boycott due to a lack of service delivery in the Kouga.

It appears as if other methods of engaging the Municipality will have to be found in light of the Supreme Court judgement.