SA HC | Applicant forced to file urgent writ petition due to disregard of S. 102(2) of the Systems Act by Municipality

High Court of South Africa, Free State Division: This matter was brought before a Bench of Chesiwe, J. on an urgent basis where applicant owned flat’s water supply was cut down by respondent.

Applicant is the body corporate of Sectional Title Scheme known as Library Mansions. The applicant owned flat was a result of the previous transfer of units. Respondent i.e. Municipality had sent out accounts which showed that the Applicant owed rates and taxes in an amount of Rs 791,604.87. Applicant failed to pay the above amount stating that clearance certificate already issued to him. After which parties had various meetings and consultations to resolve the dispute where applicant made payments to respondent and spite of the payments, respondent proceeded to disconnect the water supply without any notice to the applicant. Court found that parties had agreed on certain issues and had drafted an order. Hence, the main issue before Court was with regard to the costs of this petition.

Court noticed that if respondent would have resolved the dispute rather than cut water supply the applicant did not have to file this urgent petition. Respondent was found to have disregarded the stipulation of Section 102 (2) of the Systems Act which requires that a dispute must relate to a specific amount claimed by the municipality. Applicant’s dispute was not yet properly identified.  Therefore, respondent was ordered to pay the cost of the petition to applicant. [Body Corporate Libray Mansions v. Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Case No. 2525 of 2018, decided on 29-11-2018]

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