The City of Johannesburg has spoken out against non paryment of services such as water and electricity

The City of Joburg has welcomed a court ruling ordering a landlord in the Johannesburg CBD to pay R800 000 in utilities.

According to the spokesperson for the city’s group finance Stan Maphologela, the owners of the building were not paying for water and electricity for a number of years.

City of Joburg non-payment  

Despite being cut of the owners would illegally connect the building.

“Since 2020, the landlords of Joubert Park Property which has a total of 79 units, had sought no less than five court orders, in desperation to try and stop the city from cutting off their services over non-payment of municipal services for many years.

Since 2015, despite continuing to consume water and electricity services, the Joubert Park Property had not paid the city for these services, except for a mere R2 000 in April 2023 for both water and electricity services,” Maphologela said.

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Maphologela said the court called out the culture of entitlement and ordered the Joubert Park Property to pay up the city for all municipal services consumed.

“The high court in the Gauteng division criticised the landlord of the Joubert Park Property for collecting rental money from its tenants but refusing to pay the City of Johannesburg for municipal services used.

“The court ordered the property to cough up R805 022 for services consumed and slapped them with legal costs,” Maphologela said.

Court condemns illegal connections

Maphologela said the judgement was delivered on 22 February.

He highlighted that the court condemned the illegal connection of services by the landlords of the Joubert Park Property who tried to use the courts for their illegalities.

“When in frustration the respondents [City of Johannesburg, City Power] terminate the services, there is a further urgent application or resort to self-help. There are principles I wish to articulate.

READ MORE: Billions owed to City Power as it ramps up revenue collection

“Firstly, our courts should not encourage illegality in any form. Self-help and resort by landlords to illegally reconnect services cannot be tolerated.

“Secondly, everybody, in particular, people, are entitled to basic rights but with that comes obligations… This cannot be interpreted and applied where a landlord collects rental including electricity and water charges but fails to pay the applicable levies imposed by authorities.

“Thirdly, our courts must be vigilant in ensuring that members of the public pay their dues,” Acting Judge N Cassim said in his judgement.


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