Gautrain has threatened to interdict the City of Tshwane municipality after it cut off water and electricity in the Hatfield train station on Tuesday.
Last week, the City of Tshwane municipality embarked on an aggressive revenue collection campaign by disconnecting water and electricity to government departments, businesses and homeowners who have defaulted on their municipal accounts. On Tuesday, it disconnected services to buildings that house the South African Police Services (SAPS) headquarters and the South African Revenue Services (SRS) amongst others.
WHY IS GAUTRAIN HEADING TO COURT?
In a statement, Gautrain said on Monday, City of Tshwane officials cut off water supply to Hatfield Gautrain station claiming that the municipality was owed approximately R10 million for services.
“On Tuesday, the City cut off electricity supply to the station. Hatfield station has a prepaid electricity metre and the account is not only up to date but in credit to the value of approximately R120 000. The water account is also up to date.”
Gautrain said that they have been trying without success to contact the City to provide a statement of account.
“On Monday, the City shared a screen grab with us which reflected an account number that differs from the account number reflected on their notice to terminate services. The City has illegally cut off services to the station,”
“Given that the water and electricity accounts for the station are paid in full and are up to date, we are calling on the City to urgently reconnect water and electricity supply to Hatfield station and to avail itself to meet so that we can obtain a full statement of account rather than a screengrab. We will be approaching the court to urgently interdict the City to restore services to the station given its wrongful termination of services to Hatfield station.”
TSHWANE FACES LEGAL CHALLENGES OVER ITS CAMPAIGN
Tshwane MMC for Finance, Alderman Peter Sutton, said less than 1% of the court challenges brought against the City for abruptly disconnecting its debtors have been successful.
“The City anticipated that there would be pushback and we ensured that we have dedicated legal teams on standby,” said Sutton.
He said the Tshwane metro municipality has performed more than 420 disconnections over the last week as part of the campaign. “Less than 2% of those cases have been challenged in court and less than 1% have been successful against the City.”