New Tshwane tariffs not enforceable - legal claim

Tshwane head administrator Mpho Nawa. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Tshwane head administrator Mpho Nawa. Picture: Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 25, 2020


Pretoria - Ratepayers may not be held accountable for failing to pay municipal services in line with new tariffs adopted by the City of Tshwane on July 1.

This was because Tshwane head administrator Mpho Nawa had no legislative authority to pass the metro’s 2020/21 budget, which saw tariff increases for refuse removal, electricity and water services.

The Tshwane Money Matters Caucus and Agricultural Landowners Association of Tshwane have brought a legal case to overturn the approval of the budget. They also charged that Nawa was also in the wrong for assuming legislative powers and adopting the City’s 2020 general valuation roll.

“The illegality of the budget and the valuation roll means that neither rates, nor tariffs of any nature, are payable to or can be recovered by the City from ratepayers from July 1, 2020, until the situation has been remedied. None of the accounts sent out by the City in terms of the current budget are enforceable,” said the applicants.

On August 21, they launched an urgent application in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to render null and void the City’s 2020/21 budget and its 2020 valuation roll.

“Section 139 of the Constitution does not bestow any legislative authority on the administrator. It limits the powers of the administrator to only the executive authority needed to keep the municipality going, and then only for a maximum period of 90 days by when an election for a new council should have had to be held,” they said.

“It appears the administrator had never been appointed at the times when he had acted. His appointment was only promulgated on May 21, 2020, retrospectively to March 23, 2020 - an act that is in and of itself unconstitutional and even if it was not, his 90-day period in office expired well before he adopted both the City’s budget and the valuation roll.”

The court challenge was launched despite that different stakeholders were afforded a chance to make inputs into the draft budget, which was published for a 30-day public consultation on the municipal website.

Nawa also asked residents to share views on the policy review by submitting comments or objections to the City’s valuation roll for the period July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2024.

Pretoria News

Related Topics:

tariffCity of Tshwane