City of Johannesburg to head to high court to defend city manager

JOBURG mayor Kabelo Gwamanda and Joburg City Manager Floyd Brink. | Itumeleng English Independent Newspapers

JOBURG mayor Kabelo Gwamanda and Joburg City Manager Floyd Brink. | Itumeleng English Independent Newspapers

Published May 2, 2024


AS THE City of Johannesburg plans to defend the 30-day imprisonment of City Manager Floyd Brink, mayor Kabelo Gwamanda has continued to defend the municipality’s major disconnection and revenue collection drive.

Speaking prior to the State of the City Address (Soca) by the mayor, the City’s Director of Communications, Mlimandlela Ndamase, said the City would be challenging the warrant of arrest issued against the Brink in court on Friday.

“We will be in the high court tomorrow where there will be a hearing with regard to that particular issue, but as things stand now, the city manager continues to function and he is exercising his duties as he has responsibilities to the over six million residents in this city.

“Quite frankly, part of the report and the account that will be given today is the kind of administrative stability that his appointment has brought to the city because once more, this government has displayed and assured residents that we will bring on board experienced, capable and skilled individuals who have the ability to manage a city as big as Johannesburg, and that is what Mr Brink is doing and the City is happy with his performance thus far,” Ndamase added.

Brink faces a 30-day imprisonment for being in contempt of court after the City failed to abide by a court order preventing it from disconnecting the water supply to a private property in the city.

The issue stems from a billing issue experienced by a resident in Stafford who took the City to court following a disconnection in August 2023.

The Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, ordered that the City should not disconnect the water supply to the applicant’s property pending the outcome of the application, However, the City did not abide by the order and as a result, were found to be in contempt of court.

Brink managed to dodge getting arrested at his Roodepoort home on April 19, when the Sheriff came knocking, only due to the warrant of arrest containing minor spelling errors, referring to Brink as Blink.

Following the debacle, the City came out to defend Brink’s actions and announced it had directed its legal team to protect its employees exercising the duties of their respective roles.

This was further cemented by Gwamanda’s Soca where he highlighted how it was important for all residents to recognise the significance of individual contributions to the collective well being of the city.

“Every rand paid to municipal services is an investment in the future of Johannesburg, a future characterised by resilience, prosperity and boundless opportunities.

“We cannot criticise or complain about services in the city and also be the first to default on our payments and acknowledgement of debt arrangements. We must pay and be exemplary in our commitment to pay for services,” he said.

Gwamanda explained that the City had adopted an intensive revenue collection enhancement initiative to assist them to recoup revenue lost to the City, while assisting ratepayers with their queries and disputes.

He added that in addition to this, the City had also taken a hard line against the scourge of illegality, “where defaulting ratepayers illegally reconnect themselves despite our actions to recover monies owed to the City“.

“This City has had to rebate its budget as a prudent response to the strained revenue base and as a responsible action to ensure we deliver our commitment while maintaining stringent fiscal discipline and governance.

“We are pleased to inform residents that their City remains financially stable and is committed to delivering on its mandate and promises. Our efforts centre around sustainability and we have achieved noteworthy progress,” he added.

The Star