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Water remains cut at Sandton Gautrain Station: Judge puts a hold to Cedar Park’s urgent application
23 September 2019

Water remains disconnected at the Sandton Gautrain Station, following Judge Makume putting a hold to Cedar Park’s urgent application for a mandatory interdict forcing the City to reconnect the water supply.

This follows Cedar Park failing to provide R1m as security for costs, in the event that they lose the case.

Yesterday, the City of Johannesburg brought an application seeking security for costs. This followed the City discovering that Cedar Park’s shareholder had filed papers to place Cedar Park under business rescue. This was in response to a creditor filing papers to liquidate Cedar Park.

Given these developments, and the fact that Cedar Park has failed to pay its R8m debt to the City for property rates and services, the City was concerned that Cedar Park would be unable to cover the costs of this litigation.

Judge Makume has now given Cedar Park 20 days to provide the R1m security, failing which the City has been granted leave to apply for the dismissal of the case.

The City remains confident it can win this case. We are unapologetic for cutting the water supply to the property on which the Sandton Gautrain Station is situated and the taps will remain off until Cedar Park settles their R8m account with the City.

Absurdly, instead of assisting the City in ensuring that this debt is paid, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Bombela Concession Company is also taking the City to court on 1 October 2019 seeking the exact same relief. Such action is wasting public money in unnecessary, duplicated litigation.

The City cannot reconnect water to defaulting corporate customers who think they can bully the City into submission.

It is absurd and frankly unethical for a private company to expect government to incur costs while providing it with free services. This, while our residents are expected to fork out their hard-earned money on a monthly basis.

This type of activity may have been condoned under previous administrations in the City, but it will not be allowed under my watch.

With a growing debtor’s book, the City simply cannot afford to have its high consuming corporate customers fall behind on payments of municipal accounts.

Ultimately, failure to pay municipal debts negatively impacts service delivery which is budgeted for on revenue generation forecasts.

The City has also launched a full forensic investigation into what appears to be the irregular sale of this land to Cedar Park.

In dealing with the property’s billing issue, currently before the Johannesburg High Court, further damning information has come to light.

In 2009 the Joburg Property Company SOC Ltd (JPC) , on behalf of the City, entered into an agreement with Cedar Park whereby JPC sold the portion of land, where the Sandton Gautrain Station is situated, to Cedar Park for a purchase price of R280m.

However, the transfer of this land was only registered in the Deeds Office in 2013. A bond was simultaneously issued by the City, in favour of Cedar Park, for the full purchase price of R280m.

One must ask, why would the City ever finance the sale of its own land to a private company?

This is not only absurd but highly suspect.

To add to this, Cedar Park has not made one payment in terms of the bond repayments because of a suspensive clause included in the development lease agreement.

While this forensic investigation is underway, the City will consider its legal avenues to reverse what appears to be the irregular sale of this land at no benefit to the City whatsoever.

I will not rest until the City gets to the bottom of this apparent criminality and ensure that those who have elected to abuse public office and steal from our residents face the full might of the law.

Issued by:
Cllr Herman Mashaba
Executive Mayor
City of Joburg

For media queries, please contact:

Tony Taverna-Turisan
Director: Mayoral Communications
Landline: 011 407 7375
Mobile: 082 9209708
Email: tonyt@joburg.org.za


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