Sakeliga wins court case over municipal levies, taxes

Henry

Sakeliga won another court case, this time to protect towns’ business people and residents from unlawful and unaffordable municipal collection practices.

The court order prohibits an external company, Ideal Prepaid (Pty) Ltd from collecting local levies and taxes in terms of an illegal agreement concluded between it and Kgetlengrivier local municipality (Koster, Swartruggens) in North West. The court also orders Kgetleng River to only collect fees for municipal services, levies, and taxes after they have delivered the necessary tax invoices to residents and taxpayers.

Sakeliga and local businessmen brought the court case to prevent damage after the municipality unlawfully decided to further appoint Ideal Prepaid, a service provider that already managed the sale of electricity in the town, to introduce charges and taxes on behalf of the municipality. progress. However, the illegal collections would be made without proper invoices against unaffordable commission on municipal taxes and paid into private bank accounts without proper supervision.

Pursuant to the Mahikeng High Court’s order, Kgetleng River’s decision to extend their then already existing agreement with Ideal Prepaid to also include the collection of municipal service fees and taxes is declared unlawful and set aside.

This court order does not relate to the separate agreements between Ideal Prepaid and Kgetleng River regarding the provision of prepaid electricity services.

Costs were granted for Sakeliga.

“In effect, the court has now made permanent the interim order that Sakeliga obtained shortly after the municipality’s initial decision, which means that none of the municipality’s intended unlawful collections ever took place,” says Piet le Roux, CEO of Business League

“Thanks to the court order, business people and residents of Koster, Swartruggens, and the greater Kgetleng River area can now put this episode behind them and pay attention to other problems. State decay continues to be a serious and continuous source of risk and damage in the towns of Kgetleng River.”

According to Le Roux, the business people of other towns in South Africa also benefit from the court order, because it upholds principles to prevent similar unlawful recoveries of municipal fees.

Sakeliga is in favor of solutions to municipal decay that make use of the discipline of the private and civil sectors, but for this to succeed the solutions must be implemented in a proper, transparent and fair way.

“The latest court order now brings finality and clarity, after preliminary success was already achieved in November 2019 with an interim interdict in favor of Sakeliga and the business people who participated as co-applicants. Repeated illegality, contempt of court, failure, and other harmful actions on the part of the municipality, however, delayed the case for four and a half years.”