High court defends tenant's rights in a case between Ekurhuleni and Topbet

The high court in Johannesburg ruled in favour of Anzotrax, which trades as Topbet Germiston, in its legal battle with Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

The court ruled that municipalities may not cut off power to tenants who have utility accounts in their own names,in order to force landlords to pay outstanding rates bills.

CapeTalk's Africa Melane spoke to the attorney who represented the tenant - Anzotrax, Nicole Ross.

According to Ross, Anzotrax held a separate consumer account with Ekurhuleni Municipality and a lease agreement with the landlord.

The Municipality held both the tenant and the landlord responsible for the landlord's arrears in rates and taxes, which resulted in electricity being switched off.

The court found that this was unconstitutional and that you can never hold two separate consumers jointly liable for any outstanding financial arrangements

Nicole Ross, Attorney

In a nutshell, where you have two separate consumers, one of them having the account fully paid up, you cant penalise that consumer by terminating services to it because of the landlord having an outstanding in rates and taxes.

Nicole Ross, Attorney

Listen to the full conversation below:


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