South Africa: City of Johannesburg Won't Turn On Water At Sandton Gautrain Station Until Owners Pay R8 Million

23 September 2019

The City of Johannesburg is not prepared to entertain the Sandton Gautrain station's landlord, Cedar Park Properties, even in a court of law, until it pays R8m the City claims it owes, Mayor Herman Mashaba says.

Mashaba told News24 on Monday: "Be guaranteed, for as long as we don't get our R8m we will not reconnect unless the courts will ask otherwise.

"I wonder what courts will expect us to do that. If the courts say I must reconnect the Gautrain station, then what about our citizen[s] who are expected to pay for services. We will await the court judgment," he said.

Water supply at the station was cut off after failure to pay municipal rates since 2013.

An urgent application for a mandatory interdict forcing the City to reconnect the water supply to the station was halted by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg last Friday.

This was because Cedar Park Properties had failed to pay R1m as security in case they lose the legal battle against the City, News24 previously reported.

The company was given 20 days to come up with the money.

Mashaba said the City was prepared to accommodate the property company, but because it [the City] believed it had a strong case, it would seek an order to have the company pay the legal costs.

He added that he did not understand how the company was given the land which belonged to the City.

"I cannot understand how a company was given prime City land for free. I cannot understand what happened to that money. I can assure you that I, as the mayor, am in consultation with my lawyers to ensure that we can reverse that transaction," he said.

Mashaba said the City would also ensure that criminal charges were laid against officials who took a decision to donate the land to the company.

A full forensic investigation was under way into an apparent dodgy sale of the land where the Sandton Gautrain station is situated.

Mashaba said damning information had come to light during a billing issue with the property.

The issue stems from a 2009 agreement between Joburg Property Group, on behalf of the City, and Cedar Park.

Source: News24

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