A fed-up garage owner has taken the Tshwane City Council to court, claiming officials were constantly cutting off his electricity and then demanding cash payments to reconnect him.
Mohammed Ismail, who owns an independent filling station in Garsfontein in Pretoria, claimed in court papers city officials saw him as a “soft target” and were constantly cutting off his power for “selfish, self-centered and corrupt reasons”.
He obtained an order in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to stop the city from disconnecting his electricity supply or removing smart meters from his premises pending an application to force the municipality to provide proof that the meters were formally approved and the readings accorded with his account number, to conduct calibration tests and issue a new account.
Ismail said he never had problems with his municipal accounts until February 2013, when he received a “rather shocking” municipal account stating that the garage owed over R124 000.
The amount has since increased to over R1.9 million, with fines for alleged “electricity tampering”.