News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
12 Jun 2017
6:01 am

Pretoria motorist takes city to court

Ilse de Lange

The court granted a punitive costs order against the city.

Picture: Thinkstock

A Pretoria motorist was so fed-up with the Tshwane municipality’s unwillingness to change his address that he obtained a court order forcing them to do so.

The High Court in Pretoria last week granted a court order to Jonathan Bouwer, 33, ordering the municipality to update his address and provide him with proof that it had been done.

In addition, the court also granted a punitive costs order against the city.

Bouwer’s woes began when he went to renew his vehicle licence at the post office in July last year, but was told that he could not do it because the address details he provided did not correlate with the address on their system.

He provided them with his lease agreement and the electricity account from the company from which he was renting as proof of residence, but was told he had to write down his previous address and that there might be outstanding fines, although they were unable to give him copies of the fines.

After trying three times to have his address changed and with his licence about to expire, Bouwer finally relented and filled in his previous address to get his licence.

He said he wanted to be a law-abiding citizen to receive infringement notices, if there were any, which was why he kept on trying to have his address amended, but without any success.

Even lawyers’ letters and several telephone calls had no effect, with the city simply saying they were giving attention to the matter or not responding at all.

He said the consequence was that he would be “blackmailed” to pay fines he was unaware of in order to have his licence renewed.

“I will suffer irreparable harm by not being allowed to renew my vehicle licence … as the respondents refuse to issue my vehicle licence on a claim that there are outstanding fines,” he said.


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