News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
30 Jan 2018
5:18 am

Council sued over sewage

Ilse de Lange

In February 2005, the association obtained a court order forcing Madibeng to build a sewerage treatment plant for Kosmos Ridge.

Photo: Supplied

The failure of the Madibeng municipality in North West to comply with a court order granted more than a decade ago to build a sewerage treatment plant for the Kosmos Ridge community has resulted in an order forcing them to compensate the residents for the extra costs they have borne.

Judge Hennie de Vos yesterday granted a default judgment against the municipality in the High Court in Pretoria, ordering it to pay over R870 000 damages to the Kosmos Ridge Homeowners’ Association, with interest dating back to May last year.

This is to cover the cost to the community of renting the sewerage treatment plant of the nearby Falcon View estate, the resultant higher electricity tariffs and repairs to the Falcon View plant and the Kosmos Ridge system caused by blockages and breakages because the plant was not designed to carry the additional load.

It will also pay for the removal of sewerage from the Falcon View plant and repairs to Falcon Ridge’s water reticulation system, which the community said would not have been necessary if the municipality had checked and certified the system.

In February 2005, the association obtained a court order forcing Madibeng to build a sewerage treatment plant for Kosmos Ridge.

They obtained a second court order in 2011, putting Madibeng on terms to erect the plant.

The municipality’s continued failure to do so resulted in the association in 2014 obtaining a court order for the payment of over R1 million for its additional costs.

The association’s Robert Staegemann said in court papers the use of the Falcon Ridge plant was their only option for the treatment and disposal of sewerage because daily removal of the sewerage by road was not an option.

He said the association had to establish an infrastructure and install screens and pumps to have the Kosmos Ridge sewerage treated at the Falcon View plant, which would not have been necessary if Madibeng had provided them with a plant of their own.

Apart from its contractual obligations and obvious health considerations, the close proximity of the Hartbeespoort Dam made it even more essential for the Falcon View plant, the pumps and pipeline to be maintained properly as spoilage of sewerage into the dam could have disastrous effects, he added.

He said all their efforts to meet municipal managers to discuss the problem had failed and they now intended to go ahead with contempt proceedings.

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