An almost three-week water cut at the Sandton Gautrain station is expected to come to an end after the City of Johannesburg reached an out-of-court settlement with operator Bombela Concession Company.
The water supply was cut off earlier in September after the Gautrain station’s landlord, Cedar Park Properties, failed to pay municipal rates since 2013.
According to Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, the property company failed to settle around R8m in debt that had accumulated in recent years.
As a result of the water cuts at the station in Sandton, a case was opened against the City by the Gauteng provincial government and Bombela Concession Company, Mashaba said in a statement.
“However, the City and the owners of the Gautrain have reached an out-of-court settlement that will result in the case being withdrawn.
“The City has agreed to provide the Sandton Gautrain station with its own water meter which will result in the City billing Gautrain directly for its water usage.
“The City has agreed to install this new meter within two days of the Bombela Concession Company paying the City R120 000 in respect of the aforementioned water connection and associated installation costs.”
Mashaba added the agreement with Gautrain would not affect the City’s case against Cedar Park, saying the City was interested in generating revenue from services such as water.
“The City remains confident it can win this case. We are unapologetic for cutting the water supply to the property and the taps will remain dry at the remainder of the property until Cedar Park settles its R8m debt with the City.”
“The City cannot reconnect water to defaulting corporate customers who think they can bully the City into submission.
“It is frankly unethical for a private company to expect the government to incur costs while providing it with free services. This, while our residents are expected to fork out their hard-earned money on a monthly basis.”
The mayor said with a growing debtor’s book, the City could not afford to have its high-consuming corporate customers fall behind on payments of municipal accounts.
“Ultimately, failure to pay municipal debts negatively impacts service delivery which is budgeted for on revenue generation forecasts,” Mashaba said.
“I will not rest until the City gets to the bottom of this apparent criminality and ensure that those who have elected to steal from our residents face the full might of the law.”