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By Roy Cokayne

Moneyweb: Freelance journalist

Gautrain resolves ‘wrongly terminated’ water, electricity dispute with City of Tshwane

Hatfield Gautrain operators claim their electricity and water was not in arrears, and was wrongly terminated.

The operators of the Gautrain appear to have resolved their dispute with the City of Tshwane over the disconnection of water and electricity services at the Hatfield Gautrain Station after these services were allegedly wrongly terminated by the municipality.

Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager said on Wednesday the City of Tshwane claimed that the electricity and water account for the station was in arrears and it therefore cut off services to the station.

Nayager said the city terminated these services despite being given proof that these accounts were not only up to date but in credit.

Wrong account

She said the city indicated on Tuesday night that it was a rates account that was in arrears.

“As the operator of the Gautrain, we have not received any statement of account from the City for rates and we have not made any payment in this regard,” she said.

“This afternoon [Wednesday] we were informed by the City that it had been invoicing the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) for the rates and that the DID has now made the outstanding payment for the rates.”

Nayager said the station’s water and electricity had not been reconnected as yet but the city said they would be as soon as possible.

The operators of the Gautrain indicated on Tuesday they would approach the high court for an urgent interdict to force the city to restore these services because they were wrongly terminated by the municipality.

Nayager said on Wednesday that in light of the latest developments they have not proceeded with the legal process.

Attempts to obtain comment from the City of Tshwane were unsuccessful.

R17bn municipal services debt

The disconnection of services to the station follows the City of Tshwane late last week announcing that senior officials, led by the acting city manager, had embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented revenue-collection campaign by disconnecting services to customers whose accounts have been in arrears for more than three months.

The city said its debtor’s book, mainly from government departments, embassies, businesses, residential customers and entities that do not pay for municipal services, currently stands at over R17 billion.

The Gautrain is operated by the Bombela Concession Company, the special purpose vehicle established for the design, partial financing, delivery, operation and maintenance of the Gautrain. 

JSE-listed multinational engineering and construction company Murray & Roberts has a 50% shareholding in the BCC.

By Roy Cokayne

This article first appeared on Moneyweb and was republished with permission. Read the original article here.

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