News and Notices
Who must prove that the water meter is not working?
Our courts recently had to address a similar set of facts in the case of Euphorbia (Pty) Ltd t/a Gallagher Estates v City of Johannesburg. In this case, the applicant (Gallagher Estates) was sued by the municipality for several million rand which the municipality alleged was owed to it as a result of water and sewage charges due and payable by Gallagher Estates to the municipality. Gallagher Estate’s response was that the charges that the municipality was seeking to recover were based on a faulty water meter and accordingly that these amounts were not lawfully owing.
One of the issues before the court was whether the duty of proving that the consumer was incorrectly billed lies on the consumer or whether proving that the consumer was correctly billed lies on the municipality.
In the case it was found that Gallagher Estates was legally not allowed to remove and test the meter because the legal entitlement was reserved for the municipality. Accordingly, because the applicant was not in the possession of all the information that it needed to prove that the meter was not functioning properly due to the fact that only the municipality was legally entitled to remove and test the meter, it would be unfair in law to burden the applicant with the responsibility of proving that the meter was not functioning as it would be much easier for the municipality to prove that the meter was working than for the consumer to prove that it was not.
From this case it can be deduced that in metering disputes with a municipality it is not the consumer’s responsibility to prove that the charges billed are wrong or based on a non-functioning meter. It is rather the municipality’s responsibility to first prove that the charges are correct and based on a functioning meter. If a consumer disputes the alleged consumption and lodges a query, the burden then rests on the municipality to investigate the issue, and the meter, if necessary to confirm whether the alleged amounts billed are correct.
In your case, we would advise lodging a formal query with the municipality to investigate the meter, and should the municipality not adhere to the request to through your attorney inform the municipality of their responsibility to do so as stipulated in the above case.
Phoenix Park after New Year’s Day – great disappointment to see how our local community park is disrespected, regardless of the bins provided
MEC MASHATILE ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF EMFULENI MUNICIPALITY MAYOR SIMON MOFOKENG AMID 'SEXUAL GROOMING' ALLEGATIONS
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE
ANC GAUTENG MEDIA STATEMENT
ATT: ALL NEWS EDITORS AND JOURNALISTS
DATE: MONDAY, 20, NOVEMBER 2017
MEC MASHATILE ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF EMFULENI MUNICIPALITY MAYOR SIMON MOFOKENG
The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and Human Settlements, Paul Mashatile, has accepted the resignation of Emfuleni Local Municipality Mayor Simon Mofokeng.
Mofokeng resigned as both a councillor and the mayor at the Emfuleni Local Municipality which is in Vaal/ Sedibeng region. He has been on special leave for the past three weeks and the municipality has had to appoint an acting mayor.
“We respect Mofokeng’s resignation. We thank him for the work he has done in improving the lives of people of Emfuleni,” he said.
Mashatile said that Mofokeng’s resignation is consistent with the principle of accountability and allowing government to focus on service delivery. This will allow the former mayor to focus on matters confronting him in dealing with the serious allegations facing him.
“COGTA will undertake the task of filling the gap created by the resignation of the Mayor. Any uncertainty in leadership may have an adverse effect on services delivery. Guided by relevant legislation, we will be able call on the municipality to elect a permanent Mayor,” said Mashatile.
Issued by the Gauteng Provincial Government.
For more information contact the Department of Human Settlements – DDG: Keith Khoza on 082 823 9672
DA Press Release
by Kingsol Chabalala MPL - DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Emfuleni North
Date: 20 November 2017
Type: Press Statement
The DA has been reliably informed that Simon Mofokeng, disgraced Emfuleni Local Municipality Mayor and ANC Sedibeng Regional Chair tendered his resignation today.
This is a victory for the residents of Emfuleni.
Mofokeng’s resignation can be seen as an admission of guilt, as he is alleged to have sexually groomed a 14-year old girl.
Emfuleni’s poorest communities have been hardest hit by the maladministration of Mofokeng for years as he ran the municipality into the ground.
Financial mismanagement and a breakdown in basic governance have been ongoing for many years, yet despite this the disgraced Mayor has been protected politically by the ANC.
We await the response from the ANC on his resignation.
The people of Emfuleni deserve a clean and functioning government that delivers services.
The people of Emfuleni have been waiting desperately for a well deserved new beginning.
The DA will monitor all procedures followed and put the name of our candidate forward, once council votes on the matter.
SAVE the VAAL is hosting a public meeting to discuss pollution issues in the Vaal River. The meeting will be chaired by the Hon. Justice Lötter Wepener
Date & Time: Saturday 25 November 2017 at 11:00
124 Kaalplaats Windsor Road, Parking at 122 Kaalplaats Windsor Road
Malcolm Plant (Chairman: SAVE the VAAL)
Mariette Liefferink – CEO: Federation for a Sustainable Environment
Prof Johann Tempelhoff – Professor – North West `University Water historian working in trans-disciplinary contexts
Jeremy Ridl – Environmental Law Specialist
RSVP if you are attending. Text or phone Megan
082-9072244 or 082-5705058
Ward Five residents decided to do something to clean up near the bus stop at Riverside Blvd. The operation was run by Devan Kruger, assisted by some of his friends and all of the R2500.00 donation received is being donated to Cancer research.
A worthy charity and just see what the group of workers achieved in three hours work.
Dear fellow birders,
The following activities are planned for October 2017:
1. Vaal Bird Club outreach: a practical introduction to bird identification
The Vaal Bird Club would like to invite you to a practical introduction to bird identification on Saturday 7 October 2017. This introduction will be held in the form of a guided visit to the Eco Park in Vaal Park (the Bongani Mabaso Eco Park), starting at 07h30 and ending at 10h00.
A guide, one of the club members, will accompany you in your/his vehicle or on foot, as you choose. You will spend about one to two hours spotting and identifying the birds occurring in the Eco Park and then everybody will assemble at the Eco Park lapa for feedback and a brief discussion on bird identification tips and tricks.
Participation is free of charge, but you need to register before Friday 6 October 2017. English and Afrikaans guides will be available and young and old can join, families are welcome. Bring a something to drink and a snack, a hat, a bird book and binoculars (if you have one).
Contact Rina de Klerk on 016 982 2730 to register or for further information.
The idea of the outreach is to attract future birders who in the past did not have the courage to participate in our activities, either because they feel that they do not know birds well enough or that they do not know anybody in the bird club.
2. Club meeting on Monday 9 October 2017
On Monday 9 October 2017 Johan Lotter will be giving a talk on "Kenia": Kenia, the country where the bird list consists of more that 1000 species, and where you find a Golden Pipit on nearly every branch.
Venue: Old Mutual Building Time: 19h00.
Heritage Weekend at Phoenix Park
Hi all SE2 residents,
The Shaka's Trail 'Gatvol' steering committee has contacted the Police Brigadier and Chief of Traffic about plans to stop unruly behaviour and drinking in public in our two parks.
They agree that early intervention is essential.
The Security companies have agreed to patrol the parks over this weekend and report problems to their control rooms who, in turn, will report to the authorities.
We residents must also be vigilant and report any instances of drinking in public, loud music, illegal parking and unruly behaviour as soon as it is spotted. Do not wait until the situation becomes out of hand and difficult to control.
Make the phone call.
The more residents who complain and report infringements the more response we will get.
Don't 'think' that someone else has or will report it, make the effort and repot it yourself!
With your help we can and will make the difference so we can enjoy Heritage Day' with our families.
Herewith the Problem reporting procedure for Phoenix Park and Shaka's Trail.
- Traffic Dept.
O16 422 3600.
Get call reference no, person spoken to and note time of call.
If no response within 20 minutes phone sector police.
016 910 9046/7
071 675 7244/5
Get reference no of call, who spoken to and time of call.
If no response within 20 minutes phone
074 230 8485. or
082 875 1887.
Make note of time of call and any resultant actions.
Please notify me by email of all phone calls made to the authorities and what happened so I can report back to Police and Traffic Chiefs on Tuesday @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am looking for sponsors to contribute to the wages of the two gardeners at the Park. If I get sponsorship I will ask them to work on Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings for two hours each to pick up litter and tidy up the park.
Please dig deep. They are doing a good job with the gardens and I want to encourage them to improve their standard of living and we will benefit with a clean and tidy park.
The Ward 5 Emfuleni Committee's bank account number is;
Branch code for eft’s 051001.
Please put your name and P.P as reference and email P o P to me.
Thanking you in advance and wishing you a quiet and uneventful weekend.
Ward Five Committee Member.
ATTENTION ALL RESIDENTS
After taking legal opinion, certain residents of SW5 decided that in order to tackle the problems experienced with the Municipality on an official basis, a non profit company [NPC] should be registered.
Under the guidance of PSN, a local firm of attorneys, an N.P.C. was registered under the name of SW5 ACTION GROUP NPC.
At a meeting between SW5 NPC, Afriforum, Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce and other interested parties it was decided to engage with the Municipality on three fronts.
- Afriforum to challenge the Municipality on the legality and constitutionality of some of their actions.
- SW5 Action Group and Proudly Three Rivers to form a joint effort to engage with the Municipalities on matters of concern.
- The Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce to engage with the Municipality as the voice of local business.
This process has now commenced and I attach the first update from Mr. Lourens Swart of PSN Attorneys on progress so far.
Please address any questions or queries to email@example.com. And NOT to Mr. Swart or PSN.
WARD 5 LETTER TO ELM
Emfuleni Local Council
Fixing of potholes in Ward 5
1. Purpose of this letter.
During a Special Council Meeting, held on 30 August 2019, I complained about the potholes in Ward 5. MMC Thulo then informed Council that the Department of Basic Services has a schedule for fixing potholes in specific suburbs. She motioned Bedworth Park as an example. She also mentioned that the Department of Basic Services is currently compiling a programme for the new financial year. The purpose of this letter is to make an official request to ELM, to include the fixing of the roads in Ward 5 on the planned schedule.
Ward 5 comprises 15.5 square km and includes SW5, SE5, SE2 and Sylviavale from R57, Mantevrede as bordered by Friedman Street to the West right up to the Vaal River Road on the South. The monthly service charges recovered from Ward 5 alone amounts to more than R10.3 million (R123 million per year). The official payment ratio based on May 2017 financial statements stands at 90%. It is therefore quite clear the actual cash contribution received from Ward 5 makes up a substantial part of ELM's income. The loyal taxpayers of the Ward are increasingly complaining about the fact that they see no return on the taxes paid by them. It seems as if though service delivery related problems reported repeatly to ELM, are simply ignored. The bad state of the roads in the area is but one of the aspects that requires urgent attention. Potholes increase and gets deeper by the day. These problems are taking on crisis proportions. As already mentioned the actual cash contribution received from Ward 5 makes up a substantial part of ELM's income. However we are fast approaching the stage, where taxpayers are going to revolt and use possible legal avenues of withholding their monthly payments to ELM. The fact that the collection rate has dropped by 7 percentage points from 97% to 90% from the same period in 2016 is a clear indication that something is wrong.
As a Councillor I do not support any proposal to withhold payment, but it is only natural that the public are fed up with and have lost all confidence in ELM. This situation cannot be allowed to go on.
The fixing of all the roads in the area will go a long way in restoring the faith of the taxpayers in the Ward. The Management Committee of the Ward 5 Branch is willing to assist the Department of Basic Services in the identification of the problematic roads in the ward.
We look forward to hearing from you in this regard.
Councillor Phillip Nothnagel
cc. Premier, David Makhura
Acting Municipal Manager, ELM
SW5 refuse collection
Refuse Collection by ELM is erratic due to financial problems within the Municipality. Please see below some private Refuse Removal Companies that can be contacted if residents are not able to wait for this service to resume.
Veronica 083 561 8796
Schalk 084 620 0104
Pieter 082 967 4048
Rommel Trommel: 072 439 1229
Eskom will cut power to municipal areas in arrears
SW5 refuse collection
Posted Tuesday, 04 April 2017 3:59 PM
Let me answer your query on behalf of the Ward Five Committee.
In response to the lack of refuse collection in Ward Five, Phillip met with the waste collection department and ascertained that broken trucks and a shortage of funds were the root cause of the problem.
The Council agreed that they would put their one serviceable truck into Ward Five last week to pick up as much of the refuse as possible. This was done.
This week we have been told, there is no refuse collection as the truck is working elsewhere and there are no guarantees as to when our next collection will be.
Discussions are taking place over the possibility of residents taking their refuse bags to a central point and the Municipality picking it up from there as and when they can. No promises as to when.
Ward Five Committee has an emergency meeting with Mr. Thinus Redlinghuys, Acting Manager, Environment and Planning tomorrow night at 18.30, when we must finalise a plan for the removal of refuse bags from Ward Five.
This decision will be relayed to the Residents of Ward Five by SMS, Website and emails to all addresses we have on our databases the following day.
The likelihood of normal services being resumed is not great, so we must do what we can ourselves to protect our own health and safety.
2017-2021 Draft IDP and Budget Public Participation Meeting to be held on 25 April 2017
Have just spoken to the Manager responsible for Refuse collection who advises me that, despite vehicle breakdowns [only four vehicles instead of six], he undertakes to remove the black bags in SW5 this coming Monday 24th April.
Please only put out your bags on Sunday or Monday so as not to attract scavengers and vermin.
I will communicate on future collections but the Holidays and a restriction on overtime makes it unlikely that bags will be collected the week of Monday 1st May.
Please plan accordingly.
High court rules private citizens can fix roads – then charge government for it
A 1 March 2017 High-court decision has set a new precedent that will allow for private citizens and bodies to perform basic service delivery functions with taxpayers’ money.
In the judgement, the Eastern Cape High Court ordered the provincial Roads Department to reimburse farmers who carry out maintenance themselves, subject to strict conditions including giving the department 30 days notice of the repairs and obtaining at least two independent quotes.
At the time of the judgement, president of Agri Eastern Cape, Douglas Steyn, noted that the ruling would likely to have far-reaching consequences around the country as other farmers and civil society groups will follow suit.
This was confirmed by civil group Afriforum, who noted that it has subsequently begun using similar legal means to provide basic service delivery functions around the country.
Speaking in the 12 March edition of the Rapport, head of AfriForum’s local governance division, Marcus Pawson, noted that it had not only been reimbursed for roads but other basic services such as the removal of trees, and the replacement of water pumps.
Pawson and Afriforum also announced plans to use the judgment to set precedent in other provincial jurisdictions so that people would not have to be reimbursed on a case by case basis but could then implement the fixes using specific legal guidelines.
If you would like to have clearly visible street markings as emphasised by SAP for emergency services, you can contact Annetjie, her brother and son to do this for you.
Moratorium on new developments in SW5 ext. 2
I would like to draw you attention to a synopsis of SW5 Linear Meeting held on 3 February 2017 at the German Club. The meeting was attended by more than a hundred people.
The Land Use Manager, Mr. Legotle Matopane and his team presented an SW5 ext. 2 Development Plan as it stands at the moment, which is a current situational analysis, with the idea of discussing it with the Residents, gaining valuable feedback and fine tuning it in the light of Residents’ input.
I quote from the Plan:
“The purpose of the study is to formulate the development plan with a view to protecting valuable residential enclaves and improve the quality of the natural and built environment.”
The approval of plans for the demolition of the old N.G.Kerk (cor. Frikkie Meyer and Verdi) and the building of the Spur food and Office Complex prompted Land Use Management [LUM] to propose a plan that will, in future, ensure the area retains its character in the light of ALL developments taking place.
In its objectives the LUM has stated that it will:
Curb any uncontrolled developments.
Protect valuable residential enclaves.
That Planning decisions should lead to appreciation NOT depreciation of the natural and built environment.
Various statistics were presented on land use categories, traffic flow, traffic counts on major streets, demographic composition, annual household income, employment levels, age groups and land use categories.
According to the Manager Land Use Management there are no plans to change the area. The aim is to preserve the peaceful residential nature of the area as far as possible. The information and inputs received from the public during the meeting will be incorporated into a SW5 Linear development plan by ELM. The concept plans will be submitted to the public before it is finalized and submitted to Council for approval. According to him the process should be finalized within six months.
The meeting was then opened for questions, which sparked a lively debate and questions on future developments in the area and the ability of the infrastructure (e.g. sewage, roads, electricity, etc.) to support these developments – to which the Land Use Manager applied in the negative. Illegal businesses were also discussed and the Land Use Manager advised that a new Bylaw Manager had been appointed and the problem would be addressed.
Residents asked for a moratorium to be placed on all new developments until the problems of inadequate services were addressed. The Land Use Manager agreed and undertook to present the request to the Municipal Manager. Mr Legotle Matopane agreed that such a moratorium notice will be presented to the community on or before 15 March 2017.
I discussed the fact, that a moratorium on all developments be put in place until such time as the new SW5 Linear Development Plan has been approved. The discussion took place just before the Special Council Meeting held on 28 February 2017. He declared himself willing to sign such an agreement. The MM proposed that we discuss the matter with you just after the Council Meeting. Due to the fact that the Speaker organized a meeting with a number of Ward Councillors straight after the council meeting, this did not happen.
Can I please ask you to attend to this matter as soon as possible. Honouring the agreement by Mr. Legotle Matopane will provide ELM with a lot of goodwill from the community in Ward 5.
I am sure you will agree with me that ELM needs all the positive support it can get from our loyal rate payers in Ward 5.
Ward 5 CLLR
Vaal Triangle eyed as Special Economic Zone
Posted on 13 February 2017 - Article and video from www.businesslive.co.za
Nampak CEO and chairman of the Manufacturing Circle Andre de Ruyter discusses moves to revitalise manufacturing in Gauteng by making the Vaal Triangle a Special Economic Zone.
De Ruyter says the region is at risk of becoming a rust belt.
"...If you rejuvenate the Vaal Triangle, which is on the doorstep of the biggest market in sub-Saharan Africa, Gauteng, it makes for good economics I think," says de Ruyter.
Watch the full interview with Business Day TV.
Posted on 13 February 2017
PUBLIC NOTICE CALLING FOR INSPECTION OF THE 2017/2019 GENERAL VALUATION ROLL AND LODGING OF OBJECTIONS – IMPLEMENTATION 1 JULY 2017
Notice is hereby given as required in terms of section 49(1)(a) & (c) of the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act, 2004 (Act No. 6 of 2004) as amended, hereinafter referred to as the “Act”, that the general valuation roll for the financial years 2017/2019 with implementation date 1 July 2017 is open for inspection during office hours (08H10 till 15H30) from 1 March to 31 May 2017 at the following locations:
Rates section Municipal offices in Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging rates hall, Municipal offices Sebokeng Zone 10. Residentia Municipal Offices, Rust ter Vaal, Bophelong, Roshnee and Sharpville Libraries.
The purpose of this notice is to advise property owners of the valuation placed on your property as at 1 July 2016 being the date of valuation in line with Section 31 of the Act.
An invitation is hereby made in terms os Section49(1)(a)(ii) of the Act that any owner of property or any other person who so desires should lodge an objection with the municipal manager in respect of any matter reflected in, or omitted from, the general valuation roll within the period stated above.
Attention is specifically drawn to the fact that in terms of Section52 (2) of the Act an objection must be in relation to a specific individual property and not against the valuation roll as such.
The prescribed form for lodging of an objection is obtainable during office hours (08H10 till 15H30) from 1 March 2017 to 31 May 2017 at the following locations:
Rates section Municipal offices in Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging rates hall, Municipal offices Sebokeng Zone 10. Residentia Municipal Offices, Rust ter Vaal, Bophelong, Roshnee and Sharpville Libraries.
In addition the valuation roll and objection form will also be available on Emfuleni Local Municipality’s website: www.emfuleni.gov.za
Correctly completed objection forms must be returned by hand or e-mail before 16H00 on 31 May 2017 to the following addresses before or on 31 May 2017:
Rates section, Municipal office, Vanderbijlpark (Ensure that the submission is receipted in writing by the municipality)
1. Owners who do not receive such letter must contact the officials as displayed in this notice.
- Kindly ensure that your objection is lodged within the prescribed period.
- Late objections will not be considered.
- Any person who cannot read or write can be contact or visit the officials as highlighted hereunder:
Machobane (016) 950 5178
Masooane (016) 950 5170
Posted on 23 January 2017
Use water wisely…..
Emfuleni Local Municipality has re-started with water rationing measures from today Monday, the 23rd January 2017 in an effort to save water. The municipality had initially stopped with the rationing of water in December 2016 because of number of operational factors and high demand of water during that period. In that process, the municipality did not meet the requirements or restrictions of 15% set by the national department of Water and sanitation.
The municipality (ELM) has no choice but to take this drastic step as voluntary water saving measures by residents have averaged a savings rate of about 9.5% a week, a far cry from the required 15%. Recent rains have significantly improved Vaal Dam water levels to 61%. However, the country generally, and the province in particular, needs good rainfall for an extended period to come out of the drought of recent years.
Water rationing measures will initially be implemented from 20h00 to 06h00 every night. This means that there will be no water during this period in the affected areas, especially in the high lying areas such as Evaton, Evaton North, Lakeside, Evaton West, Roshnee and Rustervaal, while the low lying areas such as Vanderbijlpark and its eastern part will experience a very low pressured water. During this period, the Vanderbijlpark areas will still receive little water because of the water stored in the reservoirs.
The municipality urges residents to continue adhering to water restrictions and implement water saving measures. Restrictions include no watering of gardens during the day, no use of hosepipes, and no filling of swimming pools. Water saving measures include fixing of leaking pipes, taking five minute showers instead of using a bathtub, using a cup to brush teeth. More water saving tips can be found on the Emfuleni website www.emfuleni.gov.za.
We all need to work together to ensure that every drop counts. Please report any water leakages or pipe bursts to the call centre on 016 986 8366 or 016 986 8300 alternatively contact customer care manager firstname.lastname@example.org. The municipality is improving measures to respond timeously to water loss in public areas.
Mr. Stanley Gaba
Acting Manager: Communications
Contact: 016 950 6481