Gautrain says bills are paid, threatens to interdict Tshwane for cutting water and lights
The Gautrain has called on the city of Tshwane to “urgently” reconnect the water and electricity supply to its Hatfield station after it was cut off amid claims that the company owed R10m.
“On Monday, without any prior notice, officials from the city of Tshwane cut off water supply to Hatfield Gautrain station, claiming that it was owed about R10m for services rendered to the station,” said Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager.
She said the municipality on Tuesday cut off electricity supply to the station.
The incident follows the stance the city took last week of embarking on an aggressive revenue-collection strategy, which included it naming and shaming some debtors on its social media accounts. City officials then went out to begin disconnecting services to some of the worst debtors.
According to Nayager, the Hatfield Gautrain station has a prepaid electricity meter and its account is not only up to date but is in fact in credit to the value of about R120,000. The water account is similarly up to date.
“We have been trying without success to contact the city to provide proof of the debt it claims it is owed. Last night [Monday], the city’s divisional head for revenue management shared a screengrab with us which reflects an account number that differs to the account number reflected on the notice to terminate services. The city has therefore illegally cut off services to the station,” said Nayager.
She said the screen grab Gautrain received from the municipality appeared to relate to rates and taxes.
“The properties upon which Gautrain stations are built have been acquired by the Gauteng provincial government as a public transport project and in terms of Section 11 of the Gauteng Transport Infrastructure Act of 2001 (the GTIA).
“The Gauteng provincial government proclaimed the necessary land rights to build and operate the Gautrain railway line over this property and therefore constitutes public transport infrastructure for the purposes of rates and taxes,” said Nayager.
“Given that the water and electricity accounts for the station are paid in full and are up to date, we are calling on the city to urgently reconnect the water and electricity supply to Hatfield station and to avail itself to meet so that we can obtain a full statement of account rather than a screengrab and have this matter settled as soon as possible.”
She said the company would be approaching the courts to urgently interdict the city and make it restore services.