We at the NMBRA were criticised because we were not taking action sooner on behalf of our members and ratepayers in general. We addressed the reasons why during our last public meeting held on August 6th, where we explained that we were waiting specifically for the outcome of the Rademan case.
In that ruling, the withholding of rates (non-payment of rates) was deemed illegal and the municipality allowed to implement credit control measures as it sees fit. I would like to stress that our definition of withholding does NOT mean not paying your dues. The outcome of the Rademan case does not mean that that outcome is now law.
Our aim is for ratepayers to continue to pay their accounts, but to pay them into a trust account (details of which to be available soon). Once the ratepayers control the finances, they can force proper governance. We are now formulating a plan of action that allows us to apply pressure on the municipality in order to force proper and legal administration of municipal responsibilities.
It is imperative to add that in the Rademan case, the ConCourt also took cognisance of the fact that the consumer/ratepayers must have the right to recourse and that is why in the same judgement, the court ruled that a ratepayer does not have to pay for a service that they didn’t receive. We are receiving sound legal advice every step of the way. We have top attorneys working for us, ensuring that first and foremost, we do not put our members and ratepayers of this metro in harms way.
Therefore our action is 100% within the law that is there to protect us as ratepayers. It is important to note that in order for this action to be successful, total support from all the ratepayers is crucial. To date, we have received dispute forms for over 700 properties. Anyone who has concerns or questions is welcome to contact us for details on our action.
Ill-informed or incomplete opinions, serving to deprive the ratepayers of their rights as guaranteed under the constitution will be vigorously contested. The dispute form currently being distributed is intended to send the strongest message to ALL politicians that we will no longer tolerate mismanagement, corruption and/or political interference in the administration of this Metro. The NMB Ratepayers Association was established with a single agenda: To protect the interests of all ratepayers in this Metro-pole.
Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers Association
Editor – see: Not much chance for success from Rates Boycott for more information about the Rademan case.
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