Many ratepayers and residents of Jeffreys Bay have ongoing disputes with the Kouga Municipality (KM) over issues such as property valuation, sewage removal, water quality, rates and services payments, and so on. In most cases the KM deals with these disputes in their own good time, or fails to deal with them at all, while the ratepayer keeps paying and waiting for a resolution of a sometimes urgent problem.
A widespread rates boycott would need the support of many thousands of residents, many of whom do not have a current, specific problem with KM. In addition, a widespread rates boycott would not solve specific problems, but would address governance in the km as a whole.
For these reasons, the Jeffreys Bay Residents Association (JBRA) is recommending that individual ratepayers and residents with a specific problem formally declare a dispute with the KM through legal channels. Once the dispute has been declared, the KM must formally respond to the dispute in writing through their legal department, and all disputed payments, levies and fines may be held in suspension until the resolution of the dispute. For example, if you believe that your assessed rates are too high, and you have good grounds for this belief, then payment of the rates in dispute may be suspended until the resolution of the dispute.
The JBRA has reached an agreement with Blignault & Vennote, a firm of attorneys in St Francis road, Jeffreys Bay, to formally file a letter of dispute with the KM on behalf of a JBRA member for the amount of R80. The resident will provide name and address and details of the dispute to the attorney, who will then draft and deliver a registered letter to the Kouga Municipal offices, and will keep the letter on file at the attorney’s offices. The dispute will also be logged on the Mobilitate website.
The R80 does not include further legal advice, or an assessment of the merits of the case. Any further legal costs relating to the dispute will be for the account of the resident raising the dispute.
The contact details for Blignault & Vennote are as follows:
Ernie Blignault BA.LLB.(Stell)
082 550 0391 042 293 2211
PO Box 1500