Gauteng High Court Interdicts Johannesburg from Disconnecting Resident's Utilities After 7-Year Billing Dispute

Johannesburg resident wins 7-year battle against city over exorbitant utility bills, highlighting systemic billing issues. Court orders city to resolve discrepancies and ensure fair charges for all.

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Israel Ojoko
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Gauteng High Court Interdicts Johannesburg from Disconnecting Resident's Utilities After 7-Year Billing Dispute

Gauteng High Court Interdicts Johannesburg from Disconnecting Resident's Utilities After 7-Year Billing Dispute

The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has ordered the City of Johannesburg to refrain from disconnecting the water and electricity services of resident Sharise Ackerman, who has been involved in a 7-year dispute over unreasonably high utility bills. The court's decision comes as a relief to Ackerman, who has been challenging the city over suspected errors in meter readings and excessive charges.

Despite paying over R844,000 for utilities between January 2019 and August 2022, Ackerman continued to receive bills that she disputed as inaccurate. The court has now given the parties 30 days to resolve the billing discrepancies, stressing the need for accurate accounting and reasonable charges.

Why this matters: This case highlights systemic issues within the City of Johannesburg's billing system, which Ackerman's attorney describes as a widespread problem leading to substantial legal fees for residents. The court's ruling emphasizes the importance of addressing billing inaccuracies and ensuring fair utility charges for all residents.

Ackerman's legal battle with the city has been a long and frustrating one. "I have been fighting this for seven years now," she said. "It's been a nightmare trying to get the city to acknowledge their errors and correct my bills."

The Gauteng High Court's decision to interdict the city from disconnecting Ackerman's services is a notable victory for the resident. It also puts pressure on the city to address the broader issues with its billing system and ensure that other residents are not subjected to similar ordeals.

Key Takeaways

  • Gauteng High Court ordered Johannesburg to not disconnect Ackerman's utilities.
  • Ackerman paid over R844,000 for utilities but disputed inaccurate bills.
  • Court gave parties 30 days to resolve billing discrepancies and ensure fair charges.
  • Case highlights systemic issues in Johannesburg's billing system, a widespread problem.
  • Court's ruling is a notable victory for Ackerman and puts pressure on the city.