City dou­ble bills for power

Su­per­mar­ket claims for elec­tric­ity over­pay­ments

The Witness - - NEWS - SHARIKA REGCHAND •­ sharika.regchand@wit­ness.co.za

SAVE­ Su­per­mar­ket­ in­ Bom­bayHeights­is­claim­ing­R1,14­mil­lion­fromM­sun­duzi­Municipality­for­elec­tric­i­ty­over­pay­ments­span­ning­seven­years.

The­case­came­be­fore­the­Pi­eter­mar­itzburg­high­court­yes­ter­day­for­judg­ment­to­be­granted­in­the­su­per­mar­ket’sfavour.­ How­ever,­ no­ or­der­ was­made­and­the­mat­ter­was­ad­journed.

The­su­per­mar­ket­is­lo­cated­at­TheSave­Truro­Plaza­Cen­tre.­Ac­cord­ing­tothe­claim­by­Save­Su­per­mar­ket,­there­are­ also­ var­i­ous­ other­ tenants­ there­and­the­municipality­sup­plies­elec­tric­ity­to­all­of­them.­Each­ten­ant­is­is­sued­with­sep­a­rate­monthly­in­voices­by­the­mu­nic­i­pal­ity.­Dur­ing­Jan­uary­2009­toAu­gust­ 2016,­ the­ municipality­ sent­monthly­ in­voices­ to­ the­ su­per­mar­ketin­which­it­was­charged­for­the­elec­tric­ity­used­by­the­other­tenants.

While­it­was­be­ing­billed­for­the­other­tenants’­elec­tric­ity­usage,­they­we­re­also­ be­ing­ billed.­ The­ mu­nic­i­pal­i­tythus­re­ceived­pay­ment­from­the­tenants­and­from­the­su­per­mar­ket.

The­claim­added­that­when­the­su­per­mar­ket­found­out­about­the­er­rorit­in­formed­the­municipality.­

The­municipality­con­ducted­an­in­ves­ti­ga­tionto­ de­ter­mine­ the­ ex­tent­that­the­su­per­mar­ket­was­over­charged.

It­then­pre­pared­a­sched­ule­set­tin­gout­its­cal­cu­la­tions­of­the­amount­the­su­per­mar­ket­had­over­paid,­which­is­the­fig­ure­be­ing­claimed.

By­ ef­fect­ing­ pay­ment­ of­ theamounts,­ the­ municipality­ was­ “en­riched”­and­the­su­per­mar­ket­“im­pov­er­ished”,­added­the­claim.

The­municipality­ini­tially­de­fend­edthe­ac­tion,­but­did­not­file­re­ply­ing­pa­pers.­How­ever,­a­let­ter­in­the­court­file­said­the­par­ties­were­now­try­ing­to­re­solve­the­mat­ter.

The­ case­ was­ ad­journed­ to­ May­ 9.

Dur­ing Jan­uary 2009 to Au­gust 2016, the municipality sent monthly in­voices to the su­per­mar­ket in which it was charged for the elec­tric­ity used by the other tenants.

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