Phase 4 residents threaten to stop paying rates

Uncollected rubbish is just one of the City's delivery failures. PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE
Uncollected rubbish is just one of the City's delivery failures. PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE

Angered by the city council’s failure to provide effective service delivery, Phase IV residents led by their councilllor Sergeant Kgosietsile, have threatened to boycott paying service levy.

The residents wrote a letter to the city council threatening legal action if their demands for better service delivery were not met by end of this month.

Should this matter end up in court, it would be the first time in the country that residents have taken council to court in demand of better services.

The letter was written through attorney Jerome Matomela who stated: “Take notice that clients (residents) will not continue paying service levies in the absence of provision for services by yourselves.

“The continual collection of rates by yourselves without providing the necessary service to the residents amounts to fraud as you are not entitled to such rates where you have not provided the services.”

The attorney advised council to resume providing necessary services to his clients failing which they would hold instructions to institute legal proceedings against the city council to compel it to discharge its duties to their clients.

“We advice that you treat this communication as the calendar month’s notice to institute legal proceedings against yourselves as per the law,” reads the letter.

It further states that in terms of the Township Act, the Gaborone city council is responsible for matters of health, order and good government of the city. The residents complain that city council does not provide services as collection of rubbish and maintenance of streetlights has stalled. It says the failure by the city council to provide services has negatively affected the residents of Phase 4 in that the failure to collect rubbish subjects the residents to stay in an environment which is polluted and consequently dangerous.

Their attorney stressed in the letter that his clients have a legitimate expectation that the city council provide them with the services complained of in particular the collection of rubbish and maintenance of streetlights.

“This expectation emanates from client’s contractual relationship with the city council, such contract arising from the yearly payment for services in the form of service levies and other such rates.”

The city clerk Mpho Mathe confirmed that they have been served with the letter.

“I personally have not seen the correspondence, but I understand the council has been served with it. We have not acted on it but we will,” Mathe promised.

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