Kobus Pieters, owner of the abattoir, said he would not stand idle and let the electricity interruption impact his business, Witbank News reported.
In a letter from his lawyers, Pieters said the abattoir could not conduct the slaughter of animals and cooling or freezing of meat without water and electricity. “You are hereby reminded of your constitutional obligations to see to service delivery to residents and businesses within your area of jurisdiction, and in addition you are reminded of your contractual obligations to those residents and businesses who are paying for those services, in particular those who have prepaid for their electricity,” an extract from the letter read.
Pieters obtained a court order in the High Court during 2010, compelling the municipality to always make sure they supply water to the abattoir even when there is water interruption. The municipality said they were continuing with the implementation of a prolonged strategy to normalise electricity utilisation and payments.
Acting municipal manager Theo van Vuuren said the municipality was aware of the fact that the abattoir could not conduct the slaughter of animals and cooling or freezing of meat without the uninterrupted supply of water and electricity. However, the municipality’s electricity bylaws the municipality shall not be liable to any loss or damage, direct or consequentially suffered by a consumer, as a result of an interruption or discontinuation of the supply of electricity.
In April, Pieters said: “I have a basic right to water and electricity, and therefore I can force them to provide me with my basic services. “I am not just taking legal steps as an individual but as a member of this community. This planned electricity interruption and loadshedding is taking its toll on business and also households.”
After Eskom’s threat to interrupt electricity supply, Pieters said he would be spending R8 million on sun panels and R800 000 on a generator to run the abattoir efficiently. Pieters said Eskom, the minister or the municipality must foot the bill.
– Caxton News Service