Joburg By-law case postponed

On Monday 15 October 2018 the much awaited case between the South African Property Owners Association and others against City of Johannesburg was postponed to an undetermined future date. The postponement is as a result by a late amendment by SAPOA to their case and the court rules that the amendment must be served on the Minister of Co-Operative Governance And Traditional Affairs before the matter can proceed.

In May SAPOA launched an urgent court application to stop the promulgation and implementation of the 2018 advertising by-laws. This resulted in a court order that the by-laws will not be enforced until the case is heard.

After the amendment is served on the Minister a new court date will be allocated.

SAPOA’s main attack against the 2018 By-laws is that:

  • The public participation process was not in compliance with the law;
  • the City is commercially compromised and therefore lack the required impartiality to adjudicate applications fairly
  • that the by-laws imposes and unlawful tax on private properties for the display of advertisements as the City itself is exempted from such a tax.

The City’s defense is that:

  • The substance of the public participation process followed was sufficient;
  • The power to adjudicate applications and be commercially active is authorized by the Municipal Systems Act;
  • The tax imposed is reasonable under the circumstances.

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