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Cape Town|Electrical|Eskom|Power|Equipment|Plant Equipment
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Staufen Investments (Pty) Ltd v Minister of Public Works and Others (756/2017) [2018] ZAECPEHC 51

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Staufen Investments (Pty) Ltd v Minister of Public Works and Others (756/2017) [2018] ZAECPEHC 51

27th September 2018

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1. This is an application brought in terms of Rule 53 of the Uniform Rules of Court, to review and set aside a decision taken by the first respondent to expropriate certain rights over a portion of the applicant’s farm, Nooitgedacht (or, the farm), in favour of the second respondent (Eskom), and with regard to an existing electrical substation on the relevant portion. The expropriation decision constitutes administrative action. Accordingly the application is also brought in terms of section 6 of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 3 of 2000 (PAJA). The applicant relies on several grounds of review under PAJA.

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2. During November 2015 the applicant brought an application (the application for eviction) to terminate Eskom’s occupation of the electric substation area which is approximately one hectare of Nooitgedacht presently occupied by Eskom, and has been so occupied for the last two decades by Eskom. The applicant also sought orders directing Eskom to remove all plant equipment and material from the substation area and to rehabilitate such area to accord with surrounding vegetation and topography, as well as an order directing Eskom to remove all five outgoing high voltage power lines on Nooitgedacht and to rehabilitate the land traversed by these lines.

3. The application for eviction was premised on the applicant’s assertion, borne out to be correct, that Eskom’s occupation of the substation area was illegal (the applicant termed it ”unlawful”) in that no servitude in respect of its use of a portion of Nooitgedacht was ever registered in the offices of the third respondent (the Registrar of Deeds, Cape Town). Eskom opposed the application and filed a counter-application seeking relief to the effect that an existing, but unregistered deed of servitude be registered.

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