High Court of SA: Eastern Cape Division
Case No: 3460/09
Applicant: Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality
Respondents: Mr. Nobumba N.O. (1st Respondent); Chief Magistrate, Port Elizabeth (2nd Respondent); Ian George Rockman (3rd Respondent)
Date: 05 November 2009
The applicant, a municipality, had instituted an action against the third respondent for due but unpaid rates and municipal service charges. When it applied for summary judgment, the first respondent, the magistrate hearing the matter, struck the matter from the roll on the basis that the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 applied and had not been complied with by the municipality. It brought an application to review and set aside the decision. It was held that: the Act did not apply to the claim for rates as a rate was a tax and the obligation to pay rates did not arise from a credit agreement; the municipality had not established that its agreement with the third respondent on which the claim for service charges was based was exempted by s 4(6)(b) of the Act from being a credit facility; and the claim for interest arose from statute and not from a credit agreement. The magistrate's order was reviewed and set aside and replaced with an order granting summary judgment in respect of the claim for rates, dismissing the application for summary judgment in respect of the claim for service charges and granting the third respondent leave to defend this claim.