Electricity SupplyAdministrative law - municipality - supply of electricity


In Rademann v Moqhaka Local Municipality and Others [2012] JOL 28591 (SCA), the Supreme Court of Appeal dealt with the question of whether a municipality may cut off the supply of electricity to a property in the event that the owner fails or refuses to pay property rates.

A Kroonstad resident, Ms Rademann, refused to pay rates because of her dissatisfaction with service delivery by the Municipality. She was a member of a ratepayers’ association whose members had decided upon the same course of action. Ms Rademann continued to pay for electricity and other services. After providing written notice, the Municipality disconnected the electricity supply to her property.


The High Court held that the Municipality did not require a court order before disconnecting the supply. Furthermore, the Municipality could indeed cut off the supply even when a consumer’s arrears were not in respect of electricity.

On appeal, the SCA expressed its strong disapproval of the withholding of payment for rates and municipal services. It dismissed the appeal, confirming that the Municipality did not need a court order to disconnect the electricity supply to a consumer who had entered into a supply agreement with the Municipality.

On appeal to the Constitutional Court, it was again confirmed that the Municipality could cut off the supply even when a consumer’s rates (not electricity) account was in arrears. No court order was required where a supply agreement existed. However, the Constitutional Court observed that a municipality is only entitled to claim payment for a service that it has actually rendered. There is no obligation on a consumer to pay the municipality for a service that has not been rendered.

The appeal was dismissed.

our services

Commercial Law

The firm advises businesses on how to work effectively in a financial environment that is heavily regulated. We help businesses to deal with the many requirements of the law.

read more
Public Law

We advise public entities on how to manage the obligations arising from public law. The firm helps clients within the public sector to meet the demands of a complex legal framework.

read more

Conveyancing and general property advice, legal assistance in land matters, agricultural and rural development, evictions, expropriations, land disputes

read more
Labour Law

The firm advises on all aspects of labour law, including interpreting and applying legislation, to preparing and implementing employment contracts, to court proceedings and more.

read more

Estate planning and administration of estates, preparation of wills, structuring and registration of trusts, advice on tax implications, winding up of estates.

read more
Further Services

We offer an array of services, that include Company Secretarial services, Family Law services and Litigation services.

read more