- The SANDF is facing a property rates crisis which it needs to satisfy if the lights are to be kept on at its Tshwane navy offices
- City officials embarked on a massive campaign, which saw power cuts effected at businesses and government offices, among others
- On social media, citizens who kept a close eye on the developments slammed the City for its seemingly ruthless, non-compassionate approach
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TSHWANE - An unpaid property rates bill running into nearly R3.2 million has spurred the City of Tshwane into action as it moved to cut off the electricity supply at the navy offices belonging to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on Wednesday.
Municipal officials arrived at the SANDF-leased building before confirming it was owed a total amount of R3 197 428.81. The City announced the move in a Twitter post, citing:
"When we say 'no fear, no favour', we mean it. We are at the SANDF Navy headquarters to cut [the] electricity."
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Due to R17 billion being owed by residents, businesses, the government and embassies, the City has undertaken a boisterous payment collection campaign, noting the massive debt was impacting on service delivery.
EWN reported that the luxurious Sheraton Hotel situated near the Union Buildings – faced with a bill of about R23 million – did not walk away unscathed as the electricity supply to the building was also cut off.
Several shopping centres formed part of the debtors being targeted on the day, not least the government-owned aerospace and military technology conglomerate Denel, which is reportedly needing to foot a R2.2 billion bill.
Netizens bash massive bill
Locals questioned the aggression and relative lack of concern shown by the City. Citizens criticised it for outing the SANDF, even likening it to running an expose of The Pentagon in the US.
@Katlego Matabane Kadjo wrote:
"Mxm. Stupid move. Why do we really like to embarrass ourselves and yet promote our neighbouring countries?"
@Mervin van Rooyen said:
"About time, if I failed to pay my R2000 for one month, what do they do, cut it off. Just because they are part of the government does not mean they have their own set of rules. Pay for the service, end of the story."
@Lukhs Mdledle added:
"But how those Soldiers do the Patrols in the dark cause it's the house of Cyril Ramaphosa or Mama Modise who's houses supposed to be in the dark as he is their Commanders who supposed to pay for that military base in Tshwane."
SANDF unable to protect its military bases
Elsewhere, Briefly News previously reported that SANDF personnel are not equipped to protect the national army's military bases.
This was the word from a commission that probed the length and breadth of the defence force ahead of making the damning findings. Further, on its list of findings, DFSC cited that there were no stringent access control measures in place at the military base in Tshwane.
It is likely the DFSC blamed the said lack of control of who moves in and out of the facilities on the incident in which about 500 army vehicles were reportedly torched at the military's Wallmansthal vehicle depot in September last year.
Source: Briefly News