Aida 203 Sandton ………

SANDTON - BANKRUPTCY?

SA's worst financial disaster could climax in mid-March, when the Supreme Court hands down its decision in the case in which a Big Business consortium headed by Liberty Life, Sanlam and Commercial Union, challenge the validity of the Sandton local government budget which saw rates soar, without negotiation, by 300%.

The consortium, representing an investment of R4,2 billion in the area, argues that the Budget presented by the Eastern Metropolitan Local Council (ex-Sandton) was not drawn up in accordance with statutory practices. Should the court decision go in favour of the consortium, EMLC would be required to pay back the difference between the old and the new rating.

This it is demonstrably not in a position to do, which effectively means bankruptcy: inability to pay staff, accounts and many other disasters. This is a major test case, which could have an immediate washover effect right across the country. All local governments, not to mention the central taxing authority, are under heavy stress as both taxpayers and ratepayers, Whites, Indians and Coloureds alike, join in the rising tide of payment revolt against what they see as punitive and discriminatory demands.

In the next APN we will again deal with the whole issue of municipal rates and national taxation, both of which in their present form do represent an absolute negation of democracy.

Cycad Web Works Sun Jan 21 11:41:46 EST 2018 : # 1 : last modified 8/4/97
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