Kouga – The Supreme Court of Appeal on 13 November 2023, heard the Appeal Application in the matter between Kouga Local Municipality and St Francis Bay (Ward 12) Concerned Residents’ Association & Others.

Kouga Municipality’s Successful SRA Appeal

On 1 December 2023 the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the Appeal. It further ordered that the order of the court a quo (High Court of South Africa – Eastern Cape Division, Gqeberha) is set aside and substituted with the following. ‘The application is dismissed with no order as to costs.
In 2018 Kouga Municipality, in terms of Section 22 of the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act No.6 of 2004, as amended (Rates Act), established a Special Ratings Area (SRA). To accommodate the establishment of an SRA the municipality amended its rates by-Law in line with the corresponding provisions of the Local Government. Municipal Systems Act No.32 of 2000 (as amended) and its Rates Policy.

Legal Validity Under Attack

The legal validity of the Rates By-law and Policy came under attack on the grounds of alleged inconsistency with the said section 22 of the Rates Act.
“This judgement came as a great relief to the municipality. The approved Kouga Rates By-law and Rates Policy prevailed against the strenuous judicial test and the ambiguity of the High Court Judgement was addressed adequately,” said Kouga Executive Mayor, Hattingh Bornman. “The municipality is elated about this outcome. We believe that the five-judge panel applied their minds to the facts, arguments and applicable legislation placed before them and came to a fair and just conclusion.”

Saving our main beach in St Francis

“It is further wonderful that the allegations around the abrogation of delegations could be rebutted successfully. We now look forward to the successful further implementation of the Special Ratings Area in St Francis Bay. More specifically the implementation of the approved projects under the SRA business plan. Saving our main beach in St Francis, the Spit and improving security are amongst the biggest priorities that will be focused on.”