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Disconnection of Electricity

By Mike Loyd on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 at 10:26

If the trustees have disconnected the electricity to my unit for whatever reason, is this a criminal offence? Can I lay charges against them?

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RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Myburgh Brink replied on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 at 11:17

In terms of both the Rental Housing Act and the Electricity Act 41 of 1987 (§ 27(3) it is a criminal offence to disconnect the electricity supply.

Have look at this posting: electricity cut off on certain units ...Show More

RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Mike Loyd replied on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 at 12:31

Thanks Myburgh,

If it is a criminal offence, do I lay charges at a police station? What do I need to present to them/ what is the correct procedure to follow there?

RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Mike Power replied on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 at 12:29

Hi Mike, It is an offence, but I am not sure if you can lay criminal charges at the Police Staion or not.

If you are a tenant, as Myburgh suggests, you must complain to the Rental Housing Tribunal. (Make sure your rental payments are up to date before you do so). If you are an owner, then why has it been cut off?

RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Myburgh Brink replied on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 at 13:42

I have heard of someone in the same boat and when he went to the local police station he was told not to waste their time. So the only place I can think would be to report it your supplier, which would be either the municipality or Eskom.

This was a tenant. Eventually he went via the Housing Tribunal but on some technicality he apparently "lost" the case....Show More

RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Mike Loyd replied on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 at 18:16

What can I do in the meantime to force the trustees to reconnect the electricity supply?

RE: RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Thomas Groenewald replied on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 at 18:26

Enquire from the trustees why they disconected.
If you are a tenant, take it up with your land lord.
If you are an owner, keep in mind that the trustees are representatives of the body corporate -- all owners, including yourself.
What is the back ground that resulted in the electricity being cut off?

RE: RE: RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

John Yates replied on Sat, 25 Feb 2012 at 07:45

If you are an owner you could withold your monthly levy pending reconnection of your electricity. This would be in line with the High Court Precedent known as the Greenacres' Decision.

RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Myburgh Brink replied on Sat, 25 Feb 2012 at 12:43

Until now nothing has been said why the electricity has been disconnected – each story has two sides.

RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Mike Loyd replied on Thu, 01 Mar 2012 at 12:56

Sorry for taking so long to respond, I was away on business.
The background is as follows: I own a stand-alone room which forms part of my section. The trustees have deemed it 'unsuitable' for me to let out this room, and have resorted to disconnecting the electricity supply to this room. The intention being to inhibit me from letting it out.
Even if they have a legitimate reason such as security concerns, do they have the right, legal or otherwise to disconnect the electricity supply? Surely they need to follow correct procedure.
What action can I take to force the trustees to reconnect the electricity supply to the room?

RE: RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Mike Power replied on Thu, 01 Mar 2012 at 15:13

Hi Mike,

There are several questions now coming to light. It is not unusual for sections to consist of non-contiguous rooms, but according to your description, it seems that the area in question is a free standing room - that it is a storeroom....Show More

RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Julie Steffers replied on Sat, 25 Feb 2012 at 19:22

There's an interesting article in Paddocks Press April 2011 relating on disconnection of electricity. I would also know where can an owner lodge a complaint. Mike do you have an attorney? If you cannot afford one you may approach Legal Aid SA if you meet their means test.

RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Constant Laubscher replied on Sat, 25 Feb 2012 at 21:29

Hi Mike,It is still not clear why the elictricity has been cut but I am of the opinion that only Escom or the local authority can cut your electricity. Whether you are in the clear or not, approach an attorney to investigate the possibility of obtaining a spoliation order as that might bring some light into your life again. Regards, Constant.

RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Myburgh Brink replied on Thu, 01 Mar 2012 at 20:14

This seems to be a regular problem on STO. A solution is sought to a problem, but the "facts" given are slanted to get a certain answer as appears from this post. Now that, hopefully, ALL has been disclosed there are some more questions.

Is this "stand-alone room" part of the section's PQ on which the levy is calculated to cover the expenditure as per §37 (1) (a) or is this a EUA store-room, either i.t.o. §27 or §27A, which is allocated to the section and an additional contribution is levied i.t.o. §37 (1) (b)? If you intend letting it for residential purposes does it have sewerage facilities? What is the ventilation like? ...Show More

RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Mike Loyd replied on Fri, 16 Mar 2012 at 15:01

This stand-alone room is part of the section's PQ, not an EUA, and increases the levies that are calculated accordingly. It is a 'servants quarters', designated as such on the sectional plans, and built as such with all the required amenities (i.e. it is meant for human use).

Which brings me to my original question, to which I have so far not received a clear reply:
What action can I take to force the trustees to reconnect the electricity supply to the room (which was unlawfully disconnected by them)?

RE: RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

John Yates replied on Fri, 16 Mar 2012 at 16:13

As I suggested a while back- Withold your monthly levy payment until they reconnect the electricity. This would be in line with the High Court precedent set by the Greenacres decision.

RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Mike Loyd replied on Thu, 22 Mar 2012 at 11:08

Hi Myburgh,
You mentioned that it is a criminal offence to disconnect the electricity supply in terms of the Electricity Act 41 of 1987 (§ 27(3)). Is this still valid, as the entire Electricity Act 41, except section 5B, has been repealed by section 48(1) of the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006. Has the old § 27(3) been included in the Electricity Regulation Act 4 or any of the subsequent Amendments to it?


Regards,...Show More

RE: RE: Disconnection of Electricity

Mike Loyd replied on Fri, 23 Mar 2012 at 10:49

Another question:
In terms of the Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999, section 16(hA) states:
Any person who unlawfully locks out a tenant or shuts off the utilities to the rental housing property will be guilty of an offence.

How does one determine what type of offence it is, i.e. civil, criminal etc.?

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