In the case of Emalahleni Local Municipality v Lehlaka Property Development (Pty) Ltd, the Supreme Court of Appeal confirmed that Lehlaka, a private property owner, had no constitutional obligation to provide free electricity to unlawful occupiers on its properties. The court upheld Lehlaka’s right to terminate its consumer agreement with the municipality. The dispute arose when the municipality refused to accept Lehlaka’s termination notice. The court found that the unlawful occupiers had no legal claim in the termination dispute. It dismissed the appeal, asserting that the municipality had no administrative duty to provide electricity to the occupiers.
- Lehlaka, a private property owner, sought to terminate its consumer agreement with the municipality after unlawful occupiers utilized electricity on its properties.
- The municipality refused to accept the termination, leading to a legal dispute.
- The court ruled that unlawful occupiers had no legal right to free electricity from Lehlaka.
- The municipality’s refusal to accept the termination did not constitute administrative action under the law.
- The court dismissed the appeal, upholding Lehlaka’s right to terminate the contract with the municipality.