NEW OWNERS OF PROPERTY AND MUNICIPAL DEBTS OF PREVIOUS OWNERS
In the much reported landmark judgment, handed down by the Constitutional Court on 29 August 2017, clarity was finally obtained on the application of section 118(3) of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act (‘the Systems Act’). The Constitutional Court held that a municipality could not claim payment of old debts relating to a property from someone who became owner of the property after the debt was incurred.
Why was this thought to be possible in the first place, one may ask. To answer this, sections 118(1) and 118(3) of the Systems Act must be distinguished first.