South Africa: Municipality Sues Govt, Transnet For Rail Infrastructure Negligence – South African News Briefs – November 17, 2023


Govt, Transnet Sued Over Rail Infrastructure Negligence

The Umhlathuze Municipality in Richards Bay is taking the government and Transnet to court over the alleged failure to maintain rail infrastructure, which has resulted in severe congestion of trucks transporting cargo, particularly coal, to the port, reports SABC News. The municipality’s mayor,  Xolani Ngwezi,  has described the situation as a crisis and called for immediate action.  He has accused both the government and Transnet of failing to fulfil their obligations. “The problem has been ongoing for at least two to three years,” Ngwezi pointed out. “We have a tripartite agreement with the port, the Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), and the city, but it seems to be ineffective. The problem only exists in our budget.”

Students Seek Court Action for Matric Results Release After Cheating Scandal

Over 300 pupils are suing the Department of Basic Education for withholding their 2022 matric results after they were accused of cheating, reports News24. The students claim the department’s disciplinary process was unfair and unprocedural. They’ve taken legal action seeking the release of their withheld results, arguing that their futures are being unfairly compromised. The department nullified some results, offering a chance to rewrite exams, but the students want their original results reinstated. The court granted a postponement for the department to respond but imposed costs for the delay. This is the students’ second attempt in court after an earlier dismissal for lack of urgency. The case is scheduled to be heard at the Mbombela High Court in 2024.

Homeowners Forced to Sell Properties Due to Rising Interest Rates

The rate of homeowners selling properties within two years of purchase has surged, rising from 2% to 3.7% in a year, signifying an 80% increase, reports Moneyweb. This trend follows the decline in interest rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, with subsequent hikes causing mortgage repayment challenges. Lightstone, an agency that provides information, valuations, and market intelligence on properties in South Africa, notes a decrease in property purchases and bonds, indicating fewer buyers in the market. The distressed sales primarily affect lower-middle-class properties under financial pressure, showing a continuing trend of selling due to financial constraints.

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