Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
The urgent high court application by 23 Pilgrim’s Rest businesses was rolled over to tomorrow due to the fact that the senior council representing the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport has fallen ill. Parties to the matter agreed to the roll-over and the application is to be heard at the North Gauteng High Court at 11h30.
Despite this agreement, the DA is extremely pleased at the concessions made by the department in this matter, and is hopeful that the urgent application for an interim interdict preventing the eviction of businesses on July 31, will be granted.
In court papers submitted by the department, it indicates that the eviction notices of at least two businesses will be withdrawn, which are those of the Ponieskrantz Stables and more significantly, that of Mr Johnny Reinders of The Vine and Johnny’s Pub. Mr Reinders has been a resident of Pilgrim’s Rest for 42 years.
The withdrawal of these notices stems from the department’s admission that these were issued erroneously, and that tenants have valid lease agreements until 2014.
In addition, the department has admitted that several aspects of the tender processes can be looked at in the event of any review, should it be ordered, and that these cannot be looked at during the urgent application process.
Bearing the above in mind, the DA is extremely unhappy that MEC Dikeledi Mahlangu and her department insists on forging ahead with their opposition to the high court application, as the department’s concessions suggest that certain aspects of the tender and bid adjudication process may indeed be flawed. Why then would they continue to waste taxpayers’ money in their opposition?
The fight for the continued survival of Pilgrim’s Rest is far from over.