Concourt considers historical debt

WITH judgement reserved, the New Ventures Consulting team will have to wait for confirmation from the Constitutional Court that it is unlawful for municipalities to hold new property owners liable for previous owners’ and tenants’ debts.

This week the Constitutional Court of South Africa heard all the parties’ arguments regarding historical debts on property. New Ventures, which specialises in municipal debt, has been the driving force in this landmark court case.

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“Our legal team, led by our two senior advocates, David Unterhalter and Linda Putter, was excellent in its submissions and our contentions were well founded,” said New Ventures managing director Peter Livanos.

The matter had been heard by a full panel of 11 judges and 18 advocates had represented the various parties, he added.

“The Banking Forum of South Africa most notably, makes no secret of how their security and ability to finance loans will be affected by this decision,” said Mr Livanos.

He said New Ventures had carried the entire legal battle on behalf of its clients since 2013 at its own risk and cost. Its services had included an indemnity of protection to its clients when it had challenged and reduced municipal claims.

“The entire country will be affected by the outcome of this case. Municipalities and ordinary ratepayers will now know their rights,” he said, adding that municipalities potentially faced the risk of having to refund innocent purchasers and banks billions of rand because they had forced innocent parties to pay previous owners’ debts. He hoped this would now come to an end.


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Judi Davis

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