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CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1264
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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I forgot to pay a municipal bill for a vacant plot I have.

Customer Question

Hello, I forgot to pay a municipal bill for a vacant plot I have. Today when I got home there was a summons slotted in my gate. I realized my error and went and paid my dues to the municipality immediately. I paid a bit extra to make sure. So what should I do now?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I live in South Africa.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No. Literally got home, saw the letter and paid up my bill.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: Why do I need a lawyer if I paid my bill?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  Auxilium replied 2 months ago.

Good morning,

From what you have stated, it seems that the municipality already obtained judgement against you.

I would advise that you contact the attorney for the municipality asap, their contact details would appear on the summons or judgement.

inform the attorney that you paid all the arrears and supply him with proof thereof. Importantly give him copies and keep originals for your records.

ask him then for a letter from municipality confirming that the amount has been paid in order for you to obtain a rescission of the default judgement as this will be against your name at credit bureau.

Fell free to ask follow up questions for clarification.

Please remember to rate my service.


Expert:  CaseLaw replied 2 months ago.

Hi there,

While I agree with the general advice provided by my colleague above, I DISAGREE with his statement that "From what you have stated, it seems that the municipality already obtained judgement against you." I don't know how my colleague can say this because nothing that you've said above suggests that a default judgment was taken against you! There is accordingly no reason to apply for a default judgment, so please don't worry about that. Also, I disagree about the credit bureau and the fact that you will need to apply for a rescission of the judgment "already taken"......

The rest of the advice is correct. Phone the attorneys acting for the municipality and give them a copy of the proof of payment for your rates account. Tell them "that the judgment debt has been settled in full", and that you are "tendering to pay the party party legal charges for the issuing of the summons". It won't be more than about R700 in total. If it is much more than that ask for a "itemised bill of costs".

You should also confirm this all in writing so that if they try to take a default judgment against you, you can THEN apply for a rescission since you've got proof that you had settled the judgment debt.

If you wanted to cover your bases - which I think that you SHOULD - you should complete the "notice to defend" which appears on page 2 / 3 of the summons, and give a copy of that to the attorneys (with a letter saying that you've just covering your bases, but you've already paid) and ALSO a copy to the Magistrates Court where the summons was issued out of. They must stamp your copy and keep the original in the court file. You must then KEEP your copy as proof!

If my answer hasn't answered all of your questions, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - dont just rate my answer as "bad".

If my are HAPPY with my answer then please click one of the STAR ratings or the SMILEY FACES to rate my answer!

Good luck and best regards,


Expert:  CaseLaw replied 2 months ago.

Hi there again,

I see that you have NOT yet read my answer. Please can you come back and read it as I think that it answers your questions! If you are struggling to leave feedback, please let me know!

If you have a further question please ask it, or if you need clarity on the answer please let me know.

If you're happy that I've answered your question, please leave positive feedback for me.