Buffalo City Metro has suffered another temporary setback after the Eastern Cape High Court (East London) ordered it to reconnect the electricity of residents it had cut off.

Daily Dispatch report says three residents teamed up with National Community Dialogues, an NGO, to take the city to court after the city allegedly failed to give them notice before disconnecting them.

The court on Friday gave the city four hours to reconnect the residents’ electricity.

The order of the court is, however, temporary and it is due to make a final decision on the matter in December. The court ruled that the ‘termination/blockage of electricity supply ... is hereby declared unlawful’.

‘The respondents (BCM) are directed to reconnect the electricity supply to the applicants’ premises forthwith four hours after service of the court order at the offices of the first and respondent (BCM and the BCM municipal manager).

‘The respondents are interdicted and restrained from charging the applicant a reconnection fee as a result of the unlawful disconnection/blockage of electricity supply,’ the ruling reads.

The report adds BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya slammed the ruling.

‘BCM received the court papers in respect of this urgent court application very late ... (this) meant BCM had insufficient time or no time at all to file its opposing papers in respect of the application,’ he said.

As a result, the matter was dealt with by the court as unopposed.

He said the city would file opposing papers before the matter was heard by the court to determine whether to make the order final.

Full Daily Dispatch report