Astral is pleased to confirm that a High Court order was successfully obtained in the Pretoria High Court against both national government and Treasury. Astral fought the non-delivery of basic services faced by businesses and the community living within the Lekwa (Standerton) Municipality.

The impasse with the municipality with regard to water and electricity supply has had a major disruptive impact on Astral’s operations in Standerton. Unfortunately, the goings on have also negatively affected people living in the town and surrounding areas.

The poor service delivery by the Lekwa Municipality is untenable. As a result Astral decided to take extraordinary steps in launching legal proceedings against both the provincial and national government to hold them accountable for the failures in municipal service delivery in Standerton.

The situation began as early as 2018, where disintegrating infrastructure in the Lekwa Municipality led to severe basic supply interruptions to Astral’s operations, which at the time forced Astral to take legal action against the municipality where a court order was secured. Through this, the Lekwa Municipality was obligated to submit a longer-term plan indicating how and when it intended to repair and improve the municipal utility supply infrastructure.  This plan, however, did not materialise.

In terms of the agreed order that was issued, national government will now intervene in Lekwa Municipality and, together with Treasury, will prepare a financial recovery plan in accordance with the Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act 56 of 2003).

The court order also provides for Astral to approach the Court again for further relief, if it is of the view that the financial recovery plan is not being implemented. However, Astral is hopeful that this will not be necessary and that the parties will instead work together to turn the situation around in the interests of all stakeholders.

“We confirm our full support to national government and Treasury and look forward to
co-operating further in the interests of resolving the serious issues currently being faced by the Lekwa Municipality, and the impact this is having on our operations as well as the community living and working in the area,” it concluded. – Press release, Astral Foods Limited