Thousands of summonses are being served on businesses in the eastern Free State for outstanding government levies, a lawyer confirmed yesterday.
"There are about 13000 summonses that were sent out," said Andre Podbielski, a Welkom-based attorney for the Thabo Mofutsanyane district municipality.
"There are 2000 in the Bloemfontein high court and about 11000 in different towns in the rural areas [being issued] through magistrate's offices."
Podbielski said those businesses which received summonses through the high court had "huge" amounts outstanding. "We only summoned those above R400000 in the high court and the rest in the magistrate's courts."
Businesses that had already received summonses, or would get them soon, included farmers, lawyers, doctors, butchers, supermarkets and engineering firms.
Podbielski said those businesses targeted either stopped paying the former regional council levies at some stage - or never registered to pay.
Free State DA leader Roy Jankielsohn criticised the "ridiculous" accounts that were sent out.
"The outrageous amounts are estimates and leave receivers of these letters angry with a reason," said Jankielsohn. He said one business received a letter of demand for R464843,24. It eventually only paid R2066,16. - Sapa