Bridgestone rejects accusations

Bridgestone South Africa has rejected the Madibeng administrator’s comment that Bridgestone owes them millions of Rands.

Madibeng administrator, Advocate Monnapula Petrus Motlogelwa

Bridgestone said in a statement that it rejects outright the administrator’s comments published in the Kormorant on 4 September, alleging that Bridgestone’s municipal electricity account is in arrears.

During a virtual Madibeng council meeting, the administrator, Advocate Monnapula Motlogelwa, said during his presentation of the administration close-out report, that one of the issues to be addressed was outstanding debt of members of the Brits Industrial Association. He said Bridgestone, for example, owes the municipality millions for electricity.

Bridgestone says the company further denies any allegations that it should be counted amongst companies contributing towards the municipality’s inability to pay its own electricity bills to Eskom. “Bridgestone South Africa can confirm that it has been paying its electricity bills as required.

“To provide clarity on this unfounded allegation, Bridgestone South Africa has had a long-standing dispute with the Madibeng Municipality over exorbitant charges and the annual increasing of the electricity tariff levy of between 20-30% since 2013. These increases were not in line with NERSA’s published tariff levy guide. In 2014 Bridgestone South Africa sought relief from the courts and filed an interdict against this. Bridgestone South Africa has to date been paying the electricity tariff determined by the court in the interdict.

“We have tried numerous times to reach a fair and amicable agreement with the municipality without much success. The Madibeng municipality finds itself in this current situation due to its own factors and cannot attribute its woes to Bridgestone South Africa.

Bridgestone South Africa’s management is in negotiations with Eskom to secure electricity for its Brits manufacturing facility directly from the power utility in the near future. Bridgestone lawyers are attending to the allegations.”