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Residents tell City officials property rates are confusing Print E-mail
10 February 2017
Cosmoratespolicy

A City of Johannesburg Property Rates Policy review meeting at the Cosmo City Multipurpose Centre in Region C almost descended into chaos last night (Thursday February 9) when disgruntled members of the audience walked out after they were not given the answers they expected from City officials.

It was only after the intervention of Ward Councillor Mapula Masito that order was restored and the meeting resumed. Cllr Masito had told those who wanted to leave to do so without disturbing the meeting.

Earlier, a group of residents voiced their anger at City officials for allegedly ignoring their complaints regarding high bills as well as the payment of property rates in RDP housing settlements. Their understanding was that people living in RDP houses were not liable to pay property rates.

Extension 8 resident Madoda Lufele said locals had been threatened with eviction and repossession of their houses if they failed to pay property rates. He asked for the meeting to be postponed because there would not be enough time to resolve the residents’ grievances.

Another resident, Nancy Zondo, also of Extension 8, said she was “aggrieved” when she received a R23 000 bill without any explanation. Zondo said she was shocked because her house “is the smallest in the area”.

Lybon Ndlovu, of Extension 4, said he was still confused about the rates because they were not explained in simple and clear terms. He said he believed they were very high “for the majority of the residents”.

It was when Property Rates Policy Specialist Thandisizwe Sidibulekana said his department could not answer most of the queries raised as they fell outside the parameters of his department that the disgruntled residents asked for the meeting to be postponed and walked out.

Sidibulekana had said he could only answer questions related to rates and property valuations. He earlier told residents that the Municipal Rates Act No 6 of 2004 as amended gave the City the right to levy property rates. He said it was the responsibility of property owners to pay their rates.

He added that the valuation roll was produced every four years as stipulated in the Act.

The City reviews its Property Rates Policy on an annual basis to determine categories of properties to be rated according to a proposed tariff. The due date for all comments, inputs and submissions is February 21.
The meetings will be wrapped up at the Roodepoort City Hall on Monday 13 February.

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Last Updated on 10 February 2017