Residents up in arms over Ekurhuleni’s property roll

Date: 31 May 2021

Ekurhuleni spokesman Zweli Dlamini encouraged people to register their grievances as individuals.

In what has been described as glaring inconsistencies and irregularities, Ekurhuleni residents are up in arms against the council for dubious information published on the City of Ekurhuleni’s website on the property evaluation roll allegedly in conflict with the Municipal Property Rates Act 6 of 2004.

The City of Ekurhuleni valuation roll – valid from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2025 – has come up with figures negatively impacting on residents’ rates and taxes, according to documents seen by The Citizen.

Taking up the campaign to correct flawed and inconsistent valuation and classification of property in the city, the Residents Action Group (Rag) has brought to the attention of the city that homeowners, including RDP (reconstruction and development plan) property owners and commercial property owners, faced huge hikes in their rates with effect from 1 July.

The 2021 to 2025 Ekurhuleni property valuation roll reflected that:

  • RDP houses increased between 50% and 100%.
  • Values of properties owned by indigent homeowners were up from R707 000 to R1 050 000 – a 32.85% increase.
  • Residential and commercial properties increased between 10% and 2 615%.
  • In some suburbs and same residential estates, valuations differed, with some properties suddenly valued in millions.
  • In Bedfordview, one property was increased in value from R2.6 million to R10 million, while another went up from R3.6 million to R13.8 million.
  • One Ekurhuleni property owner said rates and taxes for three residential properties were at R1 600 per month, with correct valuation and classification, with rates and taxes now standing at R433 per month.
  • An increase of R1 million in value translated into about R900 more payable in rates every month.
  • An increase of R2 million meant around R1 800 more in rates every month.

“Until such time as the complaints, inaccuracies and lack of credibility of this roll have been addressed, Rag expects the municipality to use the previous Ekurhuleni property valuation roll,” said the organisation.

Pointing out alleged legal flaws, Rag said:

  • Section 34 (3) a municipal valuer should sign and certify the valuation roll. However, the valuation rolls at the customer care centres were not signed copies, with the municipality having added a stamped signature – a serious offence.
  • Section 45 provided that properties should be valued in accordance with generally recognised valuation practices, methods and standards, allowing for the use of comparative, analytical and other systems.

Ekurhuleni spokesman Zweli Dlamini encouraged people to register their grievances as individuals.

“The process will run until 18 June,” Dlamini said.

Objection forms are available in the categories – agricultural, non-residential and residential – and can be downloaded from this site.

The completed form must be hand delivered to the municipal office where the account is held. Residents must bring along the Section 49 notice when submitting an objection, as this will expedite the submission process.

Dlamini noted the process did not end with objections, adding “any decision can be appealed”.

According to the site, an affected person can lodge an appeal within 30 days of receiving the outcome letter of objections. The appeal is heard by the Valuation Appeal Board.

Since it was a mass valuation, “the city uses tools such as pictometry, GIS, aerial photos and views some areas to determine value on those properties.

“In the 2017- 2021 term, about 40% of residential properties were inspected and all businesses . The Act makes provision for this,” the site noted.

By Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist  – brians@citizen.co.za

Additional reporting Amanda Watson

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