This support will take the form of ensuring that those who have objected to their property valuations, will be allowed to continue paying what they have been paying historically until the objection process is finalised.
The City will ensure no credit management processes will be initiated against objectors, conditioned upon continued payments of their previous rates payments to the City, along with their invoiced service charges. Their invoices will still reflect the rates charge on the new valuation, because the law prescribes this.
The City has received 40 000 (4.4%) objections to the 2018 General Valuations Roll which included 879 000 properties. This is worth noting as this is less than half of the 89 000 objections lodged in the 2013 General Valuations Roll.
I believe that this additional effort by the City to support those who feel they have received unfair valuations is an important further step implemented by the City. It will mean that in the period of time in which their objection is being handled, these objecting residents will not have to pay the disputed portion of their rates payments.
A flag will be placed on the accounts with outstanding objection decisions to prevent debt collection action until such time as the objection is resolved. This flag on the account is with respect to the disputed rates account, however the affected account holders will be expected to continue to pay for all other services.
Once the objection process is finalised, the objecting property owners will be required to make payment with interest, back-dated to 1 July 2018, for the valuation arising from the objection outcome.
The City will be communicating this measure to all property owners who have objected through a variety of means, to ensure that this intervention is clearly understood.
When we took office in the City, we committed to being a caring and responsive government. We have taken a number of measures to support our residents during this general valuation process, which include:
- Issuing Section 78 Notices to properties valuations identified by the City as problematic to revise the value, and offer further engagement on the revised valuation;
- We have, subject to Council approval, proposed the increase in the residential rates rebate from R200 000 to R350 000 to offset the month-to-month increase arising from the 5year period between property valuations;
- We have tabled a draft report, raising the pensioner rebate from R2 million to R2.5 million to ensure pensioners continue to receive this support on the increased property valuations;
- The tabled budget also proposed an increase to the Extended Social Package qualifying property valuation figure to R450 000.
Now, with this additional measure we can ensure that property owners who have objected are not forced to pay the additional rates charges arising from disputed property valuations.
It is my contention that the City of Johannesburg has never before gone to these lengths to support our property owners and respond to their call for assistance.
The work of turning around our City requires our multi-party government to be sensitive to our residents who continue to be patient with the long process of achieving total change.
We will continue to ensure that property owners are no longer treated as they have been before, but with the respect and treatment they deserve.
Cllr Herman Mashaba
City of Joburg