The increase in property valuations last week left Johannesburg residents frustrated when the City of Johannesburg released Section 49 notices for property owners.
The increase in the valuation of property means higher taxes and rates. The figures were adjusted by between 20 and 100%, and executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba said residents are being engaged on this legislative process which happens every four years.
Mashaba said the city has extended the time period residents have to lodge complaints.
The mayor added that the last evaluation done by the previous administration led by the ANC, had an estimate of 65 000 queries of undervalued properties.
“They never did anything about it. Fortunately for us as the new administration, we have the responsibility to ensure that properties are properly evaluated,” he said.
He added that the City uses a professional private company to ensure that property evaluations are in line with market figures.
Mashaba said though the City ensures that the process is transparent, it is important to keep in mind that the evaluation of property is a worldwide problem.
“Go to New York, London or Tokyo, anywhere, every time when cities need to do evaluations people are up in uproar because people do not want to really pay,” he said.
Besides being transparent, he added he believed the process of evaluating property should also be fair and equitable, which is something the City is trying to achieve.
However, he said when the City’s adjustment budget was passed last year, he appointed additional property evaluators with further assistance from personnel from development planning so that the City will one day be able to conduct its own property evaluations.
The mayor said residents should not pay attention to the ANC’s statements that the increase in property evaluation came about to reduce the City’s deficit.
“They are the ones who created these massive challenges in our City because of their deep rooted corruption. If it was not because of the ANC’s corruption the City of Johannesburg would not really be sitting with these massive challenges,” he said.