South Africa 13.3.2018 01:00 pm

City of Johannesburg working on revised valuations

The City has immediately begun working on objections so it can issue revised valuations to property owners.

City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba visited two property owners on Monday to present Section 78 notices regarding their revised property valuations.

The recent revaluations of properties in Johannesburg have elicited major concerns among the City’s ratepayers and property owners.

In a statement, the City said it had already identified 8 000 residential and business property owners who during the course of this week would start receiving similar revised notices for properties that appear to be overvalued.

This follows engagements between the City and an independent municipal valuer, which have revealed that 8 000 property owners have had their properties overvalued.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura met with Mashaba to discuss the possible rate hikes resulting from the recent property valuations.

During the meeting, it was confirmed the current model used to evaluate properties had errors and that the City had received 4 500 objections already.

Makhura said after engaging with the City of Johannesburg, he acknowledged that the concerns expressed by residents over the valuations of their properties were not unfounded.

He said he has requested the provincial department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) to work with the City to resolve concerns raised by the residents.

The provincial Cogta is mandated to oversee and monitor the implementation of Municipal Property Rates Act in the province.

“I would like to encourage all ratepayers to check the values of their properties at the City’s 2018 General Valuation Roll,” Makhura said.

He further encouraged residents to make use of the metropolitan’s objection processes if they are not satisfied with the value of their properties.

“Where there are disputes, residents will have an opportunity to appeal their valuations through an independent Valuation Appeal Board that can be set up by the MEC for Cogta in the province,” he said.

He said he would continue to engage the City of Johannesburg to ensure the outcome is fair for residents.

The City stated the 8 000 valuations, which have been identified as problematic, have experienced considerable increases, most of which are more than 100%.

It said the notices made provision for a 30-day period, during which property owners can provide relevant information to be taken into further account during the review process. These properties will be placed on the Supplementary Valuation Roll.

“In cases such as this, the City must assume the burden to address the problematic valuations before the implementation date on 1 July 2018. This differs from the conventional objections process, which places the burden on account holders to object to the valuation and motivate for its adjustment,” the City said.

One resident was pleased after one of his properties in Bramley was revised down from R43 million to R7.4 million.

The directors of a Rosebank-based property company also welcomed the revision, with one of their properties in Bellevue having its valuation reduced from R14 million to R1.8 million.

“I have personally apologised to the two property owners. Instead of waiting for the deadline to objections to the General Valuation, the City has undertaken to speedily resolve the instances where properties have been overvalued or undervalued,” said Mashaba.

To date, the City has received 4 000 objections to the valuation roll. Through engagements between the City and the Independent Valuer, the municipality will begin handing over these objections to the Municipal Valuer without waiting for the April 6, 2018, deadline set for the submission of objections, the City said.

“The focus of our efforts is in ensuring that our residents find the valuation processes to be more responsive and efficient than it has been in the past. Already, our online information resources have greatly improved residents’ access to assistance and information.

“I am happy to also report that more resources have been deployed at the City of Joburg’s walk-in centres to deal with the increase of residents seeking assistance with their objections. When we took office, we committed to a set of nonnegotiable values, which included being a caring and responsive government. I wish to thank all residents for their patience and commit the City to working tirelessly to achieve what is a fair outcome,” Mashaba said.

 

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