Hindu temple’s R21-mln value raises concerns

2008-03-19 00:00

Trustee and treasurer of the Nohar Road Vedic Mandir in Northdale, Harry Maikoo, had to sit down to get over the shock of discovering that the Hindu religious centre has been valued at a whopping R21 million in the city council’s new valuation roll.

“At this rate, we can swop our building for the city hall,” he said.

The Mandir is in a cul-de-sac in one of the poorer sections of Northdale. Immediately next door are two council-built sub-economic houses. Maikoo wonders what having a “R21 million” building in the neighbourhood is going to do to the values of the surrounding properties.

The Mandir was built more than 35 years ago with the help of donations from community members. The building is a basic structure with standard doors and windows. It consists of a hall and two rooms leading off one side. It recently received a lick of blue and white paint, so stands out brighter than the surrounding properties.

Maikoo is also a member of the Vedic Vidya Pracharak Sabha in Mountain Rise. He said the Mountain Rise centre is in an elite area, has a face brick finish and stands on a larger property. It has been valued at R2, 7 million.

Maikoo is breathing a sigh of relief that, under the current rates policy, religious centres do not have to pay rates. However, he is definitely going to lodge an objection, as the policy may change.

nalini@witness.co.za

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