Rates: residents join call for more time

2014-04-24 00:00

HOMEOWNERS in Pietermaritzburg have added their voice to that of the local chamber of business, calling for an extension of the deadline for property valuation objections.

Ebrahim Moosa said yesterday that the act governing rates objections requires the municipality to give the property owner one month to object. He added, however, that half of April — the month that property owners of Pietermaritzburg had been given — was made up of holidays. “My question to the municipal manager is, was this an honest oversight or a deliberate act to force property owners into submission?” Moosa asked.

Approached about an extension, Msunduzi spokesperson Madeleine Jackson-Plaatjies said the municipality could not even consider an extension as this process was linked to the overall process for the preparation of the budget for the 2014/ 2015 financial year that commences on July 1. She said any material differences that may arise as a result of the objection process will be dealt with through the supplementary valuation roll in September 2014.

The Witness spoke to attorney Farouk Jasat who said that technically the municipality had complied with the law and had given a month’s notice, so there was not much homeowners could do. He added that part of the problem and what property owners found daunting was having to look for comparative information to use as the basis of their objections.

He said the process would be made much easier and less fraught if the municipality valuation team could let ratepayers know what comparative values they had used and the basis of how they had arrived at a particular value.

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