Angry Northdale ratepayers pack civic centre

2008-02-29 00:00

Northdale residents packed the Bombay Road Civic Centre on Wednesday night, to vent their frustration over the city's new valuation roll.

There was standing room only at the highly charged meeting, which saw the area's ward councillors come in for a roasting. 'Where were you when this valuation was going on?' they were asked.

Residents were up in arms over the values of their homes, which they felt were unrealistic and not in keeping with property market trends in their area. They were also furious at gross discrepancies. 'My house is smaller than my neighbour's; his is a double-storey with four extra rooms, yet his house is valued at R800 000 and mine at R1,6 million. This is idiotic and farcical,' said a speaker from the floor. 'Somebody has not been applying their mind'

Another told of her mother living in 'nine and three village' - the poorest section in Northdale. This is where residents only paid rent of nine shillings and three pence when the block houses were first built. She said her pensioner mother qualified for council's indigent policy because previously her house was valued at less than R30 000. In the new valuation roll this same house is put down at R270 000. 'The valuation of this section did not take into account the poverty in the area, the poor state of many of the houses and the crime that plagues the residents,' she said.

There were calls for the scrapping of the valuation roll with many residents inquiring why they should go through the arduous objection process if the roll, or the section that applies to their area, is so flawed.

They suggested asking for more time to lodge objections, marches, protests and a memorandum sent to council.

Member of the Provincial Parliament, Yusuf Bhamjee, who chaired the meeting had a tough time maintaining control. Bhamjee and several senior members of the community had to call for calm several times during the evening saying they understood that emotions and anger were running high.

He warned, however, that no matter what other actions are undertaken, it was absolutely essential that property owners lodge their individual objections, using the objection forms given by council.

There was a buzz of excitement in the hall and people stood around talking long after the meeting was over.

Older community activists recalled that the last time the hall had been this full was during the anti-apartheid protests of the 1980s.

'This is democracy,' said an old stalwart. 'We can't sit around and wait for these fellas on the stage [councillors] to do something.'

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.