Mooi River outrage at proposed 382% rates hike

2008-03-12 00:00

Mpofana (Mooi River) residents are outraged to find their municipality proposing one of the highest rate tariffs in the country. Higher than Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and even higher than the 1,5 cents in the rand initially proposed by uMngeni Municipality last year, which led to mass protests.

uMngeni eventually succumbed to public pressure and reduced their tariff to one cent in the rand.

The proposed rates randage in Mpofana is 10 cents in the rand for commercial properties, five cents in the rand for residential and 1,25 cents for agricultural.

A shocked resident said the municipality’s own presentation showed that a ratepayer currently paying R267 a month, with the new tariff will be paying R1 267 a month — an increase of 382%.

Former councillor, Hayden Soobramoney, said the proposed rates increase shows the inconsideration and arrogance of the councillors and officials. “Any normal person would know that you cannot propose such increases … These officials and councillors should resign or be fired,” he said.

Mpofana municipal manager Muzi Madlala was quick to stress that this was a draft proposal and that from their first public consultative meeting held in the city hall on Monday night they got the message that people were unhappy.

“We will take into account the concerns of the community, at the same time we are mindful that there are needs in the municipality and we have to render service.

“However, our aim is not to make rates unaffordable. We realise that we have to have a sustainable system in place,” he said.

Meanwhile, Andrew Ragavaloo, councillor at Richmond, reported that “generally people are happy with the valuations”. Richmond is looking at a rates randage of 0,0039-and-half-cents in the rand.

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