2008-03-11 00:00

Property owners in the Msunduzi Municipality have until the end of March to lodge objections to the recent new valuations of their homes. There is a mood of considerable anxiety among many ratepayers, as was illustrated by the large crowd of 1 500 objectors who attended a forum on the subject last weekend. Linked to questions around unfair or perplexing valuations is the issue of rate randage. No indication has yet been given by the municipality on the percentage per rand that will be levied. Johannesburg has proposed 0,5% whereas eThekwini (Durban) is imposing 1,5%. The uMngeni municipality has, under public pressure, reduced an initial 1,5% to 1,0%. There will be no satisfaction or freedom from stress in this city until the valuations and the rate percentage are both finalised in a manner that is fair to all.

Thereafter, a further concern as to how the increased income for the municipality will be used will come to the fore. Ratepayers will want to be assured that their rates are being spent on improved service delivery rather than on a bloated bureaucracy with inflated salaries.

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