Rates reprieve

2008-03-27 00:00

With a massive increase of 67% in electricity charges in the offing, the decision by the Msunduzi Municipality to delay rates increases for a year will have been received with great relief. The municipal authorities are to be commended for adopting a pragmatic and mature stance in the light of the many complaints being processed against the new valuations of ratepayers’ properties. They have rightly judged that there is not sufficient time to deal adequately with these complaints before the municipal budget needs to be finalised.

It seems abundantly clear that some serious errors of judgment have been made in the value assessment of a number of residential properties. Most recently, several ratepayers in the Sobantu village have conveyed a sense of outrage at the increased valuations they have been given. It may be that the city council will have to make a careful, objective assessment of the valuation procedures, let alone the figures arrived at, before finalising the new rates to be set.

Unlike the neighbouring uMngeni Municipality, which behaved in a cavalier way in regard to complaints it received and pushed ahead with a flawed rating policy, the Msunduzi authorities are showing a greater understanding and a refreshing realism about the need to slow down the process and to take advantage of the national deadline for implementation which is not until July 2009. Increased rates will inevitably be imposed but the much-vaunted element of public participation in decision-making, if only at the level of complaint, is being included sympathetically and sensibly. This will enhance good relations between ratepayers and their local government.

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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 24.com 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.