City’s property value roll problem

2018-07-11 16:51
Valuation roll contract ended with no new system.

Valuation roll contract ended with no new system. (File)

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Msunduzi ratepayers could be prejudiced after the City cut ties with the company that has been maintaining its valuation roll system, without a new service provider in place.

Last week Metgovis shut Msunduzi out of the system which has recorded the City’s property data for 10 years, which the company had been using to maintain the property register and valuations rolls.

Without the system the City is apparently unable to issue municipal valuation certificates, which are required by courts during divorces, marriages and deaths.

The South African Social Security Agency also requires the latest valuation certificates from social grant applicants who come from indigent households.

In May the City appointed eValuations to prepare the general valuation roll that comes to effect in July next year.

However, eValutions has not installed its own system in Msunduzi and therefore might not be publishing the supplementary roll as it is still in the data collection stage.

Metgovis managing director Janet Channing said they have warned the City that not having any valuation system in place could be disastrous for the municipality and the ratepayers.

She said the municipality could also find itself in breach of the Municipal Property Rates Act because the property register will not be updated and the supplementary rolls will not be published on a regular basis.

“It’s out of our hands, we’ve tried to transfer skills but everyone keeps leaving. We’ve told them that we are happy to continue for at least another six months until they appoint a service provider,” she said.

Metgovis’ Wayne Webley said eValuations might eventually be asked to install their system but the City will have change the scope of their contract.

He said without the system Msunduzi is not only compromising its revenue collection but also the building plan approval process because people who are extending their houses will not be able to confirm their property’s descriptions on the roll as required when submitting building plans.

Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business chief executive Melanie Veness said this is evidence that the City is facing serious management challenges.

She said the ratepayers are already subjected to the billing disaster emanating from the SAP system, which is outrageously expensive, has not been properly customised and does not appear to be on the Municipal Standard Chart of Accounts recommended system list circulated by the National Treasury.

Veness said without the valuation system “we currently have no access to our own valuation roll. Apart from any compliance issues, this translates into significant consequences for the economy and for ordinary citizens. It is simply outrageous”.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha had not responded to The Witness’ questions at the time of publication.

The value of properties on Msunduzi’s roll is approximately R62 billion; they generate 25% of the municipality’s revenue in rates.

The roll lists 92 000 properties, 5 000 of which are businesses.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality
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