Rates shock for church

2016-05-17 13:59
The red-brick road around the City Hall.

The red-brick road around the City Hall. (Jonathan Burton)

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Pietermaritzburg - Local church leaders are baffled after they were handed over to Msunduzi Municipality’s lawyers for a R98 000 rates account.

This despite the Copesville Revival Church having received a rates clearance letter and being exempt from rates.

Pastor Steven Anthony said the church leaders were frustrated after “running around the municipality” in attempts to get answers.

“We are a registered non-profit organisation and in turn are exempt from paying for rates,” said Anthony.

He said the bill arrived out of the blue.

“When we raised it with the municipality we were told it would all be sorted out but now we have been handed over,” said Anthony.

He said they purchased the property in 2011 from the Department of Human Settlements and upon purchasing the land they realised the department had an outstanding balance of almost R19 000 on their rates. He said the department settled that account and the church assisted in settling the balance of about R6 000 before receiving their title deeds and rates clearance certificates.

“The church paid more than we needed to and the account was even in credit of R1 215. We even threw a celebration when we received the title deeds for the property,” he added.

Anthony said the church leaders had spoken to numerous people from the municipality and were assured that there was an error on the account. He said they were still in talks with the municipality on rectifying the account when they received a text message notifying them they had been handed over.

“I have still not heard anything from the municipality. There is definitely an error because why would we have the title deeds and rates clearance letters if we were in debt,” Anthony said.

Acting Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the matter would be investigated further “with the view of finding solution to the issue”.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  rates

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