City of Joburg to revise 8 000 property valuations

Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg will revise its new property valuation process following a public outcry over the system unveiled last month, Mayor Herman Mashaba said on Wednesday.

In February the city published a new property valuation list, which was criticised by residents for overvaluing properties, with some facing drastic increases of over 100%. 

The increased valuations would have hiked the commercial value of properties and led to considerable increases in rates and taxes for property owners across SA's richest city.

According to the mayor’s office, a total of 8 000 new valuations have been identified as “potentially” overvalued. Owners will from next week be sent letters informing them about the changes.

“These 8 000 valuations, which have been identified as problematic, have experienced considerable increases, many over 100%, which have been profiled in the public since last week,” said Mashaba in a statement.

Over 4 000 property owners had lodged objections to the new valuations ahead of the April 6 deadline.

The valuation of properties is a legislated process that takes place every four years, and is used by the municipality to determine property rates.

“Following a public outcry over the valuation process, Mayor Mashaba was advised by the Independent Municipal Valuer to consider the valuation of some properties that may appear to have been over-valued,” City spokesperson Luyanda Mfeka told Fin24.

He insisted the property valuations were conducted by the Independent Municipal Valuer.

Residents associations across had criticised the increases as an attempt by the city to ramp up revenue collection, saying the hikes could potentially force landlords out of their properties and cause rentals for business and residential premises to rise sharply. 

The Parkhurst Village Residents and Business Owners Association had described the hikes as either “wrong to too high”. 

“Some residents whose valuations were too low, are now about right. Others, who were correctly valued or live in areas where the market is stagnant, will have received a valuation that is too high,” the association said.

The shambolic property valuation saga comes after the city was embroiled in a billing crisis which saw some residents receiving inflated invoices for services between 2015 and 2017.

The DA administration had blamed the billing crisis on the system inherited from the previous ANC-led council.

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