About Municipal Rates & Tariffs

The Municipal Property Rates Act of 2004, together with subsequent amendments gives municipalities the responsibility to collect property rates as a form of income.   The determination of tariffs must be done each year as part of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Budget process and rates tariffs together with Rates Policy, Tariffs Policy, Debt-Collection Policy must be promulgated each year within sixty days of such items having been passed by Council resolution.   The municipality also are responsible for determining the service charges in respect of water, refuse collection, electricity (where supplied by them) and other municipal charges.

The municipality has the responsibility of appointing an independent Official Valuer and it is they AND NOT THE MUNICIPALITY who determine the value of all properties based on the list of categories approved and supplied to them by the municipality.    The municipality MUST publish a Supplementary Valuation Roll at least once each year reflecting changes to the existing Roll including re-categorisations, new properties, sub-divisions etc.

A full re-valuation of all properties within a municipality must be carried out by the Official Valuer not less than once every four years (the current Valuatuon Roll for Emakhazeni is effective from 1st July 2019).   Once the Valuer has completed valuations they must submit it to the Municipal Manager who must then arrange for it’s prominent display or access by the public via website etc. as well as notifying every owner of the new valuation in writing.   Objections to valuations can only be made within 30 days of the formal notice and availability of the Roll. Objections can only be made by individual owners and must be accompanied by substantative evidence of what the owner believes to be incorrect relating to the valuation of their property.  These objections are then sent to the Official Valuer for review, via the municipality, and a formal notice of the result is sent to the owner.  An appeal process is available in extreme cases.   However, during the objection process, the Official Valuer MAY decide that the initial valuation was too low and has the authority to set a new, higher valuation !!!

Services tariffs - such as charges for water and refuse collection - are also set each year by council resolution. However the setting of these is almost always contradictory as, on the one hand, National Treasury guidance states that services must be cost-effective whilst on the other hand, they also give guidance indicating  that such charges should not increase by about more than  the official rate of inflation.   Never the twain shall meet !   Thus, the municipality almost always increases charges based on the official rate of inflation or thereabouts !

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