Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba says the council is not trying to get money from residents through property rates to address its revenue crunch.
According to media reports this week‚ property valuations published by the City of Johannesburg were far higher than what ratepayers had expected.
Business Day reported on Thursday that businesses‚ residents and other property owners felt the city had inflated property valuations to boost its flagging income.
But Mashaba argued that the valuation roll was not made to help the city’s revenue.
“The current narrative seems to suggest that the City‚ through the 2018 General Valuation Roll (GV)‚ is forcing residents out of their hard-earned money and to address a revenue crunch. Nothing could be further from the truth. This process is run independently from the City‚ and cannot be influenced by the City. The implementation of the GV is a legislated process‚ taking place every 4 years‚ with prescribed steps which need to be followed. In the case of the City of Johannesburg‚ a 1-year extension was granted to implement the GV on 1 July 2018.
“Johannesburg is a city of choice for many. It is a major economic hub on the continent and offers the many who flock here the potential for a better life. The knock-on effect is the high demand for property and‚ in a space of high demand and limited supply‚ prices are likely to increase over a 5-year period‚” Mashaba said.
Property owners complained that they had not done any renovations to their assets but yet the city priced them “way over” the market price.