The National Alliance of Independent Schools Associations (Naisa) is concerned about the unilateral manner in which Johannesburg reclassified independent schools as business entities, effective from July 1.
This means schools will pay about eight times more for rates.
The alliance said the majority of schools it represents are classified as public benefit organisations, are not regarded as businesses and benefit from rates exemptions. Naisa said this assists low- and medium-fee schools to remain affordable.
“The decision by the City of Johannesburg to evaluate schools as businesses does not take this into account and was carried out without public comment."
To demonstrate the increase independent schools face, Naisa said such a school in Soweto, whose rates are R7,000 a month, will now pay R63,799.
Schools can apply for a 25% rebate. However, “Even with a 25% discount on this amount, it is effectively an increase of R40,000.”