Object but pay‚ Mashaba tells property owners

City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Image: Elizabeth Sejake/Gallo Images

Johannesburg property owners who have objected to the 2018 valuation roll and whose queries have not been resolved are still expected to pay their old property rates while the city sorts out their issues.

This was announced by Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba on Wednesday after delivering his second state of the city address in Braamfontein.

Mashaba acknowledged that there were properties that had been over-valued by the city but said this was normal across the globe.

“This is a worldwide challenge‚” he said adding that a lot of big cities across the world faced similar challenges each time they published their valuation roll.

Mashaba said 87 000 objections to the previous valuation roll had been received while there were more than 40 000 objections to the current one‚ which covered 800‚000 properties.

“We are working around the clock [to address these] and I have assured the residents of the City of Johannesburg that come July 1 and we have not resolved your matter‚ please continue paying your existing property rates. Don’t ever stop paying because you have lodged an objection.

“It is in our interest as a city to resolve this matter urgently. But it would be impossible to deal with 40‚000 objections in the next three months. It is not going to be our residents’ problems. What we are saying is that‚ if you have lodged an objection and two or three months down the line we agree that our value was correct‚ unfortunately‚ you have to back pay us‚” Mashaba said.

There was a huge outcry from property owners when the city published its 2018 valuation roll. A number of property owners complained that the city had valued properties way above their market value. Some of the properties’ values had shot up by a staggering 1‚000%. After the outcry‚ the city immediately acknowledged 8‚000 properties to have been over-valued. The outcry by property owners even got the attention of Gauteng Premier David Makhura who demanded answers as to what was happening with the roll.

Mashaba said the city would take all responsibility for not resolving objections before the implementation of the new property rates on July 1 2018.

However‚ he said the city had to do its own due diligence in each of the objections.

“Some of the residents are taking chances; some of them are genuine complaints and some we as a city have acknowledged that we over valued…What is important is our willingness to really deal with the matter‚” he said.

The publication of the valuation roll was supposed to take place in 2017 but the DA-led administration requested an extension as it had just taken over from the ANC in the City of Johannesburg.

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