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13/05/2016: Joburg property owners’ comments heard
13 May 2016
The City of Joburg is to consider submissions made by property owners who are burdened by increasing interest rates and sluggish economy. The submissions were made to the City during the public consultation meetings in February and March.

The City held series of consultation meetings across Johannesburg, seeking inputs from property owners, business forums and ratepayers in order to formulate the new 2016/2017 property Rates Policy.

The City’s Spokesperson Kgamanyane Maphologela says some submissions made at the meetings focused largely on issues related to affordability and protection of vulnerable categories.

“In formulating the draft property policy, the City has to consider factors such as recent interest rates hikes, the resultant reduction in disposable income, the current high cost of living, a slowdown in economic growth and an increase in property owners depending on social assistance and businesses requesting more relief. These are some of the issues that came out from ratepayers,” says Maphologela.

Maphologela says the City has to play the balancing act, while on one hand the City has to collect revenue on the other hand it has to be caring particularly towards the vulnerable.

The proposed average property rates tariff for the 2016/2017 is set to be around 5.90%, well below the inflation rate. Other proposed tariff increases include the 7.61% average increase for electricity which is much lower than the tariff increase announced by Eskom and electricity regulator, NERSA. The proposed water and sanitation tariffs average increases could rise by 13.90%, which took into account the carried costs from the Rand Water and that government subsidizes the poor with the 6kl free water per month.

The City has proposed rebates for different property categories which could provide huge relief to properties owners come 1 July 2016, when the new policy is implemented:
• Pensioners who own properties not more than R2 million could be eligible for a 100% rebates provided they meet the required criteria.
• Properties with the purpose of animal protection could also benefit for a 100% rebates
• New building developments that would take place within the identified Corridors of Freedom – the Cty’s plan to redesign the city could also benefit thus boosting property developments.
• Child headed family with a property value not exceeding R 2 million could get a 100% rebates
• Residential properties could also benefit with the first R200 000 of the total property value being excluded from rating.
• Properties declared as heritage sites could benefit from a 20% rebates.
• Vacant land could get back 50% rebates subject to certain conditions.

Maphologela says the City would have to look at all the submissions made before coming up with the final policy.

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Last Updated on 13 May 2016