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Residents call on the City to improve service delivery to justify rate hikes Print E-mail
16 February 2017

Residents of Newlands and surrounding suburbs have urged City of Johannesburg property rates policy specialists to bring along officials from municipal-owned entities (MOEs) such as City Power, Johannesburg Water and Pikitup to the next policy review meeting to help them answer questions and concerns.

The residents, speaking at a Property Rates Policy review meeting at the Dannie van Zyl Hall in Newlands in Region B on Saturday February 11, said high electricity, waste removal and water and sanitation bills, as well as customer service, should also be discussed at such gatherings.

They said they believed doing so could contribute to the determination of fair and equitable property rates.
This was after Phumla Jack, a City Property Rates Specialist, told residents that she was unable to respond to some of the questions as they related to the MOEs and fell outside the ambit of the Rates and Taxes Department.

Marcellthea Probert Chibas of Albertsville said the MOEs’ officials should attend the meetings to respond to residents’ concerns and queries, “which are very serious”.

Conrad Berge of Bergbron said City Power and Johannesburg Water officials responsible for billing should explain how they arrived at the exorbitant amounts they charged without conducting readings.

“I hope someone can explain to me how that is possible. I’ve been through hell and now feel I’ll explode,” he said.

Linda Verwey, also of Alberstville, said she lived near a property that had been unoccupied for many years and had now become a haven for drug dealers and addicts.

“As a result, the place has become a health hazard,” Verwey said. This, she said, had devalued the residents’ properties. She added that residents had complained to the local councillor but nothing had come off it.

John Stanton of Triomf said many residents in his area were unemployed and could not afford increased property rates. He said residents were being penalised for making improvements to their homes.

“I would like to know why the City is biting the hand that feeds it. People living in complexes are using water and electricity without paying for it but are not being penalised,” he claimed.

Edwin Wakefield of Molgin Park called on residents to stop complaining because the City was guided by by-laws and policies to charge rates according to the value of their properties based on the areas they were in.

He, however, implored the City to improve service delivery to justify rates increases.

Jack assured residents that their concerns had been noted and would be escalated to the relevant departments. She also asked them to email or fax their comments, inputs and submissions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or be faxed to 086 447 7567 respectively before February 21.

She advised pensioners aged 70 or older who owned properties valued at less than R2-million to apply for a 100% property rates rebate. Jack said that vacant land was charged at four times the normal rate.

The last Property Rates Policy review meeting will be held at the Roodepoort City Hall on Monday 13 February.

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Last Updated on 16 February 2017