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Monday Mar 20, 2017

Durban calms property owners' valuation roll fears

The eThekwini Municipality has assured residents that if their properties were not reflected in the latest valuation roll, they would feature in an upcoming supplementary roll.

The city issued the statement in response to The Mercury's queries - which the paper had received from anxious readers - on Friday.

Some readers had found that their properties had been overvalued, while others could not find their properties at all.

Residents were also worried that since the building on 75 Langalibalele Dube Street - which housed eThekwini staff tasked with handling problems around the roll - had been temporarily closed due to safety concerns, they would not be able to address their concerns with the city. The three areas of concern that remained to be resolved in the building were the lifts, structural damage to pillars and the air conditioning.

In the meantime, 351 staff members were being accommodated in alternative existing municipal premises. The city said:
"The municipality has extended the period for the inspection and lodging of objections by property owners of the third general valuation roll from March 31 to May 2, 2017. If a property is not reflected on the roll then it would be published in supplementary roll 1 that will be published in the middle of May and effective July 1, 2017, read the statement."

"Property owners can still submit objections forms to the third valuation roll on the ground floor at the (Langalibalele Dube Street premises).

"Although the building has been vacated, the Department of Labour has given a partial clearance to work on the ground floor and staff are manning collection from 8am to 4pm."

A Durban North resident, who did not want to be named, told The Mercury she tried to access the roll via the internet and even went into a Sizakala customer service centre and was told that her property was not on the new valuation roll.

She was told to email someone who works at the condemned building.

Other residents shared their struggles on the city's Facebook page.

"I have been trying to access the website regarding the rates evaluation roll since the middle of February with no success, my husband went into town to collect an objection form only to be told that the building has been closed."

Ward councillors have also received complaints. Durban North ward councillor Shaun Ryley said several residents had not been able to find their properties.
"Many are anxious because they are concerned that even if they do submit their objections, they will not be received because there is nobody there to receive them."

The ward councillor in uMhlanga, Heinz de Boer, said he had received between 10 and 20 complaints.

Rory Macpherson, ward councillor for Mount Edgecombe, said he had received similar complaints.

"Of the 2000 to 3000 people we contacted through different organisations, 10 people came to us with issues so there are not as many problems as we anticipated."

Ward councillor for Hillcrest, Rick Crouch, said some residents had had difficulty in reaching the relevant people from the municipality. He said he had received 15 complaints.

The Mercury


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