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Friday Jul 20, 2018

Joburg pensioners fume at city valuations

MetroWatch has been inundated by concerned and angry residents and pensioners about their July invoices from the City of Joburg which show a massive increase.

The new financial year started on July 1 and the accounts reflect the new tariffs and the new valuation of properties increases.

This despite many having logged an objection to the increases - some of which reached 5000%.

Many pensioners, who previously were exempt from rates, are also now facing bills of up to R3000 a month, whereas previously they were zero-rated. Most have already submitted or resubmitted their pensioner applications for rebates and find themselves battling to make payments.

Wendy Tan of Bertrams says her bill has been double from about R4000 a month to R8 000.

"I have submitted the valuation done by the estate agent. Why is the city still charging me at the increased property rate. The property is not even worth R1 million. Why is the city treating valuable customers so unreasonably. I sent the objection and now have a huge bill I can't afford," she said.

Ian Flaskett of Parktown said his July account has a new property valuation of R6.5m compared with R2.8m four years ago.

"I did put in an objection with supporting documentation which included an assessment by a reputable estate agent at R3.8 million but now believe objection results will only be known in January/ February next year".

The city, however, said it will ensure no credit management processes/disconnections will be initiated against objectors, provided that the accounts were not in arrears as at June 30.

Residents who have lodged objections must continue to make payments based on the historical value of their property, said city spokesperson Kgamanyane Stan Maphologela.

"Where an objection to the new property valuation is declined, any outstanding rates on the property arising from the valuation will become due and payable immediately backdated to July 1.

In instances where an objection is approved, the relevant account will be adjusted accordingly, he added.

In addition, Maphologela advised pensioners that their previous rebates came to an end on June 30. All qualifying pensioners are urged to submit new applications for the period starting July 1. They have until September 30 to do so.

Pensioners must re-apply to qualify for the rebate by filling in a form available at a customer service centre or download from the City's website at www.joburg.org.za

Anna Cox
MetroWatch
The Star

 
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