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Wednesday Jan 31, 2018

Joburgers to give opinion on rates

As the city of Joburg approaches its new financial year, which includes increases in services, residents have been invited to public participation meetings.

The city is calling on all property owners to help shape the 2018/2019 property rates policy by taking part in the public consultation meetings that will be held across the city.

The first phase of the public meetings started on January 27 and will continue until February 28.

The annual review of the rates policy is a legal requirement to ensure that the city complies with the Municipal Property Rates Act 6 of 2004.

The policy review is driven by submissions from property owners, said city spokesperson Kgamanyane Maphologela, and the city takes into account these inputs when drafting the final policy.

Public participation is critical in the formulation of policies and ratepayers are encouraged to take an active part in the public meetings of the policy review, he said.

The city implemented the rates policy on July 1, 2008, and this guides the council in all aspects of levying rates on property owners.

The policy defines and categorises all properties within the boundaries of Joburg and allows the city to generate rates revenue by assigning a tariff to the property categories obtained in the general valuation roll.

"Since 2008, when the rates policy and rates by-laws were first implemented, the city has held annual meetings across the regions.

"The consultations with residents ensure that the policy is sustainable and that the related rates tariffs remain equitable and affordable. The consultative process provides a clear opportunity for engagement and information to ratepayers about the city's rating structure," he said.

The first phase of the rates policy consultation meetings that begin this week will focus largely on issues related to affordability and protection of vulnerable categories.

The second phase of the rates consultations will finally culminate with the integrated development plans process in March, he added.

The Star

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