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Monday Oct 17, 2011

Property valuation vindication for uMngeni residents

Residents of the uMngeni (Howick) municipality are justified in objecting to the valuations of their properties, the municipality and eValuations, the company which valued their properties, have conceded.

They have argued for the best part of this year that the valuation roll is riddled with both over-and undervaluations.

A public meeting in the Howick West community hall on Thursday evening, which provided feedback on the 2 194 objections lodged, revealed that the values of 1 699 properties would have to be adjusted.

Mayor Mbali Myeni was widely praised for her efforts in facilitating dialogue between residents, the city, the Co-operative Governance Department and eValuations.

Although both Myeni and eValuations project manager Bob Kistnasamy conceded that there was a basis for the residents' protestations, Myeni added that this did not imply that the entire roll was flawed.

The Co-operative Governance department has repeatedly said that the 2 194 objections constituted 10 percent of the total properties valuated, falling within the norm for objections received.

"Yes, there was a basis for their concern, even though these fall within the norm," Kistnasamy said. "But with mass valuations, there's going to be up and down (adjustments)... I'm not saying the roll is perfect, but the opportunity exists to correct it through objections and appeals."

The chairman of the uMngeni Rates Association, Mano Naidoo, said the forum felt they had scored a number of positive adjustments: "We are optimistic that we will get a review of the rate randage, which we are hoping will be in the region of about 0.09 cents."

All objections to valuations were finalised at the end of last month. From the 2 194 objections, the values of 36.2 percent of properties would increase, while 41.2 percent would be reduced.

Concerned Ratepayers Group executive committee member Rob McLaren celebrated the fact that of the 1 100 objections he had tendered, 82 percent would be adjusted. McLaren said it proved that his data was correct.

The Mercury


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