Object to your sky-high property valuation? Yeah right

Thousands of appeals from 2008, 2013 still outstanding.
Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba last week announced that he has decided to have 8 000 properties that seem to have been overvalued reassessed. Picture: Shutterstock

While Johannesburg property owners who believe they have been prejudiced by sky-high municipal valuations of their properties have been advised to submit objections and appeals, history shows that it could take years to finalise such matters.

Until such time, property owners are expected to pay according to the disputed valuation or face electricity disconnection.

Moneyweb posed several questions to the mayor’s office, but despite asking for an extension in time, the office has failed to answer the questions.

Moneyweb has learnt that 2 318 appeals relating to the 2008 general valuation roll and subsequent supplementary rolls have not yet been finalised

Advocate Anthonie Viviers, chairman of the 2008 valuations roll appeals board is preparing a complaint to the Public Protector after the MEC for Co-Operative Government and Traditional Affairs Paul Mashatile failed to extend the board’s term when it ended on October 31 last year, despite the fact these two appeals were still outstanding.

The board was appointed by Mashatile to deal with the appeals and reviews relating to the 2008 general valuation roll and 11 subsequent supplementary rolls. The City of Joburg was responsible for payment and administrative support to the board.

In September last year, with only a month of its term left, Viviers expressed his concern in a letter to Msahatile that the results of many of the appeals and reviews the board did finalise have not been captured on the city’s billing system. As a result rates bills were still presented to property owners on the basis of the disputed valuations.

The city further failed to make some repayments to various property owners whose valuations have been lowered, Viviers alleged.

Mashatile in response said in a letter to Viviers, dated December 2017, that he does not have the authority to extend the board’s term unless the City of Joburg requests him to do so. He says the city’s position is that “the board has done its work in terms of reviews and appeals” and that the capturing of the board’s decisions is an administrative function for which the city is responsible.

In his correspondence Viviers disclosed that the city received more than 45 000 objections relating to the 2008 general valuation roll and supplementary rolls.

He told Mashatile that not completing the outstanding matters “will have serious financial consequences for both the City of Joburg and the various rate payers”.

According to director of valuations at Rates Watch, Ben Espach, the objections following the 2013 general valuation roll have largely been dealt with, but a large number of appeals are still outstanding.

Council is currently dealing with objections relating to the fifth supplementary roll that was published in March last year, Espach says.

He notes that whenever a valuation is adjusted by more than 10% following an objection, such an adjustment has to be reviewed by the appeals board. Following the 2013 general valuation roll there were 32 000 cases to be reviewed, of which 28 000 are still outstanding, he says.

The South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA), which represents the commercial property sections, raised its concern over the increase in municipal rates.

SAPOA CEO Neil Gopal said in a press release “total operating costs for commercial properties averaged R50.80/m² as at June 2017, of which 22% or R11.30/m² went to municipal rates and taxes. Considering that municipal rates and taxes accounted for R2.20/ m² in 2000, this means that it has effectively doubled in real terms over this period – a fivefold increase in nominal price terms”.

He pointed out that rates and taxes have been the second fastest-growing operating cost item for property owners and investors since 2007 with a compound annual growth rate of 9.7% (inflation + 3.6%). “Indeed, only electricity costs have risen at a higher pace,” he said.

“Rising operating costs threaten the sustainability of net returns across the spectrum of commercial and industrial property investment. Since the sustainability of the property sector is a key focus for SAPOA, we have been vocal in challenging the basis and consistency of municipal rates charged to our members,” Gopal said.

He said: “Our Constitution and laws are clear that rates and taxes must be levied in a just and equitable way and this should be done by accurately determining the value of properties. SAPOA is committed to ensuring rates are being levied from a correct base, and not being overcharged. We believe this is essential to further an enabling environment for business and the commercial property sector in South Africa, and to help ensure the sustainability of our economy.”

In response to the outcry about the sharp increase in many property valuations, Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba last week announced that he has decided to intervene and have 8 000 properties that seem to have been overvalued reassessed. Some valuations increased by more than 100%.

That represents less than 1% of the total properties on the general valuation roll.

Mashaba said these new valuations will be contained in a new valuation roll to be published before the general valuation roll takes effect on July 1.

He did not disclose whether the new valuations will be done by the same valuers who compiled the general valuation roll and the city did not respond to Moneyweb’s questions in this regard.

Get access to Moneyweb's financial intelligence and support quality journalism for only
R63/month or R630/year.
Sign up here, cancel at any time.



You must be signed in to comment.


The government was robbed by Zuma and his cohorts and YOU the tax payer will settle his bill.Any questions?? That’s OK though, how would you like to go home every night to 4 wives and THEIR problems??????? Won’t be long before he is in the hospital. P.T.S.D.

Exactly right… but everything is better now that CR is running things. Let’s face it, nothing will ever improve as long as the ANC is in charge.

Property over valuations were experienced as soon as the DA took control of the Cape Town city council. It appears to be a DA policy. They are also pricing the pensioner out of his own home. Free pensioners rates will also come to an end in Jo,burg as in Cape Town per DA policy. Water in CT has increased by 550% in February. That’s how bad it is, a bloated and over paid staff to support.

The WC actually spends the least of all the provinces on employees at 53%, and surprise surprise the worst? Where I live in Limpopo where the ANC is deeply rooted in almost every municipality, it spends 69.3% of its budget on salaries…

Property valuations have already been impacted by recently planned legislation changes – surely this should also reflect in these calculations?

Will the lgitimate property owners still have these rates and taxes after their land is expropriated without compensation?

In my suburb in Johannesburg average property sale prices have increased 5% in total since 2014. Mayor Mashaba says that properties were undervalued in 2014, they are certainly being overvalued in 2018.

Does anyone else see the irony of the DA’s latest SMS campaign asking for support to stop the land expropriation process while doing EXACTLY the same, albeit a bit slower and by stealth, i.e. making it so expensive to own property that you either have sell or default on the ridiculously high rates and ultimately loose it anyway.

I would’v thought that someone in the DA led JHB council would’v realised that people cannot afford 60% plus rates increases and that in order to balance their budget, they should rather cut costs and focus on recovering unpaid municipal debt in the townships, but NO, its much easier, safer and simpler to continue fleecing the few taxpayers who actually still pay. DA, you have lost my entire families vote and judging by anecdotal evidence many others like me.

DA and ANC are two sides of the same coin….

So who do you vote for then? Please share.

Increased property valuations are NOT part of the DA’s policy. Valuations are automatically calculated based on cost of services and with the recent ANC mismanagement of services like Electricity and Water supply its queered the algorithm that calculates rates. So until that is put right, rate valuations will be queered.
I also think that nothing will be done until there is class action by those that have been affected.
The DA will join in this class action. But someone has to take the baton and run with it.
Diont give up so damn easily guys – it’s easy to blame someone else but a lot more satisfying to do something about it.

Twaddle….exhorbitant rates is the modus operandi of the Crooked DA….just look at what they are doing to Cape Town!

Does anybody know what rate in the rand city of Joburg will be applying from July 2018.Your rates will only go up 60% on a property revalued 60% higher if the rate remains the same.Surely the rate should drop substantially from July.

End of comments.





Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: