While online objections may be submitted electronically until Tuesday April 30, residents only have until Friday March 29 to view and object (in-person) to the City’s new municipal valuation of their properties.
The General Valuation 2018 (GV2018) was completed and signed off by the City manager on January 31 and was open for public inspection from February 21.
According to the City, the GV2018 Roll contains some 875 000 registered properties in Cape Town and is drawn up for the purpose of billing fair rates to each property owner.
Rates income enables the City to pay for shared public services such as roads, street lights, parks, beaches, area cleansing, libraries, clinics, law enforcement and fire services. But, said the City’s mayoral committee member for finance, Ian Neilson, the City does not make a profit on rates.
“The value of rates required is determined in the City’s budget. A calculation is also made to determine what rebates should be made to the vulnerable in our society and to see how rates can be levied in the most affordable manner for ratepayers,” he said.
He added that property valuations were not based on speculation but on market value at the date of the valuation, which in this case was around early July last year.
The Sea Point Fresnaye and Bantry Bay Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (SFB) said they understood that the City was faced with significant challenges with regard to the provision of infrastructure in areas where proper water and sanitation services were lacking and where decent housing remained a dire need.
They said they assumed that the City was increasing rates beyond the level of inflation to cope with the ever-increasing demands for services and infrastructure.
However, they said, it was unfortunate that the valuations were done in July last year only to be sent out nine months later when property values in the area had dropped to a new low with few, if any, sales being recorded.
“The higher valuations will exacerbate the poor sales that have been experienced in the area, effectively turning the many retirees and young families, who are not wealthy, into virtual prisoners in their homes which they can neither sell nor maintain,” they said.
The organisation said as part of the City’s densification strategy, the SFB area had witnessed significant building development of late and the City would be reaping the rate rewards from the residents of these new high-value developments.
However, they said, because of this densification, the traffic in the area had increased significantly and because of the extra burden, the infrastructure was struggling to cope, which was having a negative impact on the quality of life for residents in the area.
“We feel that the City has no plan to deal with the challenges that affect all the residents of Cape Town. For instance, what is the longer-term vision and fiscal strategy for the City?
“How come the City has no traffic management plan for our area, now and into the future? If we carry on as is, then should we not expect that next time the valuations are adjusted, they will be just as reactive as this round, and even higher?
“The bottom line is that the City should develop, and share with its residents, a long-term vision and strategy, together with a financial plan, to bring about a more equal and functioning City, where decent basic services including water and sanitation are provided; where the environmental concerns are addressed, and all residents can expect a safe and secure life.”
The SFB said it intended to investigate the matter this week and advised members of the public to object timeously and correctly to these rates adjustments.
Chairperson for the Green Point Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, Jenny McQueen, said they had alerted the ratepayers in the Green Point area to examine the new valuations.
“We understand that some have gone up ridiculously, some over 100% and we will object if they are not justified,” she said.
Objections lodged before the end of April, may be submitted directly via the e-services portal by registering at email@example.com or by downloading the prescribed objection form from www.capetown.gov.za/propertyvaluations and submitting the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents who wish to object in person, can visit the Cape Town Civic Centre, Cash Office, 12 Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town between 8.30am and 6pm, Mondays to Fridays and Saturdays between 9am and noon .