DA fights for NMB rates reprieve for overburdened ratepayers

Issued by Cllr Malcolm Figg – DA NMB Spokesperson for Budget and Treasury
16 Aug 2022 in Press Statements

Thousands of ratepayers in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) could soon have a temporary-rates reprieve if the DA is successful in fighting the administration over its general valuation processes.

The recent General Valuation 2022 has left thousands of ratepayers with increased valuations, which have led to a substantial increase in liability for property rates payable. Although a significant portion of the valuations may be market-related, there has been a public outcry over incorrect and overly inflated valuations which have resulted in unfair rate assessments.

In certain instances, property rate assessments have increased by as much as 200%. Where the change in valuation of the property has been accompanied by a change in the rating category, the increase in rates assessments could be as much as 1000%.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that NMB has now started to charge a fee for all valuation and rating category queries – ostensibly in a bid to discourage property owners from challenging the General Valuation processes.

The DA will continue to encourage property owners to object to incorrect or unfair valuations. We have written to the City Manager, Dr Noxolo Nqwazi, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mr Selwyn Thys, to allow property owners who have had an increase of more than 30% in their rates and who are disputing the outcome of the General Valuation process, to pay a reduced amount in rates until their disputes have been finalised.

In addition, we have requested that the Metro waive all valuation query fees where property owners are successful in disputing valuations or changes in rating categories.

Should the administration fail to adhere to these reasonable requests, we will encourage property owners to lodge a formal dispute with the municipality in terms of Section 102 of the Systems Act in respect of any excessive increase in rates that are subject to an objection process.

The DA will continue to put pressure on the NMB administration to treat all our residents fairly. Excessive increases in property rates payable can have a devastating impact on cash-strapped households who are already struggling to make ends meet.

All property owners that require assistance in objecting to unfair municipal valuations can contact their local DA ward councillor or email us at objectNMBvaluation@da.org.za.

Together we can get Nelson Mandela Bay working again.