Fin24

Joburg property rates 'unlawful'

2012-11-08 16:44

Bloemfontein - The City of Johannesburg unlawfully increased rates on businesses, commercial and industrial properties in 2009/2010, the Supreme Court of Appeal held on Thursday.

It delivered judgment in an appeal by the SA Property Owners' Association (Sapoa) against an earlier finding for the municipality.

The SCA found the Johannesburg council and mayor had not complied with relevant provisions of:

- the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act;

- the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act;

- and the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act.

All three acts make provision for community participation.

At the time, the municipality decided to increase the rates on business, commercial and industrial properties by 28 percent. This came after the budget providing for an increase of 10 percent had been tabled and advertised for public comment.

The High Court in Johannesburg found for the city, and held the levying of property rates was not an integral part of the budget process.

The lower court found granting the relief sought by Sapoa was not in the public interest, because it would probably bankrupt the city, leaving it unable to perform its constitutional duties. The association’s application was dismissed with costs.

The SCA held the decision to impose the additional 18 percent was irrational and unfairly discriminated against the owners of such properties. The SCA upheld the association's appeal against the High Court order.

However, a majority judgment of the SCA decided the problem created by the rates unlawfully levied could not be solved by a court order. This decision was in terms of the Constitution, which requires that the SCA make a just and equitable order.

The SCA therefore declared the council had acted unlawfully in imposing the contentious rate, and stated how such a problem had to be dealt with in future.

The judgment declared the relevant provisions of the acts should be complied with when the council wished to adopt a budget with rates which were materially different from those in the tabled budget.

Comments
  • jonathancfarrell - 2012-11-08 17:08

    :) Nice one guys!

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-11-08 17:09

    So in other words the ANC now know - go ahead with whatever and if it's found unlawful you will be told not to do it again. In fact, go ahead with HUGH projects that would bankrupt the nation because then the decision cannot be reversed.

      colin.dovey - 2012-11-08 17:54

      "HUGE" :-)

      atholl.canterbury - 2012-11-08 21:54

      The criminal mind: When confronted with any issue ... the first reaction is to provide an unlawful solution when this fails --->> then go back to the first reaction this is also known as Newton's 2nd law of motion represented by the formula: Cm > Ul where : Cm = Criminal mind Ul = Unlawful > = perpetual loop.

  • gazaspells - 2012-11-08 17:13

    so does this mean they are going to reverse the rate increases

      jcoetzee1975 - 2012-11-09 07:59

      no

  • henk.tredoux.7 - 2012-11-08 17:18

    Eish these branch managers we have!!??

  • deepchund.ramchurren - 2012-11-08 17:25

    Those who were short changed need to be refunded. I guess SAPOA will have to make another court application for the refund.Crazy world.

  • george.larkins.14 - 2012-11-08 17:32

    CORRUPT CORRUPT CORRUPT,and we have to pay.E-Toll,Electricity,High Fuel prices,all sort of taxes.Just to finance these MORONS.

      darren.raath.5 - 2012-11-08 20:34

      dont forget the ridiculous increases on beer and cigs. its a disgrace

  • charles.szente - 2012-11-08 17:37

    Ok I get that you don't want to bankcrupt the city, but where is the accountability? Prevent them from passing an increase next year, something to give back what they illegally proceesed?

      darren.raath.5 - 2012-11-08 20:34

      ja there will be a reprieve nest year.the rates will only go up by 22%

      william.hall.12979 - 2012-11-09 01:11

      Ok dont bankrupt the city... just bankrupt everyone living in it! same story, many many more victims

  • peter.hall.3956 - 2012-11-08 18:41

    The ANC has become one of the biggest disappointments in Africa, we all had high hopes but the fact is that no skill,morals,commitment = disaster, especially in Africa!. Will a new leader please stand up!

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-08 21:52

    It shouldn't be too long before the last remaining payers reach the same stage as the skwattalands and become like the slums abounding in and out all African cities and take Jhb and all others down the route of utter degradation and abysmal conditions. Justice has indeed being severely raped, not only by a dictator

  • christo.bokhorst - 2012-11-09 07:31

    Ja wait for the next valuation roll to be implemented in July 2013, they are going to try and get the lost revenue back. Make sure you talk to the correct people when questening your rates valuation, if you object on incorrect grounds there can be costs Ordered against you in the Appeal board Hearing.

      konstabel.koekemoer - 2012-11-09 09:30

      They increase the percentage of the rates levied and then they increase the value of your property so you get hit double.

  • veronica.holland.5 - 2012-11-09 09:17

    what about the HUGE increases in residential property rates? - re-valuation objections were simply ignored!

      christo.bokhorst - 2012-11-09 09:47

      Takes up to 15 months to be resolved, from objection period(if you were informed of the revaluation), getting a desicion, Appealling the desicion and getting heard by the Independant Appeal Board

      Justice Schwart - 2013-05-06 09:57

      To be ignored by the ANC is a norm, not an exception. Slowly but surely their days are numbered.

  • flysouth - 2012-11-09 09:26

    I think that many people are now so gatvol of the nonsense of the ANC that we will see many more court actions against decisions of local and national government. This is inevitable and the latest is the action brought against the CoJ which claims that fines against motorists going back years are all illegal since offenders were not notified as required by law, by registered post. I say, 'good work' - this iniquitous and rapacious administration of the ANC must be attacked on every front and whenever they step out of line, which is all the time! If the courts, regrettably packed now with ANC deployees who bring no objectivity, does not succeed in restoring what is right, then it will end in action on the streets - similar to the actions in North Africa etc if necessary.

  • E De Klerk - 2013-05-06 09:44

    And now for the current series of private property rate increases that these stooges are implementing as from July 2013 in Joburg.Hugh percentages increase with no corresponding increase in service delivery and long queues of customers complaining - all to no effect . They are a law unto themselves. Let us take them on again.

  • Justice Schwart - 2013-05-06 09:55

    Are you sure the Guptas haven't anything to do with this?

  • Marc Herzberg - 2013-11-04 17:44

    Get the experts involved, councilsolutions@gmail.com or 0789412241

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