Andrew Louw, MPL,
DA Provincial Leader:
The Democratic Alliance calls for the Sol Plaatje municipality to reconsider its proposed revisions to the valuation rolls. The revised valuations increases the value of some properties by as much as 50%.
We believe that the majority of revised valuations are driven by the desire to generate more income for Sol Plaatje. While the municipality must be encouraged to generate its own income, the effect will simply be to punish those ratepayers who already contribute significantly to the municipal coffers.
The DA calls for the municipality to rather focus on its debt collection strategies. If the municipality can improve its collection of monies owed to the municipality, it will not be necessary to punish residents in this way. If you look at the municipality’s audited financial statements for the 2012/13 financial year, for example, you’ll see that the municipality was owed debts of R413.918 million which had been outstanding for more than ninety days. The municipality’s provision for impairment was R428.605 million. If the municipality followed a proper debt collection strategy, it wouldn’t need to write off hundreds of millions and it would have the funds necessary to deliver services to the community.
Ultimately, the municipality has to protect both its ratepayers and its indigents. Provision must be made for the indigent community.
However, if the ratepayers are being penalised to the point where they are unable to pay their contributions, the indigents will be the ones who suffer the most.
We urge residents to inspect the valuation of their properties and to register their objections with the municipality if they feel that the valuation is incorrect.