Herschel Jawitz, CEO of Jawitz Properties has queried the latest announcement from the City of Joburg with regard to the increase in property values.
“Once again we are faced with a situation where people have to pay more for what is effectively less from an infrastructure and service delivery point of view. The issue of increasing the valuation roll based on the land and improvement value of the property is sound. If property prices are increasing then it is not unreasonable for the council to increase property values. However, the real issues are around transparency, the basis for the valuations and service delivery,” he says.
On its website the council states that the general valuation roll has been advertised in compliance with legislation. However, by all reports the public has been taken by surprise which would indicate that the announcement has been done without the proper notification. Similarly, the council talks about its own team of in-house valuers, who by all accounts are basing their valuations according to their own criterion which bear no relation to market values. Jawitz says that valuations are coming in as high as 80% above their actual value.
The sad reality is that we are dealing with a council that is simply unable to effectively manage and run this city. Most of the citizens of Joburg receive very little if anything for the rates they pay. The roads are deteriorating to the point that private companies have to pay the council to have potholes filled and intersections manned where traffic lights are down. We are really paying for gross inefficiency, it’s that simple.
Jawitz believes that if the council goes ahead with the revised rates, it could impact on property values especially at the lower and middle segments of the market where buyers are very price sensitive. Consumers are still under pressure and an increase in rates will impact on affordability.
Homeowners can object to the revised valuations by filling out a form and submitting it to the Council's Valuation Services together with supporting documentation. The deadline is the end of June.
“The council is reviewing the matter and we await the final outcome,” he says.