Service delivery issues dominate Roodepoort’s property rates meeting

The property rates policy review meeting in Roodepoort was well attended. Photo:

The recent property rates policy review meeting held in the Roodepoort City Hall was dominated by service delivery issues.

The meeting was the last in a series of 21 meetings held in all seven regions of the City of Johannesburg during which the residents were given the opportunity to comment on the current property rates. This was done to ensure the tariffs stay equitable and affordable.

The residents attending the Roodepoort meeting complained about a wide range of issues – from incorrect billing to the mushrooming of informal settlements and slums in the region.

Johannes Radikanyana, a resident from Witpoortjie, said that his main concern was the private contractors hired by the city. “Why is it that the City hires private contractors to come and switch off your water? When you inquire why they are doing this, they tell us they have been sent by the City,” he said.

Celeste van Rensburg, a resident from Davidsonville who attended the meeting. Photo: Adéle Bloem

Modified Shabane, who is a property owner, wanted information on the number of unproclaimed residential areas in the city. “How many unproclaimed residential areas do we have? I have a feeling there are quite a lot that have not been proclaimed,” Shabane said.

Celeste van Rensburg is a resident of Davidsonville. She said she was deeply concerned about the escalation of informal settlements and slums in her suburbs. “I would like know how property valuation works, especially when you have squatters on the property next to your house. Say I have a property that is of much higher value than my neighbour’s who has these squatters. How will this impact on the value of my property?” she asked.

The city’s Deputy Director of Policy and Revenue Enhancement, Veli Hlophe, assured residents that all the issues raised by property owners would be addressed. “When we held these meetings in all the regions, we had councillors who would deal with these service delivery issues. As a department, I wish to say we do not determine the price increase of water and electricity. On valuation, each and every area is valued accordingly. In April there will be a second round of public consultation meetings,” he said.

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Adéle Bloem

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