Joburg rates hike debate: Mayor Mashaba tries to calm growing tempers

JOHANNESBURG — If you own property in Johannesburg, there’s a good chance you’ll have to put up with a significant rates hike come July amid the completion of the DA-run city’s four-yearly general valuation. According to Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, the average property value increase over five years for about 879,000 residential properties in the city has been about 30%. Digging deeper into the numbers, Mashaba said on Wednesday that 30.65% of properties will, in the eyes of the city, have their property values increase between 41% and 60%. In a recent document distributed by Councillor Tim Truluck, he said that “for every R100,000 increase [in property value it represents about R60 extra on your rates bill”. Understandably, many Joburgers are fuming about this, especially in a year in which stealth taxes and VAT hikes are the order of the day. But the city has defended its move, saying that previous valuations rolls done under the ANC administration were out of step with real market values. – Gareth van Zyl

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