Ready for a property rates increase?

Do you own property in South Africa? Brace yourself for a potentially nasty surprise on your municipal bills in the form of increased property taxes.

This year (2024) more than 50 municipalities are going through the process of valuing their customers’ (residential and business) properties to determine the new rates they will charge these customers from July 2024. 

Every few years, municipalities revalue property values and, in 2021, thousands of property owners in Ekurhuleni were caught off guard with property taxes that were increased by as much as 2000% in some cases. That’s right, a residential property worth R1 million could now be worth R20 million, resulting in a whopping R14 114 per month as the new rates bill from the City of Ekurhuleni. This excludes the annual inflation-related increases on top of this over the following years. But it’s not just Ekurhuleni.

Property owners across the country face the same issue. Municipalities use two ways to increase rates: through the valuation roll and through the general annual increase in rates that is included in the municipal budget each year.

The valuation roll is specific to each property and is based on the municipality’s own assumptions and processes. If you don’t take the time to view the estimated value set out by the municipality and determine whether it is accurate, you could be overpaying for years to come, afterall, municipalities do make mistakes sometimes. 

What can you do to avoid this? First, be on the lookout for a formal notice (Section 189 notice) from your municipality’s General Valuation Roll and exercise your rights as guide inhere. Below is a table listing some of the municipalities currently running their valuations, their deadline dates and instructions on how property owners can review their municipal valuation and potentially challenge any errors.  

Check out open municipal GVRs below.

*GVR deadlines that have been reached are marked in red.

Municipality Major Town Close Guide
Abaqulusi Vryheid 15/04/2024 Closed
Beaufort West Beaufort West 12/4/2024 Closed
Chief Albert Luthuli Carolina 23/04/2024 Closed
Dihlabeng Bethlehem 31/05/2024 Closed
Dr Beyers Naude Graaf-Reinet 1/3/2024 Closed
Greater Tzaneen Tzaneen 15/03/2024 Closed
Intsika Yethu Cofimvaba 16/04/2024 Closed
Inxuba Yethemba Cradock 5/4/2024 Closed
Jozini Jozini 22/04/2024 Closed
Laingsburg Laingsburg 12/4/2024 Closed
Lesedi Heidelberg 31/03/2024 Closed
Madibeng Hartbeespoort 31/05/2024 Closed
Matatiele Matatiele 19/03/2024 Closed
Mogalakwena Mokopane 30/04/2024 Closed
Moqhaka Kroonstad 16/04/2024 Closed
Msinga Tugela ferry 15/04/2024 Closed
Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg 15/06/2024 Closed
Ndlambe Port Alfred 9/4/2024 Closed
Newcastle Newcastle 17/05/2024 Closed
Ngwathe Parys 31/05/2024 Closed
Nongoma Nongoma 24/04/2024 Closed
Nyandeni Libode 11/4/2024 Closed
Oudtshoorn Oudtshoorn 1/4/2024 Closed
Polokwane Polokwane 30/04/2024 Closed
Ramotshere Moiloa Zeerust 14/03/2024 Closed
Steve Tshwete Middelburg 12/2/2024 Closed
Thaba Chweu Lydenburg 19/04/2024 Closed
Ulundi Ulundi 29/03/2024 Closed
Umhlabuyalingana Kwangwanase 12/4/2024 Closed
Umzimkhulu Umzimkhulu 15/04/2024 Closed
uPhongolo Phongolo 12/4/2024 Closed
Walter Sisulu Burgersdorp 22/04/2024 Closed

GVR – Why having your voice heard matters.

General Valuation Rolls play a pivotal role in determining property taxes, directly impacting property owners and tenants alike. Every Rand assigned to the total value of your property by your municipality influences your monthly rates bill. Failure to engage in this process could lead to unwarranted increases, adversely affecting your cash flow. Multiple municipalities across the country will be opening their general valuation rolls to public scrutiny between now and June 2024 in order to finalise their 2024/ budgets. CAN is tracking in real-time (…) which GVRs are open in order to help the public easily engage.

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Did you know:

A valuation roll is a legal document that consists of all registered properties within the boundaries of a municipality and forms the rates base for the municipality.

The purpose of the general valuation roll (GVR) and its supplementary rolls is to determine categories and market values for all registered properties within a municipality. The valuation is done on a pre-determined date as required in the Municipal Property Rates Act of 2004 as amended (MPRA) and uses the principle of willing buyer and seller in an open market to determine a fair price. There are several types of properties in the municipality – residential, sectional title, non-residential, agricultural etc. Each of these properties are valued using different valuation methods, although they all relate to the market value. For example, residential property (including sectional titles) are valued using the comparable sales method. Most commercial properties (including retail, offices, warehousing) are valued using the income capitalisation method, whilst institutional properties such as schools, hospitals and clinics are valued on a depreciated cost method. When valuing the properties, the municipal valuer establishes the market conditions as at the date of valuation, based on recent sales and market information in the various areas. This, therefore, takes into consideration areas where values have decreased, increased, or remained unchanged due to the current state of economy at the date of valuation.

When valuing the properties, the municipal valuer establishes the market conditions, as at the date of valuation, based on recent sales and market information in the various areas. The economic factors assist the valuers to determine movement in the market which could result in an increase, decrease or stagnant value being determined compared to the previous valuation roll.

The effective date of implementation refers to the implementation of the general valuation roll. The implementation coincides with the new financial year of the municipality which is 1 July.

The City is compelled by legislation to conduct supplementary valuations on all properties where a change has occurred as prescribed in Section 78 of the MPRA. For example: A vacant property that is subsequently improved with a dwelling, may have been listed in the main GVR under the vacant category and vacant value, but once developed (improved) the supplementary valuation will change the category to residential and the value would reflect the improved value of the land and improvements. For each supplementary valuation, the owner will be informed in writing of the details of such valuation by means of a Section 78 notice. The owner will have an opportunity to request a valuer to review the value if the owner is not in agreement with the value and / or category. All supplementary valuations done in a specific period will be combined in a supplementary valuation roll which will be open for inspection and objection as prescribed.

When the general valuation roll opens for inspection and objection, the customer can visit official objection centres and submit an objection to any entry in the valuation roll, during the prescribed period. The municipal valuer will issue a municipal valuers’ decision (MVD) that will be sent to the customer. If the customer is not happy with the decision, they can lodge an appeal during the prescribed period. The anticipated objection period for any GVR will be between February and April. If the customer misses the opportunity to object, there is an opportunity to raise a query with the City’s valuations section. The customer should provide enough information to assist the municipal valuer in the decision-making process.

Residents who disagree with an objection outcome can lodge an appeal but must include evidence to substantiate their appeal. The Section 53 notice (objection outcome notice) will indicate the period in which to lodge an appeal as well as the venue where the appeal forms can be collected and returned before closing period. Appeals will be heard by the Valuation Appeal Board, which is an independent body appointed by the MEC for Local Government under section 56 of the MPRA. The board consists of a legal representative (an advocate or attorney) and two professional valuers registered at the SA Council for Professional Valuers. The appeal board will review and either confirm, amend or revoke the decision of the municipal valuer.

If the municipal valuer changes the value by more than 10 percent upwards or downwards, the Section 53 notice (objection outcome notice) will indicate whether a compulsory review is applicable. A compulsory review by the Valuation Appeal Board will apply in terms of Section 52. The board will review and confirm, amend or revoke the decision of the municipal valuer. It is therefore very important that property owners read the Section 53 notice that reflects the outcome of the objection and whether the value increased or decreased by more than 10%.

The date of valuation refers to the date at which property values are determined. As an example for the purpose of GVR 2024, the fixed valuation date of the property valuation will be 1 July 2022. Estate agents determine the value of a property as at today’s market which might differ significantly from the market of 1 July 2022.

Too, an estate agent is governed by market forces with a primary motivation to sell the property. In the case of a municipality, the valuation primary and only objective its to calculate how much of a rate is levied from the property owner

Seek help if you need it.

The intention of this page is to guide citizens and empower them regarding their rights to participate in government affairs.

It is recommended that participants make use of an accredited property valuator when lodging an objection to substantiate a legitimate and accurate objection. These professionals should also be able to assist throughout the process of the objection. Please note that OUTA will not be liable for any financial loss due to the information provided for an unsuccessful objection.