JOHANNESBURG, March 9 – Gauteng Premier David Makhura has taken exception to Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s remarks that he does not understand the facts or the unprecedented measures being implemented in recent re-valuation of properties in Johannesburg.
“On Wednesday, I took an extraordinary step to intervene in the current property rates crisis in the City of Johannesburg by requesting a meeting with Mayor Mashaba so that he can come and explain what the City is doing to resolve the concerns of residents,” Makhura said.
“This is very unfortunate as it smacks of either arrogance or total denialism of a real crisis that has irked Joburg residents who are deeply concerned and angered by the Mayor’s dismissive and arrogant attitude.”
The comments came as Makhura and Mashaba were set to meet on Friday to discuss the possible rate hikes resulting from the recent property valuations.
Mashaba announced that 8,000 property owners will from next week receive Section 78 notices which will revise valuations for properties that appear to be over-valued. These 8,000 valuations, which he has said had been identified as problematic, have experienced considerable increases, many of over 100 percent.
The re-valuation of properties in Johannesburg has elicited major concerns amongst ratepayers and property owners.
Makhura said that Mashaba continues to think anyone who is questioning the “irrational and inexplicable” proposed property rates hike is either stupid or spoilt.
Makhura said he has been getting complaints from Joburg residents and businesses who fear that the rates hike will put a major strain on their finances.
“I still find the City’s response to the crisis wholly inadequate because it is based on denialism of the extent of crisis,” Makhura said.
The meeting between Makhura ad Mashaba will take place at 2 pm on Friday afternoon, following which Makhura will meet with concerned Joburg residents and businesses to hear their views.
– African News Agency (ANA)