Rates must be collected from Ingonyama Trust Board Properties – Cogta

Deputy Directors Roshinee Naidoo and Philani Moya of Cogta.

Philani Michael Moya, assisted by Roshinee Naidoo, both Deputy Directors of KZN Cogta, in a presentation at Umdoni Finance Portfolio Committee meeting on August 15, were forthright and candid in the interpretation of the MPRA (Municipal Propery Rates Act) in so far as the collection of rates from areas that have hitherto escaped the rates net, such as the Ingonyama Trust Board areas.

Municipalities have no reason not to collect rates from owners of businesses and from government buildings in ITB areas.

In these rural areas the title deeds are in the name of the ITB and residents’ occupation is formalised by Permission To Occupy (PTO) documents.

Whilst residents, some of whom have substantial houses in these areas should in reality be levied rates, the question of whether the occupier or land owner in these peculiar circumstances is liable for rates may have to be tested in court.

This has been a bone of contention for a long time, said Mayor Dube.

Rates policies must be amended to include these areas, but caution must be exercised as the inclusion of an uncollectable rates source may present problems by increasing the book debt.

“The lack of a political will to implement regulations is the cause of the situation we are in,” said Councillor Baptie of the Democratic Alliance.

MSCRS Reporter

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