Vacant land owners urged to declare dispute PDF Print E-mail
News - Aktueel
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 05:28
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A new Vacant Land Ratepayers Association is being established.

Last month we reported that Bronberg residents decided to close their wallets to the Tshwane municipal council’s vacant land rates. The decision was made when about 350 angry residents held an urgent public meeting after they received their municipal accounts reflecting the new rates and retrospective adjustments, backdated to 1 July last year.

Ex-Kungwini residents’ rates were increased without notice or a public participation process from a low base of 2¢ in the rand by about 250%.

At the meeting a task team was formed to direct the community’s future efforts to have the vacant land rates invalidated by the High Court. Early in October it was decided that the best vehicle to take action is to establish a new Vacant Land Ratepayers Association and not to make use of any established associations. The team is busy with this process.

Disputes
Land owners who have not yet declared a dispute with the Tshwane metro council, are encouraged to do so urgently, because the dispute is the foundation of any action that might be taken.

A form to use as a guide to assist residents to formulate and submit their disputes are available on the Apies River Foundation website at www.wecanwin.co.za.

Several land owners who have already declared disputes found that the metro’s replies did not address the core arguments. The task team urges land owners to continue corresponding with the metro until every issue is addressed to owners’ satisfaction.

Legal action
Len Dekker Attorneys have indicated that they will handle the matter for the Vacant Land Ratepayers Association. No formal mandate has been given to the attorneys yet, because the task team is waiting for outcomes of the disputes that have already been declared and for the Vacant Land Ratepayers Association to be formally established.

The task team is investigating all legal routes to make this process as accurate and cost effective as possible for vacant land owners. The team is also in charge of petitions to Treasury and a formal complaint to the Public Protector.

For more information, speak to André van der Walt, councillor, ward 101, at 083-462-5928 or Lex Middelberg, councillor, ward 91, at 083-627-3713.

 

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