Part I – General
1. Objective of by-laws(a)These by-laws are formulated and gazetted to give proper effect to the local municipality’s policies on:•tariffs;•rates;•credit control and debt collection; and•indigency management.(b)These by-laws must be read in conjunction with the policies referred to, and within the applicable provisions of the following legislation:(i)Water Services Act No. 108 of 1997;(ii)Local Government: Municipal Systems Act No. 32 of 2000;(iii)Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act No. 56 of2003; and(iv)Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act No. 6 of 2004.(c)The relevant sections of the legislation referred to above are appended to:(i)Part 9 of the tariffs policy;(ii)Part 7 of the rates policy; and(iii)Part 24 of the credit control and debt collection policy.(d)Copies of these policies, with the relevant annexures setting out the legal requirements and legal framework within which the by-laws must operate, appear on the municipality’s website (address provided and are available free of charge on application to the Office of the Municipal Manager (address provided).
2. Definitions“Accommodation establishment” in relation to a property means the supply of overnight facilities to guests and tourist. A guest house can be an existing home from 3 or more rooms specifically designed to provide overnight accommodation.“Agent” in relation to the owner of a property, shall mean a person appointed by the owner of the property to receive rental or other payments in respect of the property on behalf of the owner, or to make payments in respect of the property on behalf of the owner.“Agricultural property” means property that is used primarily for agricultural purposes, including the rearing, trading and hunting of game but, without derogating from section 9, the property for the purpose of eco-tourism and any portion thereof that is used for the hospitality of guests.“Annual budget” shall mean the budget approved by the municipal council for any particular financial year, and shall include any adjustments to such budget.“Basic municipal services” shall mean a municipal service necessary to ensure an acceptable and reasonable quality of life, which service - if not provided - would endanger public health or safety or the environment.“By-law” shall mean legislation passed by the council of the municipality, and which shall be binding on the municipality and on the persons and institutions to which it applies.“Consumer price index” shall mean the CPIX as determined and gazetted from time to time by the South Africa Bureau of Statistics.“Councillor” shall mean a member of the council of the municipality.“Domestic consumer or user” of municipal services shall mean the person or household which municipal services are rendered in respect of “residential property” as defined below.“date of valuation” means the date determined by a municipality in terms of section 31(1) of the Act.“day” means when any number of days are prescribed for the performance of any act, those days must be reckoned by excluding the first and including the last day, unless the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or any public holiday, in which case the number of days must be reckoned by excluding the first day and also any such Saturday, Sunday or public holiday;“effective date”-(a)in relation to a valuation roll, means the date on which the valuation roll takes effect in terms of section 32(1) of the Act; or(b)in relation to a supplementary valuation roll, means the date on which a supplementary valuation roll takes effect in terms of section 78(2)(b) of the Act;“exclusion”, in relation to the municipality’s rating power, means a restriction of that power as provided for in section 17 of the Act;“Financial year” shall mean the period starting from 1 July in any year and ending on 30 June on the following year.“Integrated development plan” shall mean a plan formulated and approved as envisaged in Section 25 of the Municipal Systems Act 2000.“Land reform beneficiary” in relation to a property, shall mean a person who acquired the property through the provision of Land and Assistance Act No. 126 of 1993 or the Restitution of Land Rights Act No. 22 of 1994, or who holds the property subject to the Communal Property Associations Act No. 29 of 1996, or who holds or acquires the property in terms of such other land tenure reform legislation as may be enacted.“land tenure right”, means a land tenure right as defined in section 1 of the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Act, 1991 (Act No. 112 of 1991);“Local community” or “community”, in relation to the municipality, shall mean that body of persons comprising the residents of the municipality, the ratepayers of the municipality, any civic organisations and non-governmental, private sector or labour organisations or bodies involved in local affairs within the municipality, and visitors and other people residing outside the municipality who, because of their presence in the municipality, make use of services or facilities provided by the municipality.“mining property” means a property used for mining operations as defined in the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of 2002);“Market value” in relation to a property shall mean the value of the property as determined in accordance with Section 46 of the Property Rates Act 2004.“multiple purposes”, in relation to property, means the use of a property for more that one purpose, subject to section 9“Month” means one of twelve months of a calendar year.“Municipality” or “municipal area” shall, where appropriate, mean the geographic area, determined in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act No. 27 of 1998 as the municipal area pertaining to the municipality.“Municipal council” or “council” shall mean the municipal council as referred to in Section 157(1) of the Constitution.“Municipal entity” shall mean(a)a company, co-operative, trust, fund or any other corporate entity established in terms of any applicable national or provincial legislation, and which operates under the ownership control of one or more municipalities; or(b)a service utility.“Municipal manager” shall mean the person appointed in terms of Section 82 of the Municipal Structures Act, 1998.“Multiple purposes” in relation to a property, shall mean the use of a property for more than one purpose.“Municipal service” has the meaning assigned to it in terms of Section 1 of the Municipal Systems Act.“Municipal tariff” shall mean a tariff for services which the municipality may set for the provision of a service to the local community, and may include a surcharge on such service. Tariffs for major services shall mean tariffs set for the supply and consumption or usage of electricity, water, sewerage and refuse removal, and minor tariffs shall mean al other tariffs, charges, fees, rentals or fines levied or imposed by the municipality in respect of other services supplied including services incidental to the provision of the major services.“Occupier” in relation to a property, shall mean a person in actual occupation of the property, whether or not that person has a right to occupy the property.“office bearer”, in relation to places of public worship, means the primary person who officiates at services at that place of worship;“official residence” in relation to places of public worship, means a single residential property registered in the office of the Registrar of Deeds in the name of a religious community or registered in the office of the Registrar of Deeds in the name of a trust established for the sole benefit of a religious community and used as a place of residence for an office bearer;“Owner”(a)in relation to a property referred to in paragraph (a) of the definition of “property”, shall mean a person in whose name ownership of the property is registered;(b)in relation to a right referred to in paragraph (b) of the definition of “property”, shall mean a person in whose name the right is registered;(bA)in relation to a time sharing interest contemplated in the Property Time-sharing Control Act, 1983 (Act No. 75 of 1983), means the management association contemplated in the regulations made in terms of section 12 of the Property Time sharing Control Act, 1983, and published in Government Notice R327 of 24 February 1984;(bB)in relating to a share in a share block company, the share block company as defined in the Share Block Control Act, 1980 (Act No. 59 of 1980);(bC)in relation to buildings, other immovable structures and infrastructure referred to section in 17(1)(f), means the holder of the mining right or the mining permit.(c)in relation to a land tenure right referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of “property”, shall mean a person in whose name the right is registered or to whom it was granted in terms of legislation; and(d)in relation to public service infrastructure referred to in paragraph (d) of the definition of “property”, shall mean the organ of state which owns or controls that public service infrastructure as envisaged in the definition of “publicly controlled”, provided that a person mentioned below may for the purposes of the Property Rates Act 2004 be regarded by the municipality as the owner of a property in the following cases:(i)a trustee, in the case of a property in a trust, but excluding state trust land;(ii)an executor or administrator, in the case of a property in a deceased estate;(iii)a trustee or liquidator, in the case of a property in an insolvent estate or in liquidation;(iv)a judicial manager, in the case of a property in the estate of a person under judicial management;(v)a curator, in the case of a property in the estate of a person under curatorship;(vi)a person in whose name a usufruct or other personal servitude is registered, in the case of a property that is subject to a usufruct or other personal servitude;(vii)a lessee, in the case of a property that is registered in the name of the municipality and is leased by it; and(vii)a lessee, in the case of property to which a land tenure right applies and which is leased by the holder of such right; or(viii)a buyer, in the case of a property sold by the municipality and of which possession was given to the buyer pending registration of ownership in the name of such buyer.“Permitted use” in relation to a property, shall mean the limited purposes for which the property may be used in terms of any restrictions imposed by a condition of title, a provision of the municipality’s town planning or land use scheme, or any legislation applicable to any specific property or properties, or any alleviation of any such restrictions.“Person” shall include an organ of state, and an “organ of state” shall mean an organ of state as defined in Section 239 of the Constitution.“Place of public worship” means property used primarily for the purposes of congregation, excluding a structure that is primarily used for educational instruction in which secular or religious education is the primary instructive medium: Provided that the property is-(a)registered in the name of the religious community;(b)Registered in the name of a trust established for the sole benefit of a religious community; or(c)subject to a land tenure right;“Property” shall mean(a)immovable property registered in the name of a person, including in the case of a sectional title scheme a sectional title unit registered in the name of a person;(b)a right registered against immovable property in the name of the person, but excluding a mortgage bond registered against the property;(c)a land tenure right registered in the name of a person or granted to a person in terms of legislation; and(d)public service infrastructure.“Public service infrastructure” shall mean publicly controlled infrastructure of the following kinds:(a)national, provincial or other public roads on which goods, services or labour move across a municipal boundary;(b)water or sewer pipes, ducts or other conduits, dams, water supply reservoirs, water treatment plants or water pumps forming part of a water or sewer scheme servicing the public;(c)power stations, power sub-stations or power lines forming part of an electricity scheme serving the public;(d)gas or liquid fuel plants or refineries or pipelines for gas or liquid fuel forming part of the scheme for transporting such fuels;(e)railway lines forming part of a national railway system;(f)communication towers, masts, exchanges and lines forming part of a communication system serving the public(g)runways, aprons and the air traffic control unit at national or provincial airports, including the vacant land known as the obstacle free zone surrounding these, which must be vacant for air navigation purposes;(h)breakwaters, seawalls, channels, basins, quay walls, jetties, roads, railway or infrastructure used for the provision of water, lights, power, sewerage or similar services of ports, or navigational aids comprising lighthouses, radio navigational aids, buoys, beacons or any other device or system used to assist the safe and efficient navigation of vessels;(i)any other publicly controlled infrastructure as may be prescribed; and(j)rights of way, easements or servitudes in connection with infrastructure mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (i).“Publicly controlled” shall mean owned by or otherwise under the control of an organ of state, including a public entity listed in the Public Finance Management Act No. 1 of 1999, a municipality, or a municipal entity.“Rate” shall mean a municipal rate on property as envisaged in Section 229(1)(a) of the Constitution.“Rateable property” shall mean property on which the municipality may in terms of Section 2 of the Property Rates Act 2004 levy a rate, but excluding property fully excluded from the levying of rates in terms of Section 17 of that Act.“ratio”, in relation to section 19, means the relationship between the cent amount in the Rand applicable to residential properties and non-residential properties: Provided that the two relevant cent amounts in the Rand are inclusive of any relief measures that amount to rebates of a general application to all properties within a property category;“Ratepayer” shall mean a person who is liable to the municipality for the payment of(a)rates on property in the municipality;(b)any other tax, duty or levy imposed by the municipality; and/or(c)fees for services provided either by the municipality or in terms of a service delivery agreement.“Rebate” in relation to a rate payable on a property, shall mean a discount granted in terms of Section 15 of the Property Rates Act 2004 on the amount of the rate payable on the property.“Residential property” shall mean a property included in the valuation roll in terms of Section 48(2)(b) of the Property Rates Act 2004 as residential.“Sectional Titles Act” shall mean the Sectional Titles Act No. 95 of 1986, and“sectional title scheme” shall mean a scheme defined in Section 1 of that Act; and “sectional title unit” shall mean a unit as defined in Section 1 of that Act.“Specified public benefit activity” shall mean an activity listed in item 1 (welfare and humanitarian), item 2 (healthcare) and item 4 (education and development) of Part 1 of the ninth schedule to the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962“State trust land” shall mean land owned by the state and held in trust for persons communally inhabiting the land in terms of a traditional system of land tenure; over which land tenure rights have been registered or granted; or which is earmarked for disposal in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act No. 22 of 1994.
Part II – Tariffs
3. ObjectivesIn setting its annual tariffs the council shall at all times take due cognisance of the tariffs applicable elsewhere in the economic region, and of the impact which its own tariffs may have on local economic development.
4. General principles(a)Service tariffs imposed by the local municipality shall be viewed as user charges and shall not be viewed as taxes, and therefore the ability of the relevant consumer or user of the services to which such tariffs relate, shall not be considered as a relevant criterion (except in the case of the indigency relief measures approved by the municipality from time to time).(b)The municipality shall ensure that its tariffs are uniformly and fairly applied throughout the municipal region.(c)Tariffs for the four major services rendered by the municipality, namely:•electricity•water•sewerage (waste water)•refuse removal (solids waste),shall as far as possible recover the expenses associated with the rendering of each service concerned, and – where feasible – generate a modest surplus as determined in each annual budget. Such surplus shall be applied in relief of property rates or for the future capital expansion of the service concerned, or both.(d)The tariff which a particular consumer or user pays shall therefore be directly related to the standard of service received and the quantity of the particular service used or consumed.(e)The municipality shall develop, approve and at least annually review an indigency support programme for the municipal area. This programme shall set out clearly the municipality’s cost recovery policy in respect of the tariffs which it levies on registered indigents, and the implications of such policy for the tariffs which it imposes on other users and consumers in the municipal region.(f)In line with the principles embodied in the Constitution and in other legislation pertaining to local government, the municipality may differentiate between different categories of users and consumers in regard to the tariffs which it levies. Such differentiation shall, however, at all times be reasonable, and shall be fully disclosed in each annual budget.(g)The municipality’s tariff policy shall be transparent, and the extent to which there is cross-subsidisation between categories of consumers or users shall be evident to all consumers or users of the service in question.(h)The municipality further undertakes to ensure that its tariffs shall be easily explainable and understood by all consumers and users affected by the tariff policy concerned.(i)The municipality also undertakes to render its services cost effectively in order to ensure the best possible cost of service delivery.(j)In the case of directly measurable services, namely electricity and water, the consumption of such services shall be properly metered by the municipality, and meters shall be read, wherever circumstances reasonably permit, on a monthly basis. The charges levied on consumers shall be proportionate to the quantity of the service which they consume.(k)In addition, the municipality shall levy monthly availability charges for the services concerned, and these charges shall be fixed for each type of property as determined in accordance with its appropriate policies. Generally, consumers of water and electricity shall therefore pay two charges: one, relatively minor, which is unrelated to the volume of consumption and is levied because of the availability of the service concerned; and another directly related to the consumption of the service in question.(l)In considering the costing of its water, electricity and sewerage services, the municipality shall take due cognisance of the high capital cost of establishing and expanding such services, and of the resultant high fixed costs, as opposed to variable costs of operating these services.In adopting what is fundamentally a two-part tariff structure, namely a fixed availability charge coupled with a charge based on consumption, the municipality believes that it is properly attending to the demands which both future expansion and variable demand cycles and other fluctuations will make on service delivery.(m)The municipality’s tariffs for electricity services will be determined to ensure that those consumers who are mainly responsible for peak demand, and therefore for the incurring by the municipality of the associated demand charges from Eskom, will have to bear the costs associated with these charges. To this end the municipality shall therefore install demand meters to measure the maximum demand of such consumers during certain periods. Such consumers shall therefore pay the relevant demand charge as well as a service charge directly related to their actual consumption of electricity during the relevant metering period.
5. Calculation of tariffs for major servicesIn order to determine the tariffs which must be charged for the supply of the four major services, the municipality shall identify all the costs of operation of the undertakings concerned, including specifically the following:(a)Cost of bulk purchases in the case of water and electricity.(b)Distribution costs.(c)Distribution losses in the case of electricity and water.(d)Depreciation expenses.(e)Maintenance of infrastructure and other fixed assets.(f)Administration and service costs, including:(i)service charges levied by other departments such as finance, human resources and legal services;(ii)reasonable general overheads, such as the costs associated with the office of the municipal manager;(iii)adequate contributions to the provisions for bad debts and obsolescence of stock;(iv)all other ordinary operating expenses associated with the service concerned including, in the case of the electricity service, the cost of providing street lighting in the municipal area (note: the costs of the democratic process in the municipality – that is, all expenses associated with the political structures of the municipality – shall form part of the expenses to be financed from property rates and general revenues, and shall not be included in the costing of the major services of the municipality).(g)The intended surplus to be generated for the financial year, such surplus to be applied:(i)as an appropriation to capital reserves; and/or(ii)generally in relief of rates and general services.(h)The cost of approved indigency relief measures.
6. Structure of tariffs(a)The municipality shall provide the first 50kWh of electricity per month and the first 6 kl of water per month free of charge to consumers who have registered as indigents in terms of the municipality’s indigency relief programme. The municipality shall further consider relief in respect of the tariffs for sewerage and refuse removal for such registered indigents to the extent that the council deems such relief affordable in terms of each annual budget, but on the understanding that such relief shall not be less than a discount of 50% on the monthly amount billed for the service concerned.(b)Because water is a scarce national resource, and this municipality is committed to the prudent conservation of such resources, the tariff levied for domestic consumptio n of water shall escalate according to the volume of water consumed. The tariff for domestic consumption shall be based on monthly consumption of up to 6 kl (for non -indigents), more than 6 kl but not more than 15 kl, more than 15 kl but not more than 20 kl, more than 20 kl but not more than 30 kl, and more than 30 kl. Tariffs for non-domestic consumption shall be based on a single charge per kl consumed, irrespective of the volume of consumption concerned.
7. Electricity(a)The various categories of electricity consumers, as set out in sub-section below, shall be charged at the applicable tariffs, as approved by the council in each annual budget.(b)Tariff adjustments shall be effective from 1 July each year or as soon as possible thereafter.(c)Categories of consumption and charges shall be as follows:(i)With the single exception of registered indigents, all electricity consumers shall be billed for their electricity consumption at the tariff applicable to the category in which the particular consumer falls.(ii)All domestic electricity consumers of the municipality who are registered as indigents with the municipality shall receive free the first 50kWh (fifty) of electricity consumed per month.(iii)All commercial, industrial and other non-domestic properties shall additionally be billed a monthly basic charge per meter installed and, where applicable, a demand charge appropriate to their respective levels of consumption.(iv)A basic (availability) charge per month shall be charged for undeveloped erven, irrespective of their permitted or intended use.
8. Water(a)The categories of water consumers as set out in sub-section (c) below shall be charged at the applicable tariffs, as approved by the council in each annual budget.(b)Tariff adjustments shall be effective from 1 July each year.(c)Categories of consumption and charges shall be:(i)All domestic water consumers registered as indigents with the municipality shall receive free the first 6 (six) kl of water consumed per month. Thereafter a stepped tariff per kl as determined by the council from time to time shall be applicable on metered water consumption.(ii)All other domestic consumers shall be charged for actual water consumption at a stepped tariff per kl as determined by the council from time to time.(v)A basic charge per water meter, as determined by the council from time to time, shall be charged on all water consumers, except registered indigents and consumers using prepaid meters.(vi)A basic (availability) charge per month shall be charged for undeveloped erven, irrespective of their permitted or intended use.
9. Refuse removal(a)The categories of refuse removal users as set out in sub-section (c) below shall be charged at the applicable tariffs, as approved by the council in each annual budget.(b)Tariff adjustments shall be effective from 1 July each year.(c)A separate fixed monthly refuse removal charge shall apply to each of the following categories of users, based on the costs of the service concerned:(i)Domestic and other users (once weekly removal)(ii)Business and other users (twice weekly removal)(iii)Business and other (bulk consumers).(iv)Domestic and other users (fortnight removal)(v)Abattoir(d)Registered indigents may receive such discount on this charge as the council deems affordable when approving each annual budget, but on the understanding that such discount shall not be less than 40% of the monthly amount billed as a refuse removal charge.
10. Sewerage(a)The categories of sewerage users as set out in sub-section (c) below shall be charged per month at the applicable tariff as approved by the council in each annual budget.(b)Tariff adjustments will be effective from 1 July each year.(c)Categories of usage and charges shall be:(i)A basic (availability) charge per month shall be charged for undeveloped erven, irrespective of their permitted or intended use.(ii)A fixed monthly charge based on the costs of the service shall be charged for bucket removal for domestic users. Registered indigents may receive such discount on this charge as the council deems affordable when approving each annual budget, but on the understanding that such discount shall not be less than 40% of the monthly amount billed for this service.(iii)A fixed monthly charge based on the costs of the service shall be charged for domestic users. Registered indigents may receive such discount on this charge as the council deems affordable when approving each annual budget, but on the understanding that such discount shall not be less than 40% of the monthly amount billed for this service.(iv)A fixed monthly charge based on the costs of the service per sewer point/toilet shall be charged to all businesses, industries and institutional users.(v)An effluent fee shall further be payable by factories and other industrial users where the wastewater emanating from such users requires special purification measures by the municipality. Such fees shall be based on the toxic content of the wastewater concerned and the costs of the purification.
11. Minor tariffs(a)All minor tariffs shall be standardised within the municipal region.(b)All minor tariffs shall be approved by the council in each annual budget, and shall, when deemed appropriate by the council, be subsidised by property rates and general revenues, particularly when the tariffs will prove uneconomical when charged to cover the cost of the service concerned, or when the cost cannot accurately be determine d, or when the tariff is designed purely to regulate rather than finance the use of the particular service or amenity(c)All minor tariffs over which the municipality has full control, and which are not directly related to the cost of a particular service, shall annually be adjusted at least in line with the prevailing consumer price index, unless there are compelling reasons why such adjustment should not be effected.(d)The following services shall be considered as subsidised services, and the tariffs levied shall cover 50% or as near as possible to 50% of the annual operating expenses budgeted for the service concerned:(i)burials and cemeteries(ii)rentals for the use of municipal sports facilities.(e)The following services shall be considered as community services, and no tariffs shall be levied for their use:(i)municipal museum and art gallery(ii)disposal of garden refuse at the municipal tip site(iii)municipal lending library (except for fines set out below)(iv)municipal botanical garden, and all other parks (excluding caravan parks) and open spaces.(f)The following services shall be considered as economic services, and the tariffs levied shall cover 100% or as near as possible to 100% of the budgeted annual operating expenses of the service concerned:(i)maintenance of graves and garden of remembrance (cremations)(ii)housing rentals(iii)rentals for the use of municipal halls and other premises (subject to the proviso set out below)(iv)building plan fees(v)cleaning of stands(vi)electricity, water, sewerage: new connection fees(vii)Photostat copies and fees(viii)clearance certificates.(g)The following charges and tariffs shall be considered as regulatory or punitive, and shall be determined as appropriate in each annual budget:(i)fines for loss or overdue library books(ii)advertising sign fees(iii)electricity, water: disconnection and reconnection fees(iv)penalty and other charges imposed in terms of the approved policy on credit control and debt collection(v)penalty charges for the submission of dishonoured, stale, post-dated or otherwise unacceptable cheques.(h)Market-related rentals shall be levied for the lease of municipal properties.(i)In the case of rentals for the use of municipal halls and premises, if the municipal manager is satisfied that the halls or premises are required for non-profit making purposes and for the provision of a service to the community, the municipal manager may waive 50% of the applicable rental.(j)The municipal manager shall determine whether an indemnity or guarantee must in each instance be lodged for the rental of municipal halls, premises and sports fields, and in so determining shall be guided by the likelihood of the municipality’s sustaining damages as a result of the use of the facilities concerned.
Part III – Rates
12. Objectives(a)In developing and adopting this rates policy, the council has sought to give effect to the sentiments expressed in the preamble of the Property Rates Act, 2004 (No 6 of 2004) namely that:(i)the Constitution enjoins local government to be developmental in nature, in addressing the service delivery priorities of our country and promoting the economic and financial viability of our municipalities;(ii)there is a need to provide local government with access to a sufficient and buoyant source of revenue necessary to fulfill its developmental responsibilities;(iii)revenues derived from property rates represent a critical source of income for municipalities to achieve their constitutional objectives, especially in areas neglected in the past because of racially discriminatory legislation and practices; and(iv)it is essential that municipalities exercise their power to impose rates within a statutory framework which enhances certainty, uniformity and simplicity across the nation, and which takes account of historical imbalances and the burden of rates on the poor.(b)In applying its rates policy, the council shall adhere to all the requirements of the Property Rates Act, 2004 (No 6 of 2004) including any regulations promulgated in terms of that Act.
13. Clearance certificates (section 118(1) and 118(3))(i)On the sale of any property in the municipal jurisdiction, the municipality will withhold the transfer until all rates, services and consumption charges are paid by withholding a rates clearance certificate as contemplated in section 118(1) of the Systems Act.(ii)The Municipality shall, wherever possible, issue a clearance certificate within ten working days of such request once all outstanding debts and administration fees have been paid in full.(iii)The above provisions do not apply in the case of transfers from National Government, Provincial Government or another municipality of residential property where the provisions of Section 118(4) of the Municipal Systems Act are applicable.(iv)Whereas section 118(1) effectively places an embargo on the transfer of immovable property until die council has obtained payment of all amounts owed to it for a period of two years prior the application for rates clearance, section 118(3) determines that an amount due for municipal service fees, surcharges on fees, property rates and other municipal taxes, levies and duties is a charge upon the property in connection with which the amount is owing and enjoys preference over a mortgage bond registered against the property.(v)The Municipality shall collect two (2) months service charges in advance to cover the period for the transfer to be registered at the Deeds Office.
14. Imposition of rates(a)The council shall as part of each annual operating budget component impose a rate in the rand on the market value of all ratable property as recorded in the municipalit y’s valuation roll and supplementary valuation roll. Ratable property shall include any rights registered against such property, with the exception of a mortgage bond.(b)The council shall, in imposing the rate for each financial year, take proper cognizance of the aggregate burden of rates and service charges on representative property owners, in the various categories of property ownership, and of the extent to which this burden is or remains competitive with the comparable burden in other municipalities within the local economic region.
15. Rebates on rates(a)In imposing the rate in the rand for each annual operating budget component, the council shall grant the following rebates to the categories of properties and categorie s of owners indicated in sub-section (b) below, but the council reserves the right to amend these rebates if the circumstances of a particular annual budget so dictate.(b)In determining whether a property forms part of a particular category indicated below, the municipality shall have regard to the actual use to which the relevant property is put. In the case of vacant land not specifically included in any of the categories indicated below, the permitted use of the property shall determine into which category it falls.
|CATEGORY OF PROPERTY||REBATE TO BE GRANTED|
|(i) Sites zoned for residential purposes and used for residential purposes only and of which the total valuation is R40 000.00 or less, will automatically be exempt from property rates||100%|
|(ii) Industrial properties||NONE|
|(iii) Business and commercial properties||NONE|
|(iv) Farm properties: residential component||75%|
|(v) Farm properties: business and commercial component||NONE|
|(vi) Farm properties: agricultural component||75%|
|(vii) Farm properties: used for no purpose||75%|
|(viii) Smallholdings: residential component||75%|
|(ix) Smallholdings: business and commercial component||NONE|
|(x) Smallholdings: industrial component||NONE|
|(xi) Smallholdings: agricultural component||75%|
|(xii) State-owned properties: residential||NONE|
|(xiii) State-owned properties: public service infrastructure||30%|
|(xiv) State-owned properties: other||NONE|
|(xv) Municipal properties: residential||NONE|
|(xvi) Municipal properties: public service infrastructure||30%|
|(xvii) Municipal properties: other||NONE|
|(xviii) Formal and informal settlements: all properties with a rateble value of up to R40 000, will automatically be exempted from rates.||100%|
|(xix) Formal and informal settlements: all properties with a rateble value of R40 000 or more||NONE|
|(xx) Communal land||NONE|
|(xxi) State trust land||NONE|
|(xxii) Protected areas||100%|
|(xxiii) Properties on which national monuments are situated, and where no business or commercial activities are conducted in respect of such monuments||100%|
|(xxiv) Properties on which national monuments are situated, but where business or commercial activities are conducted in respect of such monuments||NONE|
|(xxv) Properties owned by public benefit organizations and used to further the objectives of such organizations||80%|
|CATEGORY OF OWNERS||ADDITIONAL REBATES TO BE GRANTED|
|(i) Property owners who are over 60 years of age, who are both the permanent occupants and the sole owners of the property.||30% of the rates based on the ratable value|
|(ii) Owners of properties being developed for approved commercial or industrial usage||80% of the rates based on the ratable value until the development is completed,|
16. Frequency of paymentsPayments for rates shall be made monthly on or before the date specified in each monthly rate account, which date shall be the 15th day of the month concerned or if the 15th is not a business day, the business day immediately following the 15th.
17. Correction of errors and omissions(a)In the event of any under-recovery of rates on a particular property, whether because of an error or omission on the part of the municipality or false information provided by the property owner concerned or a contravention of the permitted use to which the property concerned may be put, the rates payable shall be appropriately adjusted for the period extending from the date on which the error or omission is detected back to the date on which rates were first levied in terms of the current valuation roll. In addition, where the error occurred because of false information provided by the property owner or as a result of a contravention of the permitted use of the property concerned, interest on the unpaid portion of the adjusted rates payable shall be levied at the maximum rate permitted by prevailing legislation.(b)In the event of any over-recovery of rates on a particular property, whether because of the rate applied or the valuation, the account concerned shall be rectified for the year in which the mistake is detected and for not more than the two preceding financial years, subject, however, to the provisions of the Institution of 2002. Legal Proceeding against Certain Organs of State Act, (Act No 40 of 2002)(c)Where incorrect debits were raised or omitted levies regarding services, the accounts under query will be rectified for the year, in which the error was found or reported and two preceding financial years.
18. Frequency of valuationsThe municipality shall prepare a new valuation roll every 4 (four) years and supplementary valuation rolls every 6 (six) months or once yearly.
Part IV – Credit control and debt collection
19. Objective constitutional obligationsThe council of the municipality, in adopting this policy on credit control and debt collection, recognises its constitutional obligations to develop the local economy and to provide acceptable services to its residents. It simultaneously acknowledges that it cannot fulfill these constitutional obligations unless it exacts payment for the services which it provides and for the taxes which it legitimately levies – in full from those residents who can afford to pay, and in accordance with its indigency relief measures for those who have registered as indigents in terms of the council’s approved indigency management policy.
20. Notice of default and intended termination or restriction of servicesWithin 2 (two) calendar days after each monthly due date for payment of municipal accounts for property rates and/or service charges, the municipal manager shall dispatch to every defaulting accountholder, that is, every accountholder who as at the date of the notice has not paid the monthly account in full or has not made an acceptable arrangement with the municipal manager for partial or late payment, a notice stating that unless full payment is received or an acceptable arrangement made with the municipal manager for partial or late payment, the municipal electricity or water supply or both such supplies to the property to which the account in arrears relates shall be terminated or restricted 5 (five) working days after the date of the notice concerned.
21. Reconnection or reinstatement of terminated or restricted services(a)Services to defaulting accountholders terminated or restricted in terms of Section 19 above shall be reconnected or reinstated by the municipal manager only when all the following conditions have been met:(i)the arrear account has been paid in full, including the interest raised on such account; or an acceptable arrangement has been made with the municipal manager for the payment of the arrear account, including the interest raised on such account;(ii)the charge(s) for the notice sent in terms of Section 19 above and for the reconnection or reinstatement of the terminated or restricted service(s), as determined by the council from time to time, have been paid in full;(iii)a service contract has been entered into with the municipality, as contemplated in Section 26 below; and(iv)a cash deposit has been lodged with the municipal manager in compliance with Section 27(b)In the case of consumers using prepaid meters, but who have fallen into arrears with the remainder of their obligations to the municipality, no prepaid purchases shall be accepted until the outstanding arrears have been s ettled or an acceptable arrangement made for the payment of the arrear account, as contemplated above: such arrangement may entail the limitation of the amount of prepaid services which may be purchased until the arrears or a stated percentage of the arrears has been settled.
22. Periods for reconnections or reinstatementsThe municipal manager shall reconnect or reinstate terminated or restricted services within 3 (three) working days after the date on which the conditions set out in Section 20 above have been met, unless the municipal manager is unable to do so because of circumstances beyond the control of the municipality.
23. Illegal reconnections(a)The municipal manager shall, as soon as it comes to the notice of the municipal manager that any terminated or restricted service has been irregularly reconnected or reinstated, report such action to the South African Police Service, disconnect or restrict such service(s), and not reconnect or reinstate such service(s) until the arrear account, including the interest raised on such account, the charges for the notice sent in terms of Section 19 above and the charges for both the original and subsequent reconnection or reinstatement of the service(s) and the revised deposit have been paid in full, together with such penalty as may be determined by the council from time to time.(b)In addition, all metered consumption since the date of the illegal reconnection, or the estimated consumption if a reliable meter reading is not possible, shall also be paid full before any reconnection or reinstatement is considered.
24. Restrictions of servicesIf the municipal manager is of the opinion that the termination of services, in the case of a particular property in respect of which the account is in arrear, is not in the best interests of the community – specifically because of the potential endangerment of the life of any person, whether resident in or outside the property concerned – the municipal manager may appropriately restrict rather than terminate the services in question.
25. Services not reconnected or reinstated after four weeks(a)If services have been terminated or restricted in the case of a property in respect of which the account is in arrear, and the accountholder has not paid such arrears, including the interest raised on such account, or made an acceptable arrangement with the municipal manager for the payment of the arrear account, including the interest raised on such account, within a period of 28 (twenty eight) calendar days after the date of termination or restriction of the service(s) concerned, the municipal manager shall forthwith hand such account over for collection and such further action as is deemed necessary to the municipality’s attorneys or any debt collecting agency appointed by the council.(b)Such further action shall include if necessary the sale in execution of such property to recover arrear property rates and service charges (if the accountholder is also the owner of the property).(c)All legal expenses incurred by the municipality shall be for the account of the defaulting accountholder.
26. Arrangements for payment of arrear accounts(a)Allowing defaulting account holders to make arrangements for the payment of arrear accounts shall be at the discretion of the municipal manager.(b)Each defaulting accountholder must pay an arrear account, according to the council resolution taken from time to time together with the interest raised on such account, and it shall be a condition for the conclusion of any arrangement that the accountholder is bound to pay every current municipal account in full and on time during the period over which such arrangement extends.Arrangement regarding arrears accounts.The following are considered reasonable and is the minimum that will be accepted:
|OUTSTANDING DEBT||PAYMENT PER MONTH IN AREARS|
|0 - 500||R100.00|
|501 - 1000||R200.00|
|1000 and more||R300|
|NOT AN INDIGENT CASE|
|OUTSTANDING DEBT||PAYMENT PER MONTH IN ARREARS|
|0 - 1000||R350.00|
|1001 - 2500||R550.00|
|2501 - 5000||R700.00|
|5001 - 10000||R1000.00|
|10001 - 20000||R1500.00|
|20001 and more||3000.00|