Ratepayers Association
Tariefbetalers Vereniging

This web page promotes the concept of a ratepayers association, and points out some legal rights the public has.
Hierdie web blad bevorder die begrip van 'n tariefbetalers vereniging, and wys op party van die regte wat die publiek het.


WEB PAGE INDEX / WEB BLAD INDEKS


Necessity for a Ratepayers Association / Noodsaaklikheid vir 'n Tariefbetalers Vereniging
Public right to contact council
Fixed service tariffs (availability fees) contravene law
Join a ratepayers association


Necessity for a Ratepayers Association

1. Council usually not representative of ratepayers.

The owners that pay most of the municipal taxes is usually a minority of the voters, and therefore have no control over the council or expenses. If the council does not represent the ratepayers, then the ratepayers need to create their own representative body in the form of a ratepayers association.

The inbalance between the number of tax payers, and the voters that control the council, but pay no or little taxes, is worsening. It has become essential for tax payers to stand together to look after their own interests. Nobody else is going to do it for them.

2. Municipalities ignore depopulation reality.

The depopulation of rural areas makes it difficult to sell property in some towns in South Africa. The owners will either have to sell it at a loss, or write it off if no buyers can be found. Municipalities take legal action against owners to receive payment, regardless of whether particular services are required or not. Any unnecessary costs an owner pays on a property that is already showing a loss, is money the owner will never get back. After years the losses can run into the many thousands of rands, and it never ends.

To limit losses, it has become essential for owners to unite, to ensure that a municipality only pay for essential expenses. If you don't want to get involved, you could in the future be stuck with a property you can't sell, but is still held accountable for many thousands of rands of municipal taxes for an infinity. The outstanding municipal debt for SA amounts to R75 billion.

Suggested goals of a ratepayers assocation:

1. To give ratepayers feedback on where their taxes are being spent.

Municipalities usually do not give a breakdown of expenses according to suburbs or towns. You have no idea where your money is going. A ratepayers association can search through the municipality's financial statements to try and dig up the information.

2. To bring municipal expenses in line with income sources.

Tax payers must receive services equal to the taxes they pay. Residents should only pay for the services they want.

3. To improve the response of management and councillors to public enquiries.

It is often a battle to get replies from councillors. An association can provide feedback on what councillors do for the large salaries they earn.


Noodsaaklikheid vir 'n Tariefbetalers Vereniging

1. Raad gewoonlik nie verteenwoordigend van tariefbetalers nie.

Die eienaars wat die meeste van die munisipale belasting betaal is gewoonlik 'n klein minderheid, en het dus geen beheer oor die raad of uitgawes nie. As die raad nie tariefbetalers verteenwoordig nie. moet die tarief betalers hulle eie verteenwoordigende liggaam skep in die vorm van 'n tariefbetalers vereniging.

Die wanbalans tussen die aantal belastingbetalers, en die aantal kiesers wat die munisipale stadsraad beheer, maar geen of min belasting betaal, word net erger. Dit het noodsaaklik geword vir belasting betalers om saam te staan, om na hulle eie belange om te sien. Niemand anders gaan dit vir hulle doen nie.

2. Munisipaliteite ignoreer ontvolking werklikheid.

Die ontvolking van die platteland veroorsaak dat eiendom op party dorpe in Suid Afrika moeilik verkoop. Die eienaars sal dit of teen 'n verlies moet verkoop, of dit afskryf as geen kopers gevind kan word nie. Munisipaliteite neem regs stappe teen eienaars om betaling te ontvang, ongeag of die eienaar bepaalde dienste benodig word of nie. Enige onnodige kostes wat 'n eienaar betaal op 'n eiendom wat alreeds 'n verlies wys, is geld wat die eienaar nie sal terugkry nie. Na jare kan die verliese derduisende rande beloop, en dit hou nooit op nie.

Om die verlies te beperk, het dit noodsaaklik geword vir eienaars om saam te staan, om te sorg dat die munisipaliteit net noodsaaklike uitgawes aangaan. As u nie betrokke wil raak nie, kan u in die toekoms sit met 'n eiendom wat u nie kan verkoop nie, maar steeds aanspreeklik is vir derduisende rande se munisipale belasting tot in oneindigheid. Die agterstallige munisipale skuld vir SA beloop R75 biljoen.

Voorgestelde doelwitte van die vereniging:

1. Om aan belasting betalers terugvoering te verskaf oor waar hulle belasting geld heengaan.

Munisipaliteite gee gewoonlik nie 'n verdeling van uitgawes volgens voorstede of dorpe nie. U geen idee waar u geld heengaan nie.

2. Om munisipale uitgawes in ooreenstemming te bring met die bronne van inkomste.

Dit wil sê, belasting betalers moet dienste ontvang gelykstaande aan die belasting wat hulle betaal. Inwoners behoort slegs te betaal vir dienste wat hulle wil hê.

3. Om die reaksie van die bestuur en raadslede op publieke navrae te verbeter.

Dit is gewoonlik 'n gesukkel om antwoorde van raadslede kry nie. Een van die doelwitte van die vereniging is om te bepaal wat raadslede doen vir die salaris wat hulle verdien.


Public right to contact municipal council

The Municipal Systems Act no 32 of 2000 prescribes the public's right to contact the council, and receive a prompt reply:

"5. (1) Members of the local community have the right—

(a) through mechanisms and in accordance with processes and procedures provided for in terms of this Act or other applicable legislation to —
    (ii) submit written or oral recommendations, representations and complaints -
        to the municipal council or to another political structure or a political office bearer or the administration of the municipality;

(b) to prompt responses to their written or oral communications, including complaints, to the municipal council or to another political structure or a political office bearer or the administration of the municipality;"

(c) to be informed of decisions of the municipal council, or another political structure or any political office bearer of the municipality, affecting their rights, property and reasonable expectations;"

The council has the ultimate duty to manage the municipality, and make by-laws, according to this article in the Act:

"4. (2) The council of a municipality, within the municipality’s financial and administrative capacity and having regard to practical considerations, has the duty to -
        (a) exercise the municipality’s executive and legislative authority ..."


Fixed service tariffs (availability fees) contravene law

Some municipalities charge a fixed monthly tariff for electricity, water and sewerage regardless of usage, including an availability tariff for empty stand owners. The Municipal Systems Act no 32 of 2000 states:

“74. (2)(b) the amount individual users pay for services should generally be in proportion to their use of that service."

Common sense suggests that a person who uses 100kL/month should pay more for infra-structure than a person who uses 10kL/month, in proportion to their usage, which is the principle contained in the law. Infrastructure costs should therefore not be divided equally amongst users by means of a fixed tariff.

Empty stand owners should not pay for the availability of electricity, water and sewerage, because the municipality does not have to maintain any infra-stucture for them. People who don't use Telkom or Multichoice services do not pay for their infra-structure.

The issue of the infra-structure required for holiday towns where services are only used during holidays should be dealt with differently. The fixed service tariffs penalize a poor person or a person who tries to save electricity and water with this threshold cost. What is needed is a penalty for the holiday-only user, instead of penalizing the low consumption user. This could be achieved by a tariff adjustment based on peak over average monthly use, e.g. if you only use the service 1/12 months, you pay 12x the nominal tariff per kWh or kL. Thereby maintaining the proportionality principle contained in the law. Provision is made for a surcharge in article 74.(2)(f) of the Act.


Join a ratepayers association / Sluit aan by 'n tariefbetalers vereniging

Boesmansriviermond Belastingbetalersorganisasie Bushman's River Mouth Ratepayers' Organization
Camps Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association
City Bowl Ratepayers' & Residents' Association
Green Point Ratepayers' & Residents' Association
Hermanus Ratepayers Association
Hout Bay Residents & Ratepayers Association
Independent Ratepayers Association of Southern Africa
Kenridge The Hills Ratepayers Association (Kenridge, Durbanville Hills, Door De kraal and De Bron)
Langebaan Ratepayers and Residents Association
Plett Ratepayers
Stellenbosch Ratepayers Association/ Belastingbetalersvereniging
Southbroom Ratepayers Association
St Francis Bay Ratepayers Association
Swartland Ratepayers Association, Epos/email: slandrp@gmail.com , Postal address: SLRP, Posbus 617, Durbanville, 7551
Umdloti Ratepayers & Residents Association


Publications

Concerned Rate Payers Association of South Africa takes a stand against poor service delivery

The Withholding of Rates and Taxes in Five Local Municipalities (15 Nov 2010)

'Fed up' towns withhold municipal taxes


This website: www.slrp.co.za
Copyright @2012
End of webpage