A thing of the past

Rates clearance delays are fast becoming a thing of the past following delays in the transfer of property with the implementation of the Integrated Spatial Information System (ISIS) late last year.

The city implemented ISIS with a view to maximising efficiency in the issuing of clearance certificates, but has struggled to perform a seamless migration as a result of incorrect information being transferred from the original database. Only 61% of existing information in the original database was correct, so all new transfer information had to be re-validated.

In order to improve processing speed in the interim, the City of Cape Town implemented a system whereby attorneys were asked to remove party details from rates clearance certificates, making transfers more easily susceptible to fraud in the absence of buyer and seller details.

Despite reservations from attorneys’ offices, this system has been successful in reducing the issuing turnaround time to 10-15 working days, as opposed to 35 days in January.  In spite of the substantially slowed issuing times, the Cape Town City Council remains among one of the most efficient offices in the country. 

Since moving to automated processing systems 6 years ago, Cape Town’s city council has already drastically reduced transaction turnaround times, with an average processing time of just 10 days prior to the systems migration, while the current turnaround time of 10-15 days still compares very favourably to other major Councils , which currently take up to 90 days to issue clearance certificates. The ISIS system once complete with correct data, will only serve to improve the City’s efficiency, and further reduce waiting times for attorneys, buyers and sellers.

Another problem which has contributed to delays in processing times is the change in data formatting, which has caused some rates clearance applications to be rejected. In order to ensure that all future applications are compliant with the new ISIS System, Korbitec, along with the City of Cape Town will continue to host training sessions in various areas throughout the City for all attorneys and their administrative staff.

Korbitec will also be working to assist the City in the implementation of an automated registration information update process. Currently information is being updated with data that has to be sourced from the Deeds Office, a process which can take up to 90 days.

By automating this process, it is hoped that accounts will be updated with new buyer information within just 8 days with the goal that new buyers receive their first rates bill just one month after the transfer of their property.

Cher Chapple
Korbitec Municipal Services General Manager

For more information email cherc@korbitec.com

Reader Comments:

Clive Valentine 07/06/2012:

For the ISIS system & electronic rates to be worthwhile, the turnaround time needs to be shorter than it was under the old manual system.  It needs to be under 5 days! I recently had a RCC issued electronically by Bitou Municipality within 3 days of payment!  They also don't require the admin fee to be paid separately.  An improvement in the updating of information after registration is to be welcomed and is long overdue.

Monica Winterburn 07/06/2012:

Don't talk about Durban. 10 days (if you are lucky) to get an assessment.

Dominic 08/06/2012:

The turnaround time is definitely not 10 to 15 days at present. 4 weeks at present. No quicker than the previous system. A week to get figures and 3 weeks to obtain the clearance.

Rohan Greyvenstein 08/06/2012:

Manual system still in Port Elizabeth but clearance within 4 working days.

cher chapple 08/06/2012:

Hi Dominic,

If you are applying electronically and all you information matches the City's you will get your figures back within 15-20 minutes. Once payment has been made and all the required documents have been submitted your Rates certificate will be sent electronically within 10-15 days. The Rates dept. should be made aware of your problem as this service does not match their current Service level agreement.

Cher Chapple 08/06/2012:

Hi Mr Valentine,

Thank you for your very positive feedback. I will forward your comment to Bitou. We look forward to being able to make your Rates clearance process a more pleasant experience when we go live with more electronic processes in the Municipalities.

Leonard Maart 11/06/2012:

The new system is a joke really. The CCT is now even more retarded. If the the CCT can issue a valuation certificate with the rates figures why can they not issue the rates clearance immediately on production on proof of payment?  All the details required by the deeds office are already on the valuation certificate. The valuation certificate must just be amended to read both valuation and rates clearance and stamped on production of proof of payment.

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