President Jacob Zuma has, in terms of section 84(2)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, signed into law the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Amendment Act.
The Act, amongst others, seeks to:
- regulate the categories of property in respect of which rates may be levied.
- regulate the time frames of publication of the resolutions levying rates and what must be contained in the promulgated resolution.
- provide for the exclusion from the rates of certain categories of public service infrastructure.
- give powers to a municipality to levy different rates on vacant land.
- give power to the MEC of Local Government to extend the period of validity of a valuation roll by additional two years.
- amend the dates on which a supplementary valuation takes effect
- and address the problems that have been experienced in the implementation of the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act, 2004.
When the draft Municipal Property Rates Bill was gazetted for comment in 2011 Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim said that: “We understand, especially in these difficult economic times, and with increases in the cost of municipal services, that house owners are anxious about property rates. But contrary to media reports on the draft Bill, people who own more than one residential property will not have to pay commercial rates on their additional residential properties."