OUTA calls for temporary reduction of property rates due to COVID-19 disaster

Municipalities shouldn’t make residents choose between food on the table and paying rates.

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05/05/2020 13:47:00

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OUTA calls for temporary reduction of property rates due to COVID-19 disaster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The  Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) is calling on municipalities countrywide to reduce property rates under the current state of disaster that was declared as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant financial impact on businesses and individuals and will continue to do so for several months to come.  Municipalities around the country have the ability to assist South Africans financially by cutting or reducing property rates on their municipal bill,” says Julius Kleynhans, Strategy & Organisation Development. According to Kleynhans, the temporary relief the organisation is petitioning for, is contained in the Local Government Municipal Property Rates Act 6 of 2004.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “Thousands of people have lost their jobs or a significant part of their income, and not all property owners can afford to keep paying property rates due to the unexpected and unprecedented economic fallout of Covid-19. We have received calls from people who literally have to choose between keeping food on their tables or paying property rates, and municipalities can legally assist by reducing property rates or giving temporary exemption until such time as the State of Disaster declaration has been lifted.”  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      According to the Local Government Municipal Property Rates Act 6 of 2004, municipalities have the mandate to bring relief to its residents by form of exemptions, reductions and rebates on property rates as per section 15 (1) and (2) of the Act. “This section expressly permits exemption and reductions within an area affected by a disaster within the meaning of the Disaster Management Act, 2002, Act 57 of 2002.”  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OUTA calls on all residents and businesses to support this project by signing and sharing the petition which is available on OUTA’s website and social media pages. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The petition closes on 20 May, after which OUTA will submit it to municipalities countrywide. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Picture: Shutterstock

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.