Burnt properties: how to deal with muni accounts
Knysna fire victims have been expressing their frustration and bewilderment as to what the municipal rates “relief” in respect of destroyed houses actually means.
Knysna-Plett Herald contacted the municipality after various residents complained about receiving accounts for rates and water and electricity consumption on properties razed by the fires, and getting conflicting information from municipal staff members as to whether they must settle these accounts or not.
When asked how long it would take for the municipality to reverse the charges levied, in accordance with council’s decision earlier this year to waive rates, municipal manager Kam Chetty said, “We are currently busy with changes to the system… This matter will be resolved with the accounts to be sent early in November. We encourage residents to contact the CFO (firstname.lastname@example.org) should the matter be not resolved. This will enable the department to address the relevant account.”
As to the issue of charges incorrectly levied for consumption on destroyed properties, Chetty stated, “This matter is to be resolved by November and if any resident did not receive the adjustment they must bring this to the attention of the CFO, and it will then be resolved with three days.”
Those whose properties were not destroyed but damaged and who feel the pre-fire property valuation is no longer applicable, may make representations to the CFO and municipal manager, said Chetty, who added that based on the frequency and magnitude of representations, a supplementary valuation roll will need to be prepared to adjust the existing valuations. – Julie Jefferys