Times of Eswatini
Valuation reflects Pigg’s Peak Town worth over E851m
PIGG’S PEAK – Pigg’s Peak Town is worth over E851 million.
In actual fact, the most recent valuation reflects that the small northern Hhohho town is valued at E851 908 100.
According to Pigg’s Peak Town Council Treasurer Mangaliso Sifundza, the valuation exercise is carried out in two phases. First, there is land value which reflects E226 827 400 and then there are improvements, which are valued at E625 080 700. “This is where we bill rates,” said Sifundza.
He added that the last valuation exercise was carried out in the 2018/19 financial year, which was followed by a supplementary valuation exercise carried out last year after properties were destroyed.
During a stakeholders meeting at Pigg’s Peak Hotel on Saturday, Sifundza made a presentation on rating of immovable property.
His presentation incorporated rating of immovable property, property valuation, liability for rates, how often rates are levied on rateable properties, when rates become due and payable as well as legal proceedings for recovery of arrear rates.
He presented on how council made income through private rates, which amounted to E19 million in the current financial year, 2022/23 to end on March 31, 2023. The private rates accounted for 78 per cent from government and 22 per cent from private properties. Other income was valued at E2.6 million, which include government subvention, rentals and other incomes.
He said a rate was a tax on rateable property, levied and collected by a local authority on all rateable properties within its jurisdiction, as stated under Section 29 of the Rating Act (1995).
“Rates are a major source of revenue for the local authority. ‘Rate’ means the percentage of rateable value set annually by the council and includes penalties, collection charges, or costs allowed in legal proceedings payable in terms of this Act,” he said.
Sifundza said ‘rateable property’ referred to immovable property in respect of which the owner is not wholly exempted from the payment of rates in terms of Section 7 and ‘rateable value’ meant the market value of the land or the improvements or a combination thereof, as determined by the council under Section 6.
Speaking of exemption from paying rates, Sifundza said, “As stated under Section 7 of the Act, immovable properties are exempt from paying rates; places used exclusively for public worship – a vacant piece of land bought with the intention of erecting a structure, that is in future will be used as a place of public worship does not qualify until the structure has been built and a certificate of occupation has been issued by council. The exemption may be refused or withdrawn if the property is also used to generate a profit.”
Sifundza highlighted that property valuation was an assurance engagement carried out by a professional valuer, who evaluates the value of immovable property at market related prices and prepare a valuation roll that will enable the municipality to assess rates.
For rates assessment purposes, the council conducts two types of valuation, namely; the general valuation -prepared once every five years and the supplementary valuation - prepared once general valuation has come into operation, mainly to cater for properties omitted in the general valuation roll or improvements made on property.
“The values that appear on the valuation roll form the basis for the determination of how much rates will be charged against a property. The property valuation exercise is carried out by independent valuers, appointed by council from a panel of valuers, approved by the Minister for Housing and Urban Development,” he said.
Once a draft valuation roll is in place, property owners are notified through the post office individually and through the print media to come and view it free of charge as well as raise objections against a number of things, like the area of the land, zoning of the land and monetary values attached to the property.
Objections are made in a prescribed form and lodged to the Valuation Court prior to its sitting.
The Valuation Court duly appointed by the minister hears objections and determine the appropriateness of the issue in question.