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MBABANE – Livid ratepayers who had argued that the capital city unjustly hiked rates will finally get to have their properties valuated.

In terms of section 14 of the Rating Act of 1995, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gideon Mhlongo has appointed Swaziland Realty Consultants to prepare the supplementary valuation roll for the 2017/18 financial year.   
Mhlongo mentioned that the valuer would have an identification card and letter introducing them from the CEO to enter at all reasonable hours in the day time into and upon any land or building within the area of Mbabane local authority.  

“The valuer may require the owner or any person in occupation or charge of immovable property to furnish him with information on all matters which may be necessary to enable him to correctly valuate such a property,” Mhlongo announced.



The CEO stated that where necessary, the valuer would take photos of developed properties outside only.  
It should be mentioned that Swazi Realty Consultants stands to pocket E215 000 for valuation of the capital city.
In tender results that were issued by the municipality for the supplementary valuation roll, the consultants scored 84 per cent during the tender evaluation exercise.

The results were issued by Mhlongo in accordance with the Public Procurement Act of 2011.
Further, in terms of section 45(4), 46 and 47 of the Act, Mhlongo had informed all tenderers who submitted bids that they were hereby notified that a period of ten (10) working days has been allowed for submission of any application for review from date of first publication of the intention to award notice.
The selection of the consultant to undertake the supplementary valuation roll comes in the wake of reports to the effect that municipality’s rates would increase by 10 per cent on average.


In some of the worst case scenarios, some ratepayers have seen their rates increase by up to 50 per cent.
When asked to justify the rates increase which was by far above the inflation rate, the municipality said overall the rates increases had been around the inflations level; however, some property owners experienced higher percentage increases.

The Municipality said the decision on rates was taken as part of the budget process and increases above inflation helped to fund infrastructure projects.  An immediate example is the rehabilitation of Mantsholo Road for which Council had to take a loan of E20 million which will be repaid over many years, was put across as justification on why the rates were hiked to the average of 10 per cent.

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