Durban - The Constitutional Court hear evidence on Tuesday in an application by the eThekwini Municipality on the rating of state property held in trust.
The municipality instituted proceedings against the Ingonyama Trust in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in 2009, seeking orders declaring certain property held by the trust as rateable.
The court had to decide whether, as state property held in trust for the residents of an area, it was exempt from rates under the Rating of State Property Act.
When the court found in favour of the municipality, the trust took the matter on appeal. The Supreme Court of Appeal found in the trust's favour. The municipality has now approached the Constitutional Court.
The municipality argues that the trust does not constitute “the state” and its property, therefore, does not constitute state property held in trust for residents. The trust argues that it is clear that the property is state property.
The Ingonyama Trust was established to administer the land traditionally owned by the Zulu king for the benefit, material welfare and social well-being of the Zulu nation. - Sapa