In my opinion, the entire rating system is grossly unfair. When our rates were raised three years ago I objected and it was considerably reduced. I objected in person again this year and I trust it will be reduced again because my objections remain the same as three years ago.
The main thrust of my objection is that the rates increase is calculated according to the most recent selling prices of houses in our street.
For a start, our small, flat-roofed cottage, on only 496m², is the smallest and one of the oldest homes in our street (which, incidentally, is a dead-end with no street lighting or pavements).
Four of the houses facing me are double-storey and there is also a three-storey unoccupied house next door which deprives us of much of our views, and from sunshine from noon every day in winter.
It also deprives us of all privacy as its windows look down straight into our bedroom, lounge, courtyard and small back garden.
We bought the cottage 37 years ago and paid R62 500 for it. Now the city, in its infinite wisdom, rates it at R3.1 million. Besides being way out of line, the new rates would also place extra strain on our pension income. (My wife and I are both in our seventies.)
In all the years we have lived in our house not once has any official of the City placed a foot on our property or inside our house - instead they use a very expensive Canadian computer programme to evaluate our property.
Where is the fairness in all of this I ask of the city that claims to be working for us?