There are delays by the City of Tshwane to process rates clearance certificates. Picture: AP
There are delays by the City of Tshwane to process rates clearance certificates. Picture: AP

Delayed Tshwane rate clearance certificate irks buyer

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Jul 27, 2020

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Pretoria - Delays by the City of Tshwane to process rates clearance certificates has pushed a woman, who recently bought a house in Pretoria East, to seek legal recourse.

Lerato Bambo was frustrated after she tried in vain to obtain a rates clearance certificate from the City for more than two months, preventing her from occupying her property in Equestria.

Bambo said: “A rates clearance certificate is a document that shows that the seller of a property has paid all its tax liabilities at the time the entity ceased to exist or transferred to a new owner.

“Without this document, new owners cannot move into their properties.”

She told the Pretoria News that no one from the City had responded to several emails and calls she had made for more than eight weeks trying to request the certificate.

“I have been waiting for almost two months for a certificate that supposedly takes seven days to process,” Bambo said.

She sought legal advice from Rousseau & Rousseau Attorneys, that has tried in vain to reach Tshwane.

Bambo threatened to take the City to court to get assistance, saying her attempts to obtain the certificate was “a lengthy and expensive process delaying the process of moving in”.

She had also contacted the Pretoria Attorney Association Property Committee “who had a meeting with the City of Tshwane that promised updated stats regarding the rates certificate but has failed to do so”.

In her other attempts to solve her problems, she created a petition, which had reached more than 100 signatures from people in the same predicament.

The City had previously attributed the backlog to closed offices owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The offices were eventually opened early this month to eradicate the backlogs and render services such as processing of land development applications and information counters for collection of zoning certificates, building inspections and issuing of contravention notices.

At the time there were concerns that the closure of offices would affect the sales and purchase of properties across the city.

City spokesperson Selby Bokaba said: “Like most citizens, we believe that the lockdown will negatively affect most economic sectors, including the property market.

“I know for a fact that we’re busy clearing the backlog that was occasioned by the Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

“We issued a statement about a month ago after we reopened 12 of our offices to this and other related matters.”

DA mayoral candidate Randall Williams expressed concern that the sale and purchasing of houses across the city were also delayed by the rates clearance process, “which has become unresponsive due to failure to issue certificates”.

“This has left many residents trapped and unable to make significant lifestyle changes because they are waiting on an unresponsive bureaucracy,” Williams said.

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Pretoria News

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