Council would like to remind Matsapha ratepayers that rates balances that will remain outstanding by 31st March 2020 shall be handed over for collection. Any payment arrangement after this date shall be entered into with the debt collecting agent. Therefore, all ratepayers with outstanding rates are encouraged to settle their debt or commit to a payment plan before the said date.
Reminders have been sent to all ratepayers informing them to settle their outstanding rates balances. Letters of Final Demand were issued out in August 2019. Certified Statements were also mailed in December 2019 reminding those with outstanding balances that Council was now invoking the legal arrear rates recovery process.
Accounts Handed Over to Collecting Agent
Once accounts have been handed over they are essentially not being pursued by Council for payment but by the assigned Attorney. The implication thereto is that a ratepayer who wishes to enter into an agreement to settle the outstanding rates will have to do so with the Attorney and not Council. The resulting outcome of Council’s debt being pursued by Attorneys is that when Court processes have been served on the rates defaulter and no payment or suitable arrangements to pay the debt have been made, movable property gets to be attached for public auction to recover the arrear rates. In an event, the sale of the movable property does not satisfy the debt or no movable property has been found, then an application is made in Court to grant an order to sell the immovable property.
Council would like to further remind ratepayers that rates bills should be settled in full within the same financial year that the bill has been raised. Ratepayers also stand a chance to win great prices, when they pay their rates in full by 30th of June.
Rates Payment Options
There are simpler ways of paying off your rates in order to prevent your rates account being in arrears. These include:
- Installment Agreements
Utilizing installment arrangements offered by Council where one needs to register with Council between April and June each year. Ratepayers on this arrangement who default on payments will have their installment arrangement terminated and interest levied for the months in default.
- Stop Order Arrangement with Own Bank
Setting up a stop-order payment with your bank. Another approach for efficiently paying off your rates bill is through setting up a stop-order payment with your bank that will be revised periodically to ensure your rates bill is paid in full each year.
Modes of Payment
Payment can be done at Matsapha Town Council, Civic Centre which is opened from 8:00am -4:45pm (including Lunch Hours) or electronically. The options are outlined below:
- Cash/cheque paid over the counter at the Municipality’s revenue office
- Swiping debit or credit cards at the Municipality’s revenue office
- Making an Electronic Transfer to any of Council’s bank accounts.
Ratepayers are reminded to use their rates Account Number as a reference whenever making and electronic transfer. The proof of payment should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Council’s banking details are printed on rates bills. Council’s current banking details are as follows:
|Bank||Branch||Branch Code||Account Number|
|First National Bank||Matsapha||281064||62456251265|
There is an Account Number for every single property one has with Council. Rates bills and rates statements portray clearly this account number and ratepayers are encouraged to use it for payment referencing.
For example: 141701.
CONTACT DETAILS UPDATE
Council relies heavily on the Valuation Roll for contact details to which to send rates bills and any correspondence it wishes to send to its customers. It is important that this information be updated periodically as it enables Council to effectively communicate with its customers. Council would like to invite ratepayers within the Matsapha Urban Area to update contact details with Council whenever there is any change. This invitation is in accordance with Section 37 (4) & (5) of the Rating Act of 1995 which reads: “The owner (s) of immovable property shown in the valuation roll shall notify the local authority of his postal address within two weeks of acquiring such property and ,thereafter, within two weeks of any change of his postal address. An owner who fails to comply with the provisions of this section of the Rating Act shall be guilty of an offence”.
What constitutes contact details with Council is a postal address, Cellphone number, telephone number, ID number and email address of the owner of the property or an executor in the case of an estate. Keeping an updated contact information helps reduce queries where for instance Council has sent a rates bill or any other correspondence to the last known postal address and a ratepayer does not receive it since the address has changed. Council is appealing to any property owner within the Matsapha Urban Area to ensure that they update their contact details.
RATING OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY
Council currently uses the Differential Rating for assessing rates upon all immovable property within the Urban Area. Each rate is levied and assessed on the immovable property on the basis of the valuation of the land and improvements thereon. According to Section 2 of the Rating Act of 1995, rateable property means immovable property in respect of which the owner is not wholly exempted from the payment of rates in terms of section 7 of the same Act.