The rate hikes hitting South African property owners soon – Cape Town vs Durban vs JHB and more

 ·22 Apr 2024

South Africa’s major municipalities have tabled their prospered tariff increases for the 2024/25 financial year, revealing that eThekwini residents are again facing the sharpest increases while also paying one of the most expensive property rates in the country.

The major metros of South Africa have presented the draft budget proposals for the 2024/25 financial year.

Although some residents can expect adjustments that are in line with inflation, others can expect a significant increase in tariffs.

The municipal mayors have explained that above-inflation Eskom, water board, and salary increases have made these tariff hikes unavoidable.

However, residents of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality face the steepest increase and have the second-most expensive rates of the major metros, which could significantly impact their finances.

The cent-in-rand rate is a statutory formula used by municipalities to calculate property rates. The formula shows how much a person would pay in rates for every rand of their property value.

The most expensive rates are levied in Buffalo City in the Eastern Cape, which has also seen an adjustment in line with inflation.

However, eThekwini offers the second most expensive rates among the metros and is also seeing a major increase that is well above inflation, which is a cause for concern.

This proposed tariff increase has already caused frustrations among Durban residents already struggling with severe service delivery issues.

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has admitted that the proposed increases are well above inflation but were inevitable because of the current economic climate.

However, with a double-digit increase spanning across most services, The eThekwini Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (ERRA) has asked ratepayers and residents to reject the increases amid dismal services and failing infrastructure.

In contrast, Cape Town offers the lowest property rates of all metros for both residents and businesses in 2024/25.

Cape Town’s property rates are 28% lower than those of the next metropolis, Joburg, for residential properties.

In a statement, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said Cape Town has a simple message for owners: move to Cape Town for SA’s best property rates, reliable service delivery and infrastructure, and the most advanced plans to end load-shedding.

Commenting on its proposed property increase of 5.7% and other services like electricity and water, the city said the increases would allow for the continuation of providing rates-funded services, investment in infrastructure and generators to mitigate the impact of load-shedding.

This will also include servicing of informal settlements, provision of rebates to the most vulnerable, improved safety and security measures, ongoing investment in repairs and maintenance, and giving effect to the IDP as it relates to rates-funded services.

The table below shows the property rates tabled for the 2024/25 financial year, effective 1 July 2024.

It must be noted that Nelson Mandela Bay’s formulas were unavailable at the time of writing.

MunicipalityResidential rates 2023/24Residential rates 2024/25% Change
Buffalo City0.0142690.0150005.1%
City of Joburg0.0087910.0092134.8%
City of Cape Town0.0062730.0066315.7%

Read: What R20 million can get you in Cape Town, Joburg and Umhlanga

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