Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a General Valuation?
It is the valuation of all properties within Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality boundaries. General Valuations are carried out every 4 years, to ensure that the valuation roll reflects changes in the property market, as prescribed by law.

2. Why are properties valued and how does the valuation of my property affect my rates?
Properties are valued because property rates are based on the value of the property. This means that the higher the value, the higher the rates will be. All properties are valued at the same date of valuation to ensure a fair and equitable basis on which to levy rates. Property values are maintained on a valuation roll prepared according to specific legislation.

3. When is the general valuation taking place?
The date of valuation is 1 July 2013, to be implemented on 1 July 2014.

4. How is my property valued?
The basis of valuation is the “market value” of the property. Market value is the price of a property on the date of valuation, if sold on the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer.

5. What valuation method is used?
{1} Property must be valued in accordance with generally recognised valuation practises, methods and standards, and the provisions of the Municipal Property Rates Act No 6 of 2004.
{2} For the purposes of subsection {1}-
a- physical inspection of the property to be valued is optional; and
b- comparative, analytical and other systems or techniques may be used, including aerial photography and mass appraisal systems or techniques, taking into account changes in technology and valuation systems and techniques. In calculating hundreds of thousands of valuations in a short period of time, a computer aided mass appraisal system [CAMA] is used.

6. What is a CAMA system?
CAMA is a computer aided analytical procedure used by trained professional valuers to value the large number of properties within BCMM. This programme makes valuation cheaper and faster, but no less fair.

7. Nobody has been to my house to inspect my property. Why is this so?
Site inspections of properties are not compulsory in terms of the legislation. Valuations can be performed using comparative and analytical tools, aerial photography and CAMA techniques.

8. My neighbour has a larger property with a lower value. How does that happen?
Various factors are used in determining the value, e.g. size, location, quality and condition of buildings/improvements, view, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, security, quiet or busy road. However, this does not rule out the possibility that there is an error in the valuation of either one of the properties, or that data on which the valuations are based is either incorrect or out of date. There is an official process whereby objections can be lodged.

9. What is my responsibility with regards to General Valuation?
Communities have a responsibility to engage with the Municipality when the Valuation roll is open for public inspection, and if necessary to lodge objections in respect of specific individual properties.

10. What happens after I have lodged my objection?
The objection will be issued to a valuer / administrative officer depending on the type of objection that was submitted. The Municipal Valuer will consider the objection and provide a decision. You will be notified in writing of this decision. The outcome of the objection will be submitted to the Revenue Department in order for the account to be adjusted if applicable. It should be noted that the objection decision may result in a decrease or increase to the original valuation. If you are not happy with the decision of the Municipal Valuer, an appeal may be lodged with the appeal board. The lodging of an objection does not defer liability for payment of rates.