OUTA launched a petition in May calling on residents to sign the petition if they needed temporary relief on their property rates, due to financial constraints caused by the Covid-19 disaster and government’s lockdown regulations. We received over 50 000 signatures from people in 207 municipalities, pleading for relief. What happens now?  

The petition closed on 20 May. Since then, the situation has become more dire as more people have lost their income due to the lockdown. We have sent formal letters to every one of these 207 municipalities, asking them to accommodate these customers. We also sent a letter to the Minister of CogTA, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, asking her to accommodate those pleading for relief. 

“The Minister oversees municipalities and disaster management,” says Julius Kleynhans, OUTA’s Strategy and Business Development Executive. “She applied very strict measures when it came to flattening the curve, but unfortunately these drastic measures are having severe repercussions for South Africans, businesses and the economy. We believe that the Minister is in a position to provide relief to those people and businesses pleading for it.”

  • According to the Local Government Municipal Property Rates Act 6 of 2004, municipalities may provide exemptions, reductions and rebates on property rates within an area affected by a disaster. South Africa is currently under a state of national disaster, declared due to the pandemic.