AfriForum directed a letter to Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Finance, in which the civil rights organisation requests him to intervene in the matter of the city cleansing levy to be implemented by the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. This follows after AfriForum informed the Municipality that such a levy doesn’t comply with the constitutional framework.
The Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Act, 2007 (Act No. 12 of 2007) makes provision for the authorisation of tax, levies and duties which the Municipality can impose in terms of the Constitution. However, it first needs to be approved by the Minister of Finance. The city cleansing levy falls within the scope of this Act, seeing as it is based on a fixed monthly amount and is not associated with the degree in which the service is supplied to individual owners or utilised by them.
The Municipality, in answer to AfriForum’s letter, indicated that this levy is a direct service fee and that the Minister’s permission is not necessary.
“There is however no connection between the service and the cost thereof. Some business owners will need to pay up more than double their current property tax, which is unreasonable,” says Morné Mostert, AfriForum’s Head of Local Government Affairs.
This levy compels tax payers to pay an additional amount of R127,04 for residential properties and R2 911,67 for business properties per month.
AfriForum established that this levy is not contained in the Municipality’s strategic planning document and this document further indicates that the public wasn’t informed of this in advance. “It is typical that the Municipality wants to collect additional funds which falls outside of its budget framework.”