After continuous pressure by the civil rights organisation AfriForum, the Tshwane Metro decided to do away with its existing city cleansing levy. AfriForum has since the beginning queried the legality of this levy and requested the Minister of Finance to check the unconstitutionality thereof.
“The retraction of this policy serves as proof that the Office of the Minister understands the earnestness of the matter and discussed the issues with the Metro. We continuously communicated with the Office of the Minister to monitor the progress on the matter. The consequence is that the Metro replaced the framework in such a manner that it now does in fact comply with constitutional provisions,” says Lambert de Klerk, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for Greater Pretoria South.
The abolishment of this policy means that taxpayers no longer need to pay an additional monthly amount of R127,04 for residential properties and R2 911,67 for business properties.
“Businesses suffered the most under this policy,” adds De Klerk.
The Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Act, 2007 (Act No. 12 of 2007) makes provision for the authorisation of tax, levies and duties that Municipalities might impose in accordance with the Constitution. However, this first needs to be approved by the Minister of Finance. The city cleansing levy falls within the extent of this Act, seeing as it is based on a fixed monthly amount and is not associated with the manner in which the service is delivered to individual owners or utilised by them.
“This victory is really significant. The Constitution and other legislation are placing obligations on the state with which they must comply. It is the responsibility of the community to hold institutions accountable,” says Morné Mostert, AfriForum’s Head of Local Government Affairs.
AfriForum would like to encourage the community to bring similar instances to the organisation’s attention. Send an email to email@example.com or SMS your issue to 45341 (R1) to report it. Your contribution can enable AfriForum to also call other state institutions to account.
See AfriForum’s media statement regarding the request in 2018 here: