For almost 5 years, Mafube Local Municipality (Mafube) has not sent bills to residents and businesses of the Mafube area. From May 2021, residents started receiving bills again. The amounts displayed as due on accounts are appalling, and on closer inspection not accurate. Several residents approached Mafube Business Forum (MBF) to assist them with the process of filling out and submitting dispute forms at Mafube's offices, to highlight the errors on their accounts. In about six weeks, MBF assisted in filing about 300 disputes. Here is a general list of bugs pointed out by the residents:
- Garbage removal fees were charged, while garbage removal services were not provided for about 30 months (two and a half years). For some residential properties there is a double fee, viz. An extra business fee is also charged. - Water fees are even charged for the periods after prepaid water meters have been installed; - Water fees are charged for properties that only use boreholes. This while the stopcock is closed on the properties; Valuations of properties were increased, without a valuer visiting the properties and where objections were lodged, no response was received from Mafube. This, of course, affects the tax levy; Accounts for one property were sent to two different residents: The current owner and the previous owner of the property; - Payments made do not reflect on the accounts; - With all the errors that crept in over the period that no bills were sent out, the residents were also charged with interest on unnecessary fees; - The names of certain farms are not available on the accounts. All description for the farm is eg “Mafube 000004”. Upon inquiry, Mafube could not provide the actual farm name. This information is available on the valuation roll, and should have been entered when the account was created on Mafube's system.
To calculate the correct amount payable, the onus is now on each resident to work through a 3-year statement of their account. The reconciliation must then be discussed with the municipal manager for his approval to write off or correct the unnecessary fees. It is clear that the residents of Mafube would like to settle their accounts, but do require the exact amount. MBF is very concerned that no feedback is given to residents or businesses, and that the municipality does not care about legislation in this regard. There are disputes that are older than a year, but still some residents have not yet received a response about it from Mafube.
Mafube's inability to apply billing correctly sows unnecessary panic among the public, including fragile pensioners.
MBF invites Mafube residents, business people and taxpayers to contact us. Visit our offices in 18A Church Street during our working hours, Mondays to Thursdays from 08h30 to 16h00 and Fridays from 08h30 to 12h30, or contact Marina on WhatsApp at 079 145 4295. Or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org