Joburg churches must align residential properties or will have to pay rates

The City of Johannesburg has called on all religious communities to align each official residence to the church where the office bearer officiates. Stock photo.
The City of Johannesburg has called on all religious communities to align each official residence to the church where the office bearer officiates. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/PHARTISAN

Johannesburg religious organisations must align official residences to churches by the end of August or they will have to pay property rates.

The City of Johannesburg has called on religious communities to align each official residence to the church where the office-bearer officiates.

The municipality is undertaking an annual audit process with regards to aligning a church to the official residence occupied by the primary office bearer of that religious community.

“The property must be registered in the name of that religious community. In terms of the Municipal Property Rates Act as amended, section 17 provides that properties, which are official residence for the primary office bearer of that religious community who officiate at that church, are exempted from paying rates. In terms of the act, only one official residence of the office bearer of that religious community qualifies for the exemption on the rates,” said spokesperson Selma Lloyd.

“Religious communities that have more than one office bearer and official residence registered in the name of the church must indicate which residence needs to be classified as the primary residence of the official office bearer for the purpose of rates exemption.

“Failure to provide such information will result in the city unilaterally deciding which residence is the official residence of the official office bearer for that particular religious community,” Lloyd said.

The information must reach the municipality before close of business on Aug. 31, 2021.

“Non-compliance to the city’s request will result in the property being billed as per the category reflected in the current valuation roll effective from July 1,” said Lloyd.

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