LOCAL GOVERNMENT: City Council's Rates Clearance Certificates
Recent Western Cape Business News
Delays and bottlenecks in the issuing of City Council’s rates clearance certificates have been resolved after the Mayor intervened at the request of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and the Cape Law Society’s property law committee.
The problem arose after the process was computerised in October last year and glitches in the system caused major delays in the sale and transfer of properties.
Initial attempts by city official to solve the problems were not successful and Ms Janine Myburgh President of the Chamber asked for a meeting with key City officials. The Mayor, Ms Patricia De Lille, felt that the issue was so important that she attended the meeting and took a direct interest in the problem.
The meeting was attended by key City officials, members of the Law Society’s Property Law Committee and the President and acting CEO of the Chamber. The Mayor asked staff to work with the lawyers to find answers to the problems. She and the officials agreed to have the problems solved by April 1.
The bottlenecks were identified one by one and problem cases were diverted from the system so that the bulk of transactions were not delayed. This gave the officials an opportunity to deal with problem cases and make changes so that they could be processed in the computerised system. By March more than 95 percent of rates clearance certificates were being issued within the required time frame.
At a follow-up meeting it was agreed that the co-operation of the officials and the property lawyers had produced the required result.
Ms Myburgh, who also serves on the Council of the Law Society of South Africa, said attorneys in other parts of the country were impressed by the way the problems had been resolved. This set an example for the rest of the country where, in many cases, there was little meaningful communication with municipalities.
“There is every reason to thank the Mayor and congratulate her and the officials on the way they have gone about eliminating the bottlenecks and improving the system to meet the challenges of the day.”
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