Manzini New Rates Bills Now Available
The Rating Act, 1995, (Section 4) authorizes the Municipal Council of Manzini to make, assess and levy a general rate each financial year upon all immovable property within the area of the local authority. The Act (Section 29) further defines a rate as a tax upon rateable property and “shall be paid at the office of the local authority by the person who is the owner of such property at the time such rate becomes due”. The Municipal Council of Manzini takes this opportunity to notify property owners whose property is located within the Manzini urban area that rates bills for the 2021/2022 financial year are now available at the post office. Short message (SMS) notifications have also been forwarded to property owners whose mobile phone numbers are available at the Municipality; advising them of the due rates for the new financial year. The bills are due and payable by the 31st May 2021.
Property owners who, for some reason, may have not received their rates bills are welcome to contact the Municipality (2508 5000/7903 8830) and they will be furnished with their rates statements. Section 10(1) of the Rating Act states that “for purposes of assessing the rates, the local authority shall from time to time, but not less than once in every five years, or such longer or shorter period as the Minister may approve, cause a valuation to be made of all immovable property within its area”. Property owners are, therefore, notified that a general valuation of all immovable properties in the Manzini urban area has been conducted, objections adjudicated by the Valuation Court and the final valuation roll endorsed by the Housing and Urban Development Minister. This, therefore, means that the rates bills for the current financial year are based on the new property values hence property owners can expect changes from the rates that they normally pay. However, it can also be mentioned that the Municipality has taken a decision to reduce the rates tariff so that the effects of the new valuation roll on the payable rates can be minimised.
…THIS IS THE TIME TO MAKE INSTALMENT ARRANGEMENTS
The Rating Act, 1995, permits the Municipality to accept requests for payment by instalment in cases where the property owner feels that they cannot afford to pay the lump sum by the time the rates become due and payable (31st May 2021). Section 27(2) of the Act states that “notwithstanding this Act, the local authority may agree with a ratepayer for the payment of rates by monthly instalments during the financial year in respect of which the rates are payable…” and in that event the 15% per annum penalty will not be effected against the property. The Municipality notifies Manzini property owners that this is the time to make arrangements for instalment payments. This opportunity is open until the 31st July 2021; after which the 15% penalty per annum will be effected against outstanding balances. Noteworthy is that a number of property owners, including commercial ratepayers, are of late opting for this opportunity through debit order arrangements. Property owners who have difficulty paying the lump sum are encouraged to consider this option as an alternative to neglecting the legal rates payment obligation altogether. Property owners who are in arrears are also welcome to make instalment arrangements with the Municipality.
…NEW PROPERTY OWNERS HAVE ALSO BEEN BILLED
A number of people have acquired property, both undeveloped and developed, in the City of Manzini in the last year or two. These include owners of property in the new township named Mkhosi Township. These property owners are advised that they have also been billed. They are also advised to check their post office and start planning on how they will settle the bills. Alternatively, they may contact the Municipality (2508 5000/7903 8830) and arrange for their rates bills to be emailed to them. It is important to mention that even when the property is still under a bond with the bank, the property owner still has an obligation to pay the due rates. The bank does not automatically pay the due rates against the property unless the owner has made such arrangement.
…FAILURE TO NOTIFY MUNICIPALITY OF CHANGE OF POSTAL ADDRESS AN OFFENCE
The rating Act, 1995, states it as a prosecutable offence to acquire property and not notify the Municipality of the new postal address relating to the property. It is also an offence to change the contact details and not notify the Municipality. Section 37(4)(5) states that “the owner of any immovable property shown in the valuation roll shall notify the local authority of his postal address within two weeks of acquiring such property and, thereafter, within two weeks of any change of his postal address. An owner who fails to comply with subsection (4) shall be guilty of an offence”. Furnishing the Municipality with contact details makes communication between the local government and ratepayer easier. The Municipal Council of Manzini, therefore, encourages all owners of property within the Manzini urban area to ensure their contact details with the Municipality are up-to-date. If a property owner never receives communication from the Municipality it is an indication that something is amiss with the contact details.
…YOU CAN NOW USE BUILDING SOCIETY, 3 OTHER BANKS TO PAY RATES
In an effort to make rates payment easier, the Municipal Council of Manzini has added the Swaziland Building Society to the number of banks through which Manzini property taxes (rates) can be paid. Account holders with Swaziland Building Society are, therefore, advised to make use of this opportunity that has been availed to them. Other banks with which the Municipality has accounts are Nedbank, Standard Bank and First National Bank. Engagements with Eswatini Bank towards same are underway. The Municipal Council of Manzini notes that most ratepayers are moving away from cash payment and are, instead, opting for the digital payment platforms. That is commended and encouraged; moreso during this time when the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is still in force. Physical distancing remains one of the key weapons in the fight against the pandemic and the Municipality encourages increased usage of the digital platforms for payment instead of walk-ins to the Rates Hall. Debit order payments and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) are encouraged. The following are the details for the various digital platforms;
|Nedbank||First National Bank||Standard Bank||Swaziland Building Society|
|Branch: Manzini||Branch: Manzini||Branch: Manzini||Account No.: 52000222820|
|Account No.: 040000001308||Account No.: 62770574434||Account No.: 9110001190655||Reference: Plot Number\account no.|
|Branch code: 360264||Branch code: 282064||Branch code: 660564|
|Reference: Plot Number\account no.||Reference: Plot Number\account no.||Reference: Plot Number\account no.|
|Eswatini MTN Mobile Money (MoMo Pay)||Eswatini Mobile e-Mali|
|2. Select 1||2.Select Pay bills|
|3. Select 4||3. Select Others|
|4. Select 1(Manzini City Council)||4. Enter 100845|
|5. Select Rates||5. Enter plot#/Account No. as reference|
|6. Enter Account No. as reference|