Chairperson, I hereby move without notice:
That the Council -
1) notes with concern that the ability of the City of Cape Town to deal with land transactions efficiently and in particular to issue rates clearance certificates within a reasonable timeframe has imploded dramatically since 2011 with the following severe implications and/or consequences -
a) the city requires sellers to pay rates and service charges in advance based on estimates prescribed by the city while such estimates and subsequent rates clearance certificates, if eventually issued, are valid for a short period of time only and more often than not expire before transfer of the property can be effected, which results in the process having to start all over again with the city again collecting further advance payments from the parties;
b) such advance payments are generally in excess of the amounts actually due, yet sellers have to wait for long periods to receive a refund from the city, which unlawfully utilises taxpayers' money, interest free, while continuing to send invoices to the sellers as previous owners instead of to the buyers as the new owners; and
c) it has a negative impact on the property market and causes irreparable damage of millions of rand to banks, estate agents, conveyancing attorneys, property developers, and more importantly, to home buyers and sellers; and
2) calls on the Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to intervene and to take appropriate steps to cease this unlawful practice.