Gupta's property valuation fail

South Africa
The exterior of the Gupta family compound in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - An objection has been lodged over an error on the 2013 property valuation roll relating to a Johannesburg property belonging to the Gupta family, the City said on Tuesday.

Spokesman Kgamanyane Maphologela said the City objected to valuations on four out of 14 properties belonging to the influential family.

He was responding to a report in the Saturday Star that one of the properties' value dropped from R16.8 million on the 2008 valuation roll to just R490,000 this year.

Maphologela said in a statement the city's general valuation documents were freely available for public viewing to ensure transparency in the process.

"It is therefore, a grave oversight that information, which is publicly available, is used to sensationalise a transparent process to ensure a credible Valuation Roll."

Kgamanyane said the 14 properties owned by the Guptas and their companies had a combined value of R206,920,000, up 20% from the 2008 valuation of R172,103,000.

The city was confident that all known errors on the valuation roll would be corrected through processes, including the appeals board.

"The city will take appropriate steps to ensure that inaccuracies, particularly those published by the Saturday Star newspaper last weekend, are corrected," he said.

The newspaper reported that the alleged decrease in the municipal value of the property meant the rates would drop from about R7844 a month to about R157.90.

According to the report, this value was a low estimate due to renovations the Guptas made including a helipad, a swimming pool and a cricket pitch.

A Sunday Times report in 2011 valued the entire property at R52m.

-Sapa

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