Valuation project on deadline.

Posted On Friday, 10 August 2001 03:01 Published by
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THE Herculean task of putting the City of Cape Town's more than 500 000 properties on a single

THE Herculean task of putting the City of Cape Town's more than 500 000 properties on a single
valuation roll is meeting all its deadlines, and other regions in the country may well follow Cape
Town's successful example.
So says Mike Dewar, project manager for the unicity's general valuation project that encompasses
properties in the previous municipalities of Cape Town, South Peninsula, Blaauwberg, Tygerberg,
Oostenberg and Helderberg.
"It's been highly successful. We've dealt with enormous problems - more than we envisaged - and
we're still on time and still within budget," he said. "We will deliver this thing."
The preliminary valuation roll is to be completed in February next year to give the City of Cape
Town time to calculate the rates, based on the new valuation roll. These will come into effect with
effect from the new financial year on 1 July 2002.
So far, data has been collected on most properties except for about 20% of the Oostenberg and
Blaauwberg properties and 80% of the South Peninsula properties.
Severe rains have delayed South Peninsula data collection. "We are continuously updating the
completeness of the property database. This includes identifying properties that were never on a
valuation roll, and changes in category, usually from business to residential," said Dewar.
The general valuation is more than just collecting property data. It is a complex procedure which
should leave a smoothly running, accurate, comprehensive process which will continuously update
property information and will interface with related aspects such as billing, the building
inspectorate and the Surveyor General's office.
"The beauty of the whole thing is that at the end of the day there will be an objective valuation
of all the residential properties in Cape Town. All the properties will have been treated in the
same way, which produces equity," said Dewar.
What Cape Town has been "brave enough" to do, said Dewar, is to use computer-aided mass appraisal
to value the residential properties, thus considerably speeding up the process.
To do this, a sales review of all properties sold in the unicity over the last two years was
gathered. With the help of American experts, statistical models based on sales are developed.
Then the specific value-determining attributes are collected by the door-to-door data collectors -
number of bedrooms, condition, view, etc - are applied to the model, comparing similar properties
in similar areas, and a value is then assigned.
"The modelling for Cape Town and Tygerberg is essentially all done and the models for the remaining
areas will be complete within the next few months."
The entire process is subject to stringent industry norms and standards and to screening and
auditing processes.
"We are making sure it is as accurate and complete as possible," said Dewar. "A lot of time and
effort is being put into validating and verifying property data."
The first models were done by the Americans; now the models, which will be continually updated, are
being done by municipal valuers under the experts' supervision.
"They're getting their hands dirty and are very excited about this," said Dewar of the valuers.
"We are building in-house capacity so that when the project is over there will be people in place
to carry on."
Once the preliminary valuation roll is completed, there will be an informal review process to which
the public will be invited. This "rolling road show" will begin with a pilot project in November
with two representative areas.
The valuation roll for the pilot areas will be displayed in the areas for a week with officials
available to answer queries and record any corrections. "We will show how we arrived at the value.
The road show will be the time for us to really get the record straight and validate the data,"
said Dewar.
The preliminary valuation roll will be published at the end of February.
One of the problems faced by the general valuation project was vast discrepancy in data and missing
This will not happen again, said Dewar. "Although the database will never be perfect, but it will
only get better and better.
With the new valuation roll in place, the database can be sustained and future valuations will be
easy and cost-effective to repeat. This is a very worthwhile thing, for the good of all the people
who live in this city."

Publisher: Cape Business News
Source: Cape Business News

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