Johan Rupert is refusing to pay municipal rates, report

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A very powerful South African businessman is refusing to comply with the property rates act and pay municipal rates…

Investment magnet Johan Rupert owns the Leopard Creek Golf Estate in eMalelane, which is currently owing the Nkomazi local municipality an amount of R64 million.

According to City Press, the land on which the estate is built costs R1.4 billion and was subjected to land claims until in 2008 when the Nkomazi municipality blocked the claimants of the land, thinking the estate would provide jobs and create income for the municipality.

But now municipal officials and the billionaire are at each other’s throats, the former fighting to secure R64 million owned by the billionaire and his partners to the Nkomazi municipality.

According to Nkomazi municipal spokesman Cyril Rapinga, owners of the estate should pay an amount of R9.8 million annually or R822 950 monthly in municipal tax but have gone to court in order pay R32 000 a year for the whole property.

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The property was re-evaluated in 2012 by Nkomazi officials and found to be worth R1.4 billion, according to City Press.

A municipal property rates act was passed and came into effect in 2004 and all property-owners were expected by the new law to comply.

“What we find ironic is that, in about 2008, we made an application to the Tshwane high court for Leopard Creek not to be under land claim.

“This was done solely to ensure the growth of Malelane. Strangely, the same people have forgotten that,” said Rapinga, adding that the municipality had already spent R2 million in legal fees trying to force the owners of the estate to comply and pay rates.

One of the 13 directors of the estate, Joshua Malherbe, said they were paying the R35 000 a year despite the fact that the municipality didn’t provide a service to the estate.

(edited by MLM)

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