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THE REVENUE SECTION
This section's major function is to ensure that all monies due to Council are collected and
accounted. The major piece of legislation observe within this section is the
Rating Act No 4 of 1995.
IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS CONTAINED IN THE RATING ACT No.4 1995
The attention of the property owner is drawn to following definitions as contained in the
-immovable property- means land and improvements thereon but does not include a street.
-improvements-means any building structure or erection of an immovable nature for
-magistrate- means a magistrate for the purposes of the Magistrate's Courts Act ,1938.
-market value- means the amount at the date of valuation, for which an immovable property
may be sold or purchased in an open market.
-owner- in relation to immovable property means:
a) the person who has legal title
b) where the person in a) above is insolvent or dead or of unsound mind or is being wound
up in the case of a company, the owner is the administrator.
c) any person who has purchased such property from government or a local authority but
has not yet received transfer, including every who pays the purchase price in instalments.
-person-includes a company or association or body of persons whether corporate or
unincorporated, a local authority and the government.
-rateable property- means immovable property in respect of which the owner is not exempt
from paying rates.
-rateable value- means the market value of the land or improvement or both
-rate- means a percentage of rateable value set annually by the Council
-valuer- means a competent person or firm in the private or public sector appointed by the
Minister to a panel or pool of valuers.
-valuation court- means a court appointed by the Minister, for each local authority and for a
specific period of time to hear and determine all objections duly lodged by property owners.
-minister- means minister responsible for urban government
-financial year- means any period of twelve months which the Minister may appoint in
respect of a local authority. In the case of Mbabane it runs from 1st April to 31st March.
RATING OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTIES
A rate is a tax on property. It is levied and collected by each local authority on all rateable
properties within its jurisdiction. It is a major source of revenue for the local authority
without which it would collapse. Council chose to levy a separate rate on the value of land
and on the value of improvements. The other option was to levy one rate for both the land
and improvements but some properties have no improvements on them. Properties in
Mbabane are classified under commercial, residential or for government. Each of these
attracts a different rate. In order to encourage property owners to develop their pieces of
land, an undeveloped property attracts a higher rate.
Exemptions from paying rates
The following immovable properties are exempt from paying rates.
a) Place used exclusively for public worship and not a piece of land bought with the
intention to erect a structure that will be called a place of public worship. The exemption
may be refused or withdrawn if the property is also used to generate a profit.
b) A school, college or university
c) A charitable institution, public library, hospital, cemetery.
d) Properties registered in the name of Ingwenyama and Indlovukazi
e) Properties registered in the name of Ingwenyama in trust for the Swazi Nation
f) Properties owned by foreign governments and used for diplomatic purposes.
Exemption is not automatic it has to be applied for and be granted by the local authority in
writing. It can also be refused.
There are two types of valuation rolls prepared by Council. The General valuation roll is
prepared once every five years and a Supplementary valuation roll prepared annually until
there is a new general valuation roll in place. The values that this document comes up with
are used in what each property owner should pay to Council in rates or property tax.
The exercise is carried out by independent valuers appointed by Council from a panel of
valuers that has been approved by the Minister. These are not employees of Council but
merely service providers to Council.