Appeal for support for mass protest action

THABAZIMBI – The Thabazimbi Chairpersons Forum tried to negotiate over the past three years with the Thabazimbi Municipality on behalf of property tax payers, without any success. “The focus was on the reckless manner whereby property tax was raised, the unprofessional manner in which the municipal budgets were compiled and the lack of compliance to legislative requirements. At the recent meeting of the Forum, the decision was made that it is left with no alternative, but to commence with a mass protest action to indicate the frustration of residents to the Municipal Council. If this action does not have any impact, the Forum will then commence to raise the support of residents to withhold the payment of property tax. The taxes then withheld will be paid into a trust, established for this purpose. This situation will prevail until such time the Municipal Council realise that they are there to serve the public interest  and as such are accountable to the public, a service for which they are been remunerated for from public money” says Mr Jan Viljoen, chairman of the Thabazimbi Chairperson’s Forum.

He further said that the success of such protest action is in the hands of the residents of Thabazimbi and the surrounding villages as well as the agriculture community. If we can not unite in this effort, it will weaken the negotiation base of the Forum. The planned protest action is for Friday 7 October 2010, to commence at 10; 00 and planned to be complete by 12; 00, ending at the municipal offices in Thabazimbi. A plea is made for support of this action, as well as the consideration and development of slogans to be used during this action. The slogans must express the frustration of the residents. The Forum wishes to stress the fact that the residents to refrain from using any political rhetoric or slogans reflecting racism, but to remain focus on the factual frustration been experienced. On the detail of the planned action, we will keep the public informed.

As a result of the abovementioned, the Forum informed in writing and submitted a copy of the dispute with the municipality to the National Treasury, the respective MEC`s of Provincial Treasury and Local Government and Traditional Affairs, as well as the Premier of Limpopo about the planned withholding of property tax. In the submission, the concern about the payment of property tax as from 1 July 2010, resulting in an increase in payment in access of 50% was highlighted. It was also indicated that the property tax will be kept in a trust until such time the Municipal Council considers the problems experienced by residents and it been resolved.