The rates differ according to the following designations:
- Residential properties – refer to properties zoned for private dwelling purposes only. No commercial activity
- Commercial 1 properties – refer to properties zoned as fully commercial activities
- Commercial 2 – refer to properties zoned as semi- commercial serve both dwelling and commercial purposes
- Urban farmland – refer to properties zoned for agricultural purposes
- Government properties – refer to properties owned by the state
- Vacant Land – refer to all undeveloped properties across all the zoning, commercial, residential, Government, and farmland.
- The Rating Act states that an independent valuer be approved by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development to valuate the properties.
- Rates are charged based on the value of immovable property.
- A property owner may object against the value given to his property to the Valuation Court by filling in an objection Form as soon as they receive the valuation notice from Council.
- The Valuation Court deals strictly with discrepancies in property values and not rates.
- Complaints pertaining to rates are attended to by Council.
ACCEPTABLE METHODS OF PAYING RATES
- Cash or Bank guaranteed cheques
- Electronically (Internet banking, bank transfer, stop orders)
- Debit orders
- Postal /money order
- Card swiping
• Rating Act – The general view is that the Act is now outdated and does not take into consideration the current economic situation in the Kingdom of Swaziland such as;
- Urban poverty
- HIV/AIDS – child headed households
- Mandate linking rates to utilities/financial institution loans
- Mandate linking rates to the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) and the tax clearance system
- There is no way of recouping rates lost due to the exemption of certain properties e.g. churches, public schools,hospitals.
Bad debts date back as far as five (5) years and beyond partly due to the economic situation mentioned above.