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City Property vs CIDs

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NOMASWAZI NKOSI
nomaswazi.nkosi@inl.co.za

PROPERTY management company City Property are embroiled in a bitter battle with the Central Improvement District (CID) over unpaid levy fees.

City Property have accused the management of the Kerk Street and Esselen Street CIDs of not having audited their financials since 2012 and a concerned about the legality of both CIDs.

As a result they have decided to cease their levy payments to the CIDs.

“City Property has been endeavouring to extract sufficient financial information from these CIDs to determine the financial status of the two entities with regard to the fact that there are no audited financials for at least four years,” said Lize Nel, spokeswoman for City Property.

She said the two CIDs were notified that City Property would halt payment as early as July 2016 and at the end of last month, they halted their payment.

“In the absence of proof that the CIDs comply with all prevailing legislation, we have been advised that the contributions are voluntary, as is the case in many other cities around the country,” Nel said.

However, Advocate Salim Yousuf, chairperson of the Kerk Street CID, has denied all the allegations.

“They have made defamatory allegations against the management of misappropriation of funds, which have been unfounded,” Yousuf said.

He said the CIDs have always had annual general meetings where their finances have been disclosed.

He said the only problem was that the finances for the last four months needed to be credited by authorised auditors as the ones they used before were not qualified and had misrepresented themselves.
“All these allegations are not true. The finances have not been signed off by qualified auditors which are being certified now. There is no reason whatsoever that they should hold back these levies,” Yousuf said.

He said because City Property had not paid their R198 000 levies for the month, they were unable to pay their employees their full salaries.

“As you can imagine, it’s bad for the employees because they cannot make their own payments. They need to buy bus tickets for the month. We could give them half so they could at least put food on their tables. But City Property has most of the properties in the inner city so their non-payment took a huge chunk out of the salaries,” Yousuf said.

The employees provide safety, security and cleaning services.

He said that City Property had promised to make the payment yesterday (6 October) but Nel said no such agreement was made.

“There is no undertaking on our side to make a payment today (yesterday),” Nel said.

She said that in terms of the payment of the employees, City Property had not employed any of the CID workers.

“City property is therefore not responsible for the payment of any salaries to any of the workers employed by either the Kerk Street CID or the Esselen Street CID, as both are separate and independent legal entities,” Nel said.

According to the Hatfield City Improvement District website, a CID is funded by the property owners who contribute towards the precinct and its upkeep.

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