Blantyre City Council says it will inspect all buildings and land in the city to come up with their correct value.
The exercise called quinqennial valuation roll, starts today and is budgeted at K1.45 billion, according to the council’s director of commerce, industry and trade Dennis Chinseu.
He said Section 65 of the Local Government Act (1998) empowers the council to produce a valuation roll every five years, but it conducted the last evaluation in 2005 due to lack of money.
Chinseu said this means the calculation of property rates in the city is based on values captured in 2005.
He said the exercise, which will take 18 months, will cover all buildings in the central business district and all the city’s townships.
“It will capture the current state of all properties in the city and attach new values to them. Blantyre City has approximately 270 000 buildings.
“Section 73 of the Local Government Act makes it illegal for landlords to deny evaluators access to their premises,” he said.
The council has engaged The Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, and Mpico plc to undertake the exercise.
“This exercise is one of the ways to broaden our rates collection base and we are anticipating to collect about K5 billion during this new financial year,” said Chinseu.
The council’s chief estates management officer and registered valuer Precious Tembo said the team will capture plot number, owner, type of the building, type of roofing materials and other vital information.
“We will not evaluate buildings under construction, but the land at which the building is being built. Only churches and mosques will be exempted from this exercise.
“Manses, halls and land will be evaluated. We will be taking pictures of all properties visited because this is also part of auditing,” he said.