The value of your home only partly depends on is location, size and the quality of its fittings and fixtures. It also depends crucially on the quality of the services provided by your local municipality — how much it charges for services it delivers, or fails to deliver, and how much of a wealth tax it imposes for your right to own it.

The better the services provided, the more valuable your home will be. And the more you are charged, the less the home will be worth to others. Negative feedback effects on home values are painfully apparent to homeowners in most parts of the country. The real value of homes of all kinds and types is falling in SA because of the growing imbalance between what is being extracted by municipal governments and what they deliver...

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