THE PROPERTY RATES BILL 2002
SUBMISSION TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
ON PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
BY THE INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA
ISASA welcomes the opportunity afforded to it by the Committee to make a contribution to the developmental process of this important piece of legislation. The Committee's effort to canvass as wide a range of stakeholders' input and opinions on this legislation is highly appreciated.
ISASA wishes at the outset to make its position clear on two issues –
First: It supports and embraces the broad principles underpinning the Bill, and is indeed in agreement with many of the provisions of the Bill. It accepts that the flow of fiscal transfers from central to local government is inadequate, and that increasingly there is a need to mobilize effectively and fairly resources at local level. We also endorse and recognise the need for a uniform and consolidated property rates system across the country.
Second: It wholly endorses as correct that schools must pay, and do pay, for the services they consume (i.e. electricity, water, gas, refuse removal, sewerage, etc.) like any other owner or occupier of property. No subsidy is being sought for these, although in some jurisdictions they are provided at a discount.
Having said that, however, ISASA remains concerned about potential impact of this legislation on educational institutions especially schools (both independent and public). Whilst ISASA does not favour a culture of exemption, it must in the national interest
argue for the exemption of all schools because:
· Schools are central to national economic policy, and (in a sense) part of public service infrastructure, in its wider sense;
· Schools are key agents of social service delivery; and
· The exemption of schools from property rates would be in line with practice elsewhere in Africa and the world, and in line with their tax exempt status in South Africa as public benefit organisations (PBOs).
1. The Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) and the Independent School Movement in South Africa
1.1 ISASA is the largest, oldest association of independent schools in South Africa. Its genealogy can be traced as far back as the late 1920s. This association has evolved over the years into a Section 21 company, not for gain, and represents more than 340 independent schools in Southern Africa, including 18 schools in Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland.
1.2. ISASA’s vision is of a Southern Africa in which quality education is provided to all learners, the value of independent education in contributing to this goal is recognised, and a value-based, public–spirited community of diverse, high quality independent schools is developed.
1.3 One of the greatest strengths of ISASA as an association is the rich diversity of its member schools. Public reporting and perception regarding independent schools is often underpinned by a mistaken notion of these schools as homogeneous and wealthy. The reality on the ground paints a very different picture. Independent schools serve a broad range of socio-economic and cultural communities, religious denominations and educational levels from pre-primary to post-matric across Southern Africa. Under the ISASA umbrella we have schools that are big and small, urban and rural, well and poorly resourced, religious and secular and alternative and traditional. Fees in ISASA schools range from about R2,800 to about R42,000 per annum.
1.4 A large number of our schools are faith based, encompassing those from every Christian denomination, as well as Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. Moreover, a number of schools offer alternative educational philosophies and approaches, such as the Montessori methodology and even transcendental meditation. In addition, over the years a number of schools offering vocational training have emerged.
Despite this diversity, all ISASA schools have agreed to abide by a common Code of Ethical Practice, and all schools are quality assured for membership before they may join the Association.
1.5. In the independent school’s sector in South Africa as a whole, there have been radical changes which have made a simplistic categorization or classification of schools increasingly difficult. For example:
· According to recent research by the Human Science Research Council (HSRC) 66 per cent of pupils in independent schools are black (56 per cent are African).
· A large number of these schools do not serve affluent communities and a significant proportion of them charge fees below R6, 000 per annum. The HSRC research shows that across all provinces 53% of independent schools charge fees below R6000 per annum.
· Although there are a small number of independent schools that are for-profit, the vast majority of independent schools are non-profit. They are established for altruistic purposes as non-profit organisations in an attempt to undo the damage caused by Bantu education.
· The HSRC also illustrates that a large proportion (64%) of independent schools have outreach programme for neighbouring communities and schools. There is therefore, a very clear recognition from these schools that they cannot afford to exist as centres of excellence without assuming some responsibility to assist disadvantaged public and independent schools.
Further details as to ISASA's vision and mission, and the current realities of the independent school sectors are set out in Annexure "A".
2 Education as a Fundamental Part of National Economic Policy
2.1 There is ample evidence in the statements of the President and Ministers from time to time, and from Parliament, to demonstrate that education is the vital part of national economic policy:
"Our future is in the hands of our children. Education expands abilities and opportunities. It is a great freedom in itself, and opens the doors to other freedoms. We recognize this. That is why, at 23,2 per cent of non-interest expenditure, investment in education and deepening of the skills base of the economy is our largest expenditure area.
(Minister of Finance: Trevor Manuel, 2003 Budget Speech)
Unemployment is, by common cause, the greatest challenge to the national economy. Without educating the people needed to seize the opportunity presented by any economic upturn, the country will fail to meet this challenge:
"In a global economy where competition transcends national boundaries and capital flows are highly mobile, the competitive position of a country is increasingly determined by the quality of its human and other resources".
(Department of Labour, 2002: 1)
"Skills shortages are inhibiting economic growth and the creation of jobs in South Africa. Compared to other countries with similar economies, South Africa has too many unskilled people and not enough who are professionally qualified and skilled."
(Minister of Labour: Membathisi Mdladlana, 2002: 3)
However, for the purpose of this note we refer to the State of the Nation address at the opening of Parliament, 2003, in which the President said:
"…government is perfectly conscious of the fact that there are many in our society who are unable to benefit directly from whatever our economy is able to offer. Obviously, this includes those on pension and the very young.
But it also includes people who are unskilled and those with low levels of education in general. This reflects the structural fault in our economy and society as a result of which we have a dual economy and society. The one is modern and relatively well developed. The other is characterised by underdevelopment and an entrenched crisis of poverty.
We have to respond to the needs of the fellow South Africans trapped in the latter society in a focussed and dedicated manner to extricate them from their condition…..
….Despite continuing improvements in the capacity of the economy to create new jobs, the issue of unemployment remains one of our major challenges. Fundamentally, the solution to this problem is dependent on our achieving the necessary rates of economic growth and development. Accordingly everything we have said about the economy also relates directly to the issue of job creation.
In this context we must raise the critically important matter of human resource development. As the Honourable Members know, we launched our Human Resources Development Strategy in June 2001. This Strategy covers the entire spectrum from Early Childhood Development, primary and secondary education, technical and vocational training, through Adult Basic Education, to skills enhancement through the Sector Education and Training Authorities, on-the-job training in the public works programmes, and specialised institutions such as the projected Advanced Institute for Information and Communication Technology…..
…..We are convinced that sustained and correctly focused work in the area of human resource development, together with the varied economic interventions we have mentioned, will help the country in the effort to attend to the important challenge of unemployment. In this regard, the government will also present to our social partners a framework for an employment strategy to ensure that we create the best possible conditions for a concerted drive to reduce the levels of unemployment.."
As the above quotation indicates, education and training is the cornerstone of national economic policy. Without more highly skilled human resources in South Africa, national economic policy goals will not be achieved.
2.2 Within education and training, however, schools occupy a fundamental and unique position. Schooling is a basic right and compulsory for ten years. As the Bill of Rights states in clause 29 (1) of the Constitution: "Everyone has the right (a) to basic education, including adult basic education". Basic education obtained at school or through adult education is the foundation of all later education and training.
An analysis prepared in September 2002 by the Department of Labour on the skills development challenge in South Africa shows that only 39 per cent of the employed population in South Africa has completed twelve years of schooling or more. Partly due to this small number of Grade 12 matriculants, only 6 per cent of the workforce has a university degree and only 10 per cent a non-university diploma or certificate.
Unless the country gets schooling right by improving the access to, and the ‘holding power’ and quality of schooling, no higher-level skills development is possible. As the Department of Labour analysis points out: "The relatively low level of human resource development amongst the economically active population can create severe bottlenecks in production and generally constrain economic development".
2.3 This position is supported by international agencies, like the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Bank, which maintain that schooling is the foundation of all skills development in a country. For this reason, amongst others, most countries exempt from rates the property of education institutions used for education purposes.
2.4 So vital is the role of schools that we submit that they must be specifically referred to as exempt under section 15(2) of the Bill, or alternatively regarded as part of public service infrastructure and exempt from property rates. We believe that "public service infrastructure" is narrowly defined in the Bill as consisting almost exclusively of physical infrastructure, such as roads, that would carry a material prejudice or indirect cost if rates were levied. However, schools are in fact as much a part of "infrastructure" from a municipal point of view as roads, electricity and water. No community can develop without schools. It is often schools that attract people to live in an area and it is these people who will pay rates on their properties. Hypothetically, if a municipality has no schools, the community will live elsewhere, near where their childrens' schools are, and commute to work. Everyone in the municipality receives the associated benefits of its schools, including those with no children. If government is concerned about material prejudice arising from the rating of roads, it should be equally – or more – concerned about the material prejudice arising from the rating of property used by schools for educational purposes.
3 The Provisions of the Constitution in Relation to Property Rates
We accept that the object of the Bill is not the source of the power in terms of which municipalities may levy property rates, but an instrument to give effect to section 229 (2) (a) and (b). As such it seeks to establish a uniform system of regulation and circumscribes the limits that are necessary to avoid material and unreasonable prejudice to national economic policies, economic activities across municipal boundaries, or the national mobility of goods, services, capital and labour:
"(2) The power of a municipality to impose rates on property, surcharges on fees for services provided by or on behalf of the municipality, or other taxes, levies or duties –
(a) may not be exercised in a way that materially and unreasonably prejudices national economic policies, economic activities across national boundaries, or the national mobility of goods, services, capital or labour; and
(b) may be regulated by national legislation."
4 Amendment to the Bill to Provide for Education as a Matter of National Economic Policy
4.1 The Bill repeats the constitutional prohibitions in its section 15(1) but in fact deals very little with national economic policy, save for stating the prohibition in those terms. One exempt category of property (amongst others that conceivably exist within the prohibition) is set out in the definition of "public service infrastructure" in section 1, which deals entirely with the mobility of people, goods and services across national boundaries. It has nothing in it which might be comprised in national economic policy.
This approach is then amplified in section 15(2). Some of the items in this section might arguably be held to be items of national economic policy, but none would seem to be "bedrock" or of the utmost importance within the understanding conveyed by the President in his state of the Nation address this year.
4.2 The Minister is given somewhat circumscribed powers to interfere as necessary in sections 15(3) (4) and (5) but the wording indicates that this would be done (if at all) after prejudice had already become apparent (i.e. after the fact) and at a time when, in all probability, damage had already been caused, perhaps for some fatally so. With something as important and fragile as the provision of education, even the potential for risk of damage should not be permitted.
With respect, the Bill does not now attempt to ring-fence the country's most pressing aspect of national economic policy (i.e. education), which has been such for hundreds of years into the past, and will remain such indefinitely into the future, if we are to play our role on the global stage. This is a serious omission.
4.3 Educational institutions, by their very nature, generally occupy considerably more land, relatively speaking, than other forms of organisation or other operations. School facilities such as classrooms, offices, halls and sports fields occupy significant areas of land, so the impact of property rates on school budgets and parent communities will be huge. For individual schools, it will be crippling. From the examples given below of two independent schools in the Johannesburg area, it is clear that the burden of rates on parent bodies would be insupportable and may lead to the closure of these schools.
· St David’s Marist, Inanda is a Catholic boys’ school offering quality education to children from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. Fees start from R16,000 per annum, and as a faith-based school St David’s allocates significant resources to bursaries for disadvantaged learners. The school was founded in 1941 on 3.5 hectares of land in Inanda – then on the very outskirts of Johannesburg. However, this location has subsequently become one of the most sought-after business areas in Johannesburg, and hence attracts high property rates. The school’s rates would be in the region of R1,8 million per annum (equivalent to the full fee income from 80 learners).
· Sekolo sa Borokgo is a low-fee (R5,000 per annum) co-educational school catering for African learners. It specialises in bridging learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and enabling them to achieve good passes in higher grade subjects at Grade 12 level. The school occupies a converted house and an office floor in Randburg, and would be liable for rates of approximately R40,000 per annum. This would represent a huge additional burden on a poor school that already operates on a very tight budget.
The possible risk of such a burden should not even be rendered possible in relation to a critical function of national economic policy, by leaving the matter open to hundreds of local authorities, each applying their own particular and varied policies and approaches, in relation to their own pressing needs. Individual municipalities all over the country, may or may not exercise their discretions to a greater or lesser degree, as they see fit. The wild disparity of the way in which in practice municipalities may implement policies of grants-in-aid and exemptions was dramatically illustrated in Kwazulu-Natal in 1994/5, when the mistakenly amended rating ordinance was promulgated for about a year before being withdrawn. The exercise by local authorities of the discretion given to them for about a year showed that local prejudices "ran riot". In Mooi River, Treverton School was fully rated, but not others in the surrounding areas were. In Bergville and Ladysmith, the Anglican and Methodist churches were charged rates, but not the DRC. Organisations with properties in different areas were subject to different treatment: the church in Klipriver was given a grant-in-aid, but Ladysmith applied full rates. Schools were treated similarly: in fact in some instances the municipalities tried to transfer payments by schools on services (i.e. electricity and water) to property rates, and then enforce payment of alleged arrear service charges by threatening to cut these off. A brief summary of the historical background and the position reached in 1994 (which is still current) is set out in Annexure "B". If the Bill is passed in its present form, this deplorable pattern will in all probability be replicated across all nine provinces, notwithstanding the requirement of rates policies in terms of sections 3(1) and (2) of the Bill. There will be no uniformity in these rates policies: what is seen by one authority as equitable, could be quite different from the view of another. This potential risk must be written out of the Bill, so as to protect absolutely the financial integrity of educational institutions. It is not for municipalities alone to decide on such an important issue. It should be made clear in the Act that nothing should be permitted of local government to harm or otherwise prejudice this critical function of national economic policy. The Bill already does this with the movement of people, goods and services across national boundaries, so why not also so fundamentally an important matter of national economic policy as education?
4.4 Thus, it is suggested that either in the definition of "public service infrastructure" (as education is in reality every bit as much a critical part of infrastructure as roads and water) or in section 15(2) the words "property used exclusively by any educational public benefit organisation….." be inserted, and that a new definition be included, namely: "educational public benefit organisation" means any public benefit organisation approved by the Commissioner in terms of section 30 read with section 10(1)(cN) and the Ninth Schedule of the Income Tax Act No 58 of 1962 that provides education to the level of Grade 12, including adult basic education, and including a public benefit organisation owning land for use by an educational public benefit organisation."
Alternatively, a new sub-section (b) could be included in section 15(2) reading, "……(b) any educational public benefit organisation."
4.5 It is also important to emphasise the additional value that schools add to any community and its economy. Not only do good schools encourage people to live in an area, but they provide jobs at all levels for people in the community and they buy products and services from the community and thus contribute significantly to the local economy. The facilities of schools such as halls, sports fields and classrooms also add to the amenities that can be utilised by the community. Even more noteworthy are the community development programmes that public and independent schools run, such as teacher upgrading, computer literacy, adult literacy and extra lessons for disadvantaged pupils. As mentioned previously, recent HSRC research shows that 64 per cent of all independent schools, at all socio-economic levels, run outreach programmes for disadvantaged schools or communities.
5 Education and the Extent of Educational Activities in terms of the Income Tax Act
5.1 Although item 4 of part 1 of the Ninth Schedule sets out a number of activities under the heading "Education and Development" (promulgated in the Taxation Laws Amendment Act No 30 of 2002), only four aspects are of critical concern to national economic policy, as indicated in bold in the list of the activities set out in Annexure "C"
5.2 Although a wide range of educational activities are listed as public benefit activities, we believe that only schooling and its adult basic education equivalent – as fundamental educational rights – should be exempted from property rates. This would be is in line with what is now an accepted tenet of South African economic policy – that organisations delivering a service of public benefit should, as far as possible, be exempted from taxation of any kind. International analysis of the social benefits of education clearly shows that the public benefit from schooling, and especially primary schooling, is greater than from any other level of education. By contrast at the higher education level, the private returns to individual students are greater than the public returns to a country.
6 Control of Educational Public Benefit Organisations
Section 30 of the Income Tax Act provides stringent regulations for the registration of an organisation as a PBO, and for the maintenance of such registration. Not only does the organisation have to meet certain criteria, which are clearly laid down, but it also requires three unconnected persons to commit themselves to the Commissioner as fiduciaries for the on-going compliance by the organisation with these criteria. Trading activities are severely curtailed, and financial controls are imposed. Returns have to be made each year to the Commissioner. The organisation is furthermore required to comply with the provisions of, and register in terms of the Non-profit Organisations Act, under the surveillance of the Minister of the Department of Social Development (unless the Commissioner in exceptional circumstances foregoes this requirement). Educational organisations, as PBO's, are accordingly well defined, regulated and controlled in terms of the latest fiscal legislation, with reporting responsibilities to no less that two government departments. The potential danger of the property rates system being abused by maverick organisations is thus virtually eliminated. A copy of section 30 of the Income Tax Act is attached as Annexure "D".
7 Practice Elsewhere in the World
Generally speaking properties of educational institutions, used for educational purposes, are rates exempt. A review of the situation in countries, to which reference is frequently made, is as follows:
7.1 Examples from Wealthy, First World Countries
Australia In Western Australia, both independent schools and public schools are exempted from the payment of rates, land tax, water and sewage rates.
In Victoria State, all independent schools are exempt from property rates.
In Queensland, all state schools are exempt from property rates. It is different for independent schools where individual councils determine the levying of, or exemption from, rates. Local Government exempts rates on land used by a religious entity for the provisions of education.
In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), independent schools are free of property rates.
In the Northern Territory, land used or occupied solely for schools is free of property rates.
In South Australia, rates are charged, but at a significantly discounted rate. No charges are made where the schools hire their premises.
In Tasmania, school properties are fully rateable by municipal councils.
Canada In Alberta, schools' properties are rates exempt, but not teacher's houses.
In Quebec, schools' properties are exempt: provincial government compensates municipalities for lost revenue.
In Nova Scotia, schools' properties are exempt, save for those run for profit.
In British Columbia, rates are levied on schools' properties, but at a very low rate.
In New Brunswick, the schools' properties are rates exempt.
In Ontario, schools' properties are rates exempt.
New Zealand Legislation was passed last year, to be enacted July 1 this year, which will exempt independent schools from property taxes. Public schools (State schools) were already exempt.
United Schools with a charitable status (roughly akin to our PBO
Kingdom status) are entitled to a minimum rebate of 80% of the rates. By far the greater number of independent schools have charitable status. Public schools' property is subject to rates, but these are paid in the delegated budget they receive (a system similar to that applying to the public schools in South Africa, where national government pays the rates for the schools).
United States All states have some sort of property rate exemption for non-profit entities and this includes schools.
7.2 Examples from Developing, African Countries
Kenya Property used exclusively for educational purposes (including public schools within the meaning of the Education Act) is exempt from property taxation. Charitable institutions are also exempted.
Namibia Any land or building or any part of such land and building used exclusively for purposes of the principal activities of any school or mission is exempt from property rates. In general, it is irrelevant whether such property is maintained or managed for profit or not.
Tanzania Properties that are exempt from taxation include, amongst others, property used for educational institutions, sporting purposes and public utility undertakings. In relation to educational institutions the property must be used exclusively for that purpose.
Uganda All properties in gazetted urban areas in Uganda are ratable, with the following exemptions:
· Properties used exclusively for public service
· Properties used exclusively for the purpose of any charitable or education institution supported only by endowments or voluntary contributions.
Zambia Schools and charitable organisations will be exempted in the new Rating Act.
Swaziland Immovable property used exclusively throughout the year for the purpose of a school, college or university, including its boarding establishment or recreation ground or the like, provide for the accommodation, use or enjoyment of students or scholars attending such school, college or university, is exempt from the payment of rates.
Botswana A school registered under section 17 of the Education Act, or a hostel attached to such a school that is used exclusively for such purposes only, is exempt from rates.
Malawi Educational institutions are exempted from property rates. This does not apply to any separate building used as residences for staff, or the use of any premises or part thereof for profit.
8 Developments in Fiscal Legislation (Public Benefit Activities)
From the statements made by the Minister of Finance and the developments in fiscal legislation (e.g. the Taxation Laws Amendment Act No 30 of 2002) it is clear that PBO activities in general have been accorded special significance in relation to national economic and social policy. This was earlier articulated in the Ninth Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Certain Aspects of the Tax Structure of South Africa (1999) which concluded:
"… [T]here is a broad consensus in the international community regarding the justification for such beneficial treatment [of non-profit organisations]. Factors which are most frequently cited include the following:
(i) NPOs are seen to be a relatively cost-effective means of delivering social and developmental services in a manner which relieves the financial burden which otherwise falls upon the State;
(ii) as civil society initiatives, NPOs are seen to promote important values in society, including voluntarism, self-responsibility, and participative democracy; and
(iii) in societies such as South Africa where there exist gross disparities of income and wealth, NPOs represent an important mechanism for encouraging philanthropy and promoting greater equity and redistributive policies."
In the above statement, NPO's can be equated with PBO's. The consequent tax reform appeared in the changes to the Income Tax Act, initially in 2000 (section 30 read with the Ninth Schedule) which created PBO's (which are also NPO's, falling within the frame of reference of the Ninth report of the Commission referred to above). This reform created defined parameters for determining whether or not an activity was a public benefit activity, and established effective monitoring and control by SARS of PBO's in relation to these activities, for the purpose of their retaining their tax exempt status. The Ninth Schedule sets out a list of all these activities under specific headings, and section 30 establishes the controls. National government's perspective on this issue was indicated in the 2000 Budget Review:
'Non-profit organisations play a vital role in promoting development and extending democracy. Recognising this, the Income Tax Act grants tax-exempt status to approved non-profit organisations and allows donations to some bodies to be deducted from taxable income, subject to prescribed limits. Government accepts that the current provisions do not acknowledge the changed role of these organisations in South Africa. … Having considered the report by the Katz Commission and the preliminary findings of the Portfolio Committee on Finance, as well as the information obtained from foreign jurisdictions, it is proposed that … [a] comprehensive list of acceptable public benefit activities, which must include the activities of the majority of non-profit organisations in the Republic, should be developed and included in the Act. (82-3)
The draftspersons of the Property Rates Bill seemed to have overlooked this development in national economic and social policy. They still use the "old" expression "charitable and welfare organisations" which the philosophy behind the new fiscal legislation eliminated. There is no reference anywhere in the Bill to PBO's.
There are a small number of independent for-profit schools that would not qualify as PBOs/NPOs. There are two ways of looking at their position, and the state will have to decide which is more applicable. The first is to acknowledge that despite their for-profit status, these schools provide a critical social service and as such should be exempted from rates. The second is that despite the service they provide, these schools remain for-profit businesses and cannot be exempted from rates.
9 Loss of Income to Municipalities
9.1 Of concern to municipalities will be the potential loss of income through exemption of all schools from rates. We have examined this issue and would like to draw attention to the fact that the land occupied by schools is probably less than 4 per cent – and probably nearer 2 per cent – of the 24 million hectares owned by the state. An analysis of state land holdings from the Department of Land Affairs is attached as Annexure "E".
9.2 To date independent schools have always been exempt from paying property rates, so municipalities have not become dependent on that income. The note at the end of the Memorandum to the Bill indicates that in future government will pay the full rates for government property, without the 20 per cent discount it enjoyed in the past. This means that municipalities will obtain 20 per cent more income from state property than they did in the past. The memorandum attached to the Bill indicates that the additional payments from national government to municipalities arising from the loss of this discount will be between R0.4 billion and R2.4 billion per annum. This additional income from the bulk of state land, it is submitted, will more than offset the small loss of revenue from schools.
10 Changes to Create Consistency with Current Fiscal Legislation
Following on from what is said in section 8 above, from the point of view of proper drafting to correlate with the latest fiscal legislation, we would recommend:
10.1 The inclusion of specific reference to PBO's in section 3(2)(e) and section 8(3) of the Bill in relation to municipal rates policies and the establishment of categories for the purpose of rates' differentiation;
10.2 The provision of a year's grace period as part of the transitional arrangements, to enable previously exempt owners (i.e. independent schools and religious organisations) to apply for reductions or exemptions, as otherwise they will have to pay in year one, regardless, as they will have no exemption/reduction arrangements in place, and the rates levied will not be able to be dealt with as "income foregone" in terms of sections 14(2) and (3) of the Bill; and
10.3 The provision of appropriate practices, methods and standards for valuing educational property which has never been a factor before, and which is not dealt with in the Bill (e.g. special zoning, specialised buildings and other plant, restrictive conditions of the title, lack of market data, etc).
We know that the South African Council of Churches have made a comprehensive submission in this regard, and we agree with and support it.
Submitted by the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa
30 April 2003
THE PROPERTY RATES BILL 2002
1 MISSION AND VISION OF ISASA
ISASA’s vision is of a Southern Africa in which quality education is provided to all learners, the value of independent education in contributing to this goal is recognised, and a value-based, public–spirited community of diverse, high quality independent schools is developed.
ISASA’s mission is to articulate the value of independent education, to promote the common interests of its members, and to provide professional services that will enhance their contribution to education in Southern Africa.
Member schools understand the importance of contributing to the national interest in education through the development of human and social capital and partnerships with government, business, donors and communities. Most ISASA members operate significant development programmes in partnership with disadvantaged schools and communities. We as ISASA believe that these relationships and partnerships with communities must continue to nurtured and enhanced for the greater public good.
Some examples of this are:
· Saturday morning maths workshops organized by teachers for colleagues working in disadvantaged schools;
· Twinning agreements with schools, raising funds and supporting wherever possible;
· Teacher training programmes;
· Regular visits to orphanages;
· Community service for each learner with students also encouraged to adopt their own projects;
· Regular donations to women and children abuse funds and other targeted charities;
· Homework classes with local schools;
· Adult literacy programme for surrounding communities;
· Pre-school English tuition;
2 THE CURRENT REALITY OF THE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL SECTOR
The landscape and fabric of the independent school’s sector in South Africa has undergone radical changes since the mid-1990s. These changes have made a simplistic categorization or classification of these schools increasingly difficult. Whereas in the previous dispensation it was easy to classify these schools as white and wealthy, the new state policies have dramatically altered both the character and composition of the independent sector.
What are the major changes today? There are four major changes namely;
· The majority of learners in independent schools are black;
· The majority of independent schools charge relatively low fees;
· The majority of independent schools are non-for-profit; and
· The majority of independent schools are community-oriented
The demographics and composition of independent schools has changed significantly. According to research by the Human Science Research Council (HSRC) 66 per cent of pupils in independent schools are black (56 per cent are African). This survey research also showed that that there are more black than white pupils in independent schools in all provinces except Gauteng and the Western Cape. This change is significant because it must be remembered that previously independent schools mostly offered traditional, religious and single sex education for high fees and the majority of learners in these schools were white.
Contrary to the common perception that independent schools educate only the wealthy, a large number of these schools do not serve affluent communities and a significant proportion of them charge fees below R6, 000 per annum. The HSRC research shows that across all provinces 53% of independent schools charge fees below R6000 per annum.
Although there are a small number of independent schools that are for-profit, the vast majority of independent schools are non-profit. Many are established to meet a community’s basic educational needs. These schools often exist in disused warehouses and offices, large old houses, farm buildings and churches. They are established for altruistic purposes as non-profit organisations in an attempt to undo the damage caused by Bantu education.
· The HSRC also illustrates that a large proportion (64%) of independent schools have outreach programme for neighbouring communities and schools. There is therefore, a very clear recognition from these schools that they cannot afford to exist as centres of excellence without assuming some responsibility to assist disadvantaged public and independent schools.
THE PROPERTY RATES BILL 2002
1 The imposition of property rates in what was previously the Transvaal (by way of example, as the position was similar in the other provinces at the time) has in the past been regulated by the Local Authorities Rating Ordinance No. 11 of 1977 (the "Ordinance") in terms of which certain rateable property was exempted from the payment of rates. Section 5 of the Ordinance at that stage is set out in Annexure "A". It exempted ten listed categories of property used by the owner organisations for specific purposes, including public worship, residences of ministers of religion, welfare, private schools and schools declared to be exempt by the Administrator.
2 On 23 June 1993 proposed amendments to the Ordinance were published. The proposed amendments sparked a major outcry in the community and representations were made to government from a wide group of interested parties. Not all representations were successful, however, and presently the only property exempt by law has been the property of religious institutions and independent schools. However, in Natal the proposed amendments in their unchanged form - in error - became applicable and were applied for about a year. The individual municipalities across the province then applied their discretions. What the religious institutions, schools and welfare organisations found - perhaps not unexpectedly - was that there were great and arbitrary differences in the way different municipalities gave grants-in-aid to different organisations, depending upon local likes and dislikes (prejudices?) at any particular time.
3 The changes, in amended form after the submissions made in respect thereof, came into operation on 23 March 1994. Broadly speaking, only independent schools and religious institutions remained totally exempt by law. The relevant ordinances were (and presently still are) as follows:
"A Free State Ordinance: section 114A(3):
Notwithstanding contrary provisions of this Ordinance, but subject to the provisions of the Rating of State Property Act, 1984, the following classes of ratable property shall be exempted from the payment of general assessment rate:
(a) churches, church halls, temples, mosques and other places of a similar nature registered in the name of a religious group, body or organisation as a place of assembly for public worship or religious or related social activities;
(b) ratable property registered in the name of a welfare organisation which is registered in terms of the National Welfare Act, 1978 (Act No.100 of 1978); and
(c) ratable property registered in the name of an educational institution which is established, declared or registered in terms of an act."
B Transvaal Ordinance: section 5(1)(d):
…….ratable property shall be exempt from the payment of any rates where…
- a……… deleted;
- b……… deleted;
- c……… deleted;
- d……… such property or portion thereof is land used exclusively for the purpose of and to the extent that such property or portion thereof is so used for –
(i) public worship or public worship and any social or religious activity of the church concerned or public worship and education;
(ii) a residence of a minister of religion in the full time service of a church where the land on which such residence is situated is registered in the name of such a church;
(vi) a private school registered in terms of any law;
Section 5(2) has been substituted by the following:
The provisions of subsection (1) shall not apply where such property is let for any continuous period for more than 10 days whether alone or together with any period of renewal."
C Natal Ordinance : Section 153: no rates are imposed upon any land or building used exclusively for:
(a) religious purposes, including the occupation by a minister of religion of a residence owned by the religious body to which he belongs;
(b) the purposes of any college or school maintained by any company, society or other association of persons, including any boarding establishment or recreation ground or the like provided for the accommodation, use or enjoyment of students or scholars attending such college or school;
provided that if any rent (other than a nominal rent) is paid to the owner, lessee or occupier of any such land or building, the same shall be liable to rates.
D Cape Ordinance : Section 81A:
Exemption from rates shall be granted in respect of ratable property –
(a) registered in the name of any private school which is registered in terms of any law;
(c) owned by a religious body or organisation and normally used by it as a place of assembly for public worship or other gatherings or activities in furtherance of the spiritual objects thereof, whether or not such property is at any time during the financial year also used for any other purpose; provided that where such property is used as or for the purposes of a dwelling the exemption contemplated by this paragraph shall only apply if such property is so used by –
(i) a minister of religion or any employee in the full-time service of such body or organisation, or
(ii) any visitor of any person contemplated by subparagraph (unless the Administrator declares that such visitor is for the purposed of this paragraph not a visitor);
(d) owned by a church and used for the residence of a minister of religion in the full-time service of such church;
(e) used exclusively for public worship or for public worship and educational purposes, and
4 The amendments to the Ordinance meant, inter alia, that certain property previously exempt under Section 5 would no longer be exempt. Instead, a system of rebates and grants-in-aid was introduced in terms of which all institutions would be required to make applications on an annual basis for such rebates and grants-in-aid. Effectively, the amendments gave each municipality complete discretion to accept or reject such applications, save in the case of independent schools and religious institutions, which were exempt.
5 We know of no reason why independent schools and religious institutions were exempt. We can speculate that public schools are in fact enterprises of the Provinces, and their properties are owned by the Provinces. However, when their expenses are calculated, the burden of rates is excluded. They do not pay rates: these are paid by the central government out of the national tax revenue pool, in terms of the Rating of State Property Act (No79 of 1984) which the Bill proposes to repeal. The exemption of independent schools accordingly "levelled the playing fields". Religious institutions may have retained their exemption because the country was not a secular state in those days – the opening words of the Constitution in those days were of the "under God" tenor. This no longer applies.
EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT PBO ACTIVITIES
(ITEM 4, PART 1, NINTH SCHEDULE TO THE INCOME TAX ACT)
''(a) The provision of education by a "school" as defined in the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996).
(b) The provision of "higher education" by a "higher education institution" as defined in terms of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act No. 101 of 1997).
(c) "Adult basic education and training", as defined in the Adult Basic Education and Training Act, 2000 (Act No. 52 of 2000) including literacy and numeracy education.
(d) "Further education and training" provided by a "public further education and training institution" as defined in the Further Education and Training Act 1998 (Act No.98 of 1998).
(e) Training for unemployed persons with the purpose of enabling them to obtain employment.
(f) The training or education of persons with a severe physical or mental disability.
(g) The provision of bridging courses to enable educationally disadvantaged persons to enter a higher education institution as envisaged in subparagraph (b).
(h) The provision of educare or early childhood development services for pre-school children.
(i) Training of persons employed in the national, provincial and local spheres of government, for purposes of capacity building in those spheres of government.
(j) The provision of school buildings or equipment for public schools and educational institutions engaged in public benefit activities contemplated in subparagraphs (a) to (h).
[Note: (a) to (h) would be amended to include only those sub-paragraphs in bold.]
(k) Career guidance and counseling services provided to persons for purposes of attending any school or higher education institution as envisaged in subparagraphs (a) and (b).
(l) The provision of hostel accommodation to students of a public benefit organisation contemplated in section 30 or an institution, board or body contemplated in section 10(1)(cA)(i) carrying on activities envisaged in subparagraphs (a) to (g).
[Note: (a) to (g) would be amended to include only those subparagraphs in bold.]
(m) Programmes addressing needs in education provision, learning, teaching, training, curriculum support, governance, whole school development, safety and security at schools, pre-schools or educational institutions as envisaged in subparagraphs (a) to (h).
(n) Educational enrichment, academic support, supplementary tuition or outreach programmes for the poor and needy.
(o) The provision of scholarships, bursaries and awards for study, research and teaching on such conditions as may be prescribed by the Minister by way of regulation in the Gazette.
THE PROPERTY RATES BILL 2002
Section 30 of the Income Tax Act (as introduced in 2000 and later amended in 2002 in terms of the Taxation Laws Amendment Act N0 30 of 2002)
(1) For the purposes of this Act –
"public benefit activity" means –
(a) any activity listed in Part I of the Ninth Schedule; and
(b) any other activity determined by the Minister from time to time by notice in the Gazette to be of a benevolent nature, having regard to the needs, interests and well-being of the general public";
"public benefit organisation" means any organisation-
(a) which is a company formed and incorporated under section 21 of the Companies Act, 1973 (Act No. 61 of 1973), or a trust or an association of persons;
(b) of which the sole object is carrying on one or more public benefit activities (including any undertakings or activities which are not prohibited under subsection (3)(b)(iv)), where –
(i) all such activities are carried on in a non-profit manner and with an altruistic or philanthropic intent;
(ii) no such activity is intended to directly or indirectly promote the economic self-interest of any fiduciary or employee of the organisation, otherwise than by way of reasonable remuneration payable to that fiduciary or employee; and
(iii) at least 85 per cent of such activities, measured as either the cost related to the activities or the time expended in respect thereof, are carried out for the benefit of persons in the Republic, unless the Minister, having regard to the circumstances of the case, directs otherwise; and
(i) each such activity carried on by that organisation is for the benefit of, or, is widely accessible to, the general public at large, including any sector thereof (other than small and exclusive groups);
(ii) each such activity carried on by that organisation is for the benefit of, or is readily accessible to, the poor and needy; or
(iii) that organisation is at least 85 per cent funded by donations, grants from any organ of state or any foreign grants";
(2) Any activity determined by the Minister in terms of paragraph (b) of the definition of 'public benefit activity' in subsection (1) or any conditions prescribed by the Minister in terms of subsection (3)(a) must be tabled in Parliament within a period of 12 months after the date of publication by the Minister of that activity or those conditions in the Gazette, for incorporation into this Act;
(3) The Commissioner shall, for the purposes of this Act, approve a public benefit organisation which –
(a) complies with such conditions as the Minister may prescribe by way of regulation to ensure that the activities and resources of such organisation are directed in the furtherance of its object;
(b) has submitted to the Commissioner a copy of the constitution, will or other written instrument under which it has been established and in terms of which it is –
(i) required to have at least three persons, who are not connected persons in relation to each other, to accept the fiduciary responsibility of such organisation and no single person directly or indirectly controls the decision making powers relating to that organisation: Provided that the provisions of this sub paragraph shall not apply in respect of any trust established in terms of a will of any person who died on or before 31 December 2003;
(ii) prohibited from distributing any of its funds to any person (otherwise than in the course of undertaking any public benefit activity) and is required to utilise its funds solely for the object for which it has been established, or in invest such funds-
(aa) with a financial institution (as defined in section 1 of the Financial Services Board Act, No 97 of 1990);
(bb) in securities listed on a stock exchange as defined in section 1 of the Stock Exchanges Control Act, 1985 (Act No. 1 of 1985); or
(cc) in such other prudent investments in financial instruments and assets as the Commissioner may determine after consultation with the Executive Officer of the Financial Services Board and the Director of Non-Profit Organisations:
Provided that the provisions of this subparagraph shall not prohibit any such organisation from retaining any investment (other than any investment in the form of a business undertaking or trading activity or asset which is used in such business undertaking or trading activity) in the form that it was acquired by way of donation, bequest or inheritance;
(iii) required on dissolution to transfer its assets to-
(aa) any similar public benefit organisation which has been approved in terms of this section;
(bb) any institution, board or body which is exempt from tax under the provisions of section 10(1)(cA)(i), which has as its sole or principal object the carrying on of any public benefit activity; or
(cc) any department of state or administration in the national or provincial or local sphere of government of the Republic, contemplated in section 10(1)(a) or (b);
(iv) prohibited from carrying on any business undertaking or trading activity, otherwise than to the extent that-
(aa) the gross income derived from such business undertaking or trading activity does not exceed the greater of-
(A) 15 percent of the gross receipts of such public benefit organisation; or
(B) R25 000;
(bb) the undertaking or activity is-
(A) integral and directly related to the sole object of such public benefit organisation; and
(B) carried out or conducted on a basis substantially the whole of which is directed towards the recovery of cost and which would not result in unfair competition in relation to taxable entities;
(cc) the undertaking or activity, if not integral and directly related to the sole object of such public benefit organisation as contemplated in item (bb) is of an occasional nature and undertaken substantially with assistance on a voluntary basis without compensation; or
(dd) the undertaking or activity is approved by the Minister by notice in the Gazette, having regard to-
(A) the scope and benevolent nature of the undertaking or activity;
(B) the direct connection and interrelationship of the undertaking or activity with the sole purpose of the public benefit organisation;
(C) the profitability of the undertaking or activity; and
(D) the level of economic distortion that may be caused by the tax exempt status of the public benefit organisation carrying out the undertaking or activity;
(v) prohibited from accepting any donation which is revocable at the instance of the donor for reasons other than a material failure to conform to the designated purposes and conditions of such donation, including any misrepresentation with regard to the tax deductibility thereof in terms of section 18A: Provided that a donor (other than a donor which is an approved public benefit organisation or an institution board or body which is exempt from tax in terms of section 10(1)(cA)(i), which has as its sole or principal object the carrying on of any public benefit activity) may not impose conditions which could enable such donor or any connected person in relation to such donor to derive some direct or indirect benefit from the application of such donation;
(vi) required to submit to the Commissioner a copy of any amendment to the constitution, will or other written instrument under which it was established;
(c) the Commissioner is satisfied is or was not knowingly a party to, or does not knowingly permit, or has not knowingly permitted, itself to be used as part of any transaction, operation or scheme of which the sole or main purpose is or was the reduction, postponement or avoidance of liability for any tax, duty or levy which, but for such transaction, operation or scheme, would have been or would have become payable by any person under this Act or any other Act administered by the Commissioner;
(d) has not [paid] and will not pay any remuneration, as defined in the Fourth Schedule, to any employee, office bearer, member or other person which is excessive, having regard to what is generally considered reasonable in the sector and in relation to the service rendered and has not and will not economically benefit any person in a manner which is not consistent with its objects;
(e) complies with such reporting requirements as may be determined by the Commissioner;
(f) the Commissioner is satisfied that, in the case of any public benefit organisation which provides funds to any association of persons contemplated in paragraph (b)(iii) of the definition of "public benefit activity", has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the funds are utilised for the purpose for which it has been provided; and
(g) has, within such period as the Commissioner may determine, been registered in terms of section 13(5) of the Nonprofit Organisations Act, 1997 (Act No. 71 of 1997) and complied with any other requirements imposed in terms of that Act, unless the Commissioner in consultation with the Director of Nonprofit Organisations designated in terms of section 8 of the Nonprofit Organisations Act, 1997, on good cause shown, otherwise directs; and
(h) has not and will not use its resources directly or indirectly to support, advance or oppose any political party;
Provided that notwithstanding subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (b), any business undertaking or trading activity, or asset used in such undertaking or activity, acquired by such organisation before 1 January 2001 [by way of donation, bequest or inheritance] may be retained or continued, as the case may be, in the form so acquired for a period of five years after that date.;
(3A) The Commissioner may, for the purposes of subsection (3), grant approval in respect of any group of organisations sharing a common purpose, which carry on any public benefit activity under the direction or supervision of a regulating or co-ordinating body, where that body takes such steps, as prescribed by the Commissioner, to exercise control over those organisations in order to ensure that they comply with the provisions of this section.
(3B) Where an organisation applies for approval before the later of 31 December 2003 or the last day of its first year of assessment, the Commissioner may approve that organisation for the purposes of this section, or for the purposes of any provision contained in section 10 which was repealed on 15 July 2001, with retrospective effect.
(4) Where the constitution, will or other written instrument does not comply with the provisions of subsection (3)(b) it shall be deemed to so comply-
(a) in the case of a public benefit organisation established under the terms of a will, or under a constitution or other written instrument which cannot be amended to comply with the said subsection; or
(b) in any other case, for a period not exceeding five years,
if the person responsible in a fiduciary capacity for the funds and assets of such organisation furnishes the Commissioner with a written undertaking that such organisation will be administered in compliance with the provisions of this section.
(5) Where the Commissioner is-
(a) satisfied that any public benefit organisation approved under subsection (3) has during any year of assessment in any material respect; or
(b) during any year of assessment satisfied that any such public benefit organisation has on a continuous or repetitive basis,
failed to comply with the provisions of this section, or the constitution, will or other written instrument under which it is established to the extent that it relates to the provisions of this section, [he may] the Commissioner shall after due notice withdraw [his] approval of the organisation with effect from the commencement of that year of assessment, where corrective steps are not taken by that organisation within a period stated by the Commissioner in that notice.
(5A) Where any regulating or co-ordinating body contemplated in subsection (3A)-
(a) with intent or negligently fails to take any steps contemplated in that subsection to exercise control over any public benefit organisation; or
(b) fails to notify the Commissioner where it becomes aware of any material failure by any public benefit organisation over which it exercises control to comply with any provision of this section,
the Commissioner shall after due notice withdraw the approval of the group of public benefit organisations with effect from the commencement of that year of assessment, where corrective steps are not taken by that organisation within a period stated by the Commissioner in that notice.
(6) Where the Commissioner has so withdrawn his approval of such organisation, such organisation shall, within three months or such longer period as the Commissioner may allow after the date of such withdrawal, transfer, or take reasonable steps to transfer, its remaining assets to any other organisation which is-
(a) approved in terms of this section; and
(b) not a connected person in relation to such organisation.
(7) Where any such organisation fail so to transfer, or so to take reasonable steps to transfer, its remaining assets, the accumulated net revenue which has not been distributed in terms of this section shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be an amount of taxable income which accrued to such organisation during the year of assessment referred to in subsection (5).
(8) The provisions of this section shall not, if the Commissioner is satisfied that the non-compliance giving rise to the withdrawal contemplated in subsection (5) has been rectified, preclude any such organisation from applying for approval in terms of this section in the year of assessment following the year of assessment during which the approval was so withdrawn by the Commissioner.
(9) Any books of account, records or other documents relating to any approved public benefit organisation shall-
(a) where kept in book form, be retained and carefully preserved by any person in control of such organisation for a period of four years after the date of the last entry in any book; or
(b) where not kept in book form, be retained and carefully preserved by any person in control of such organisation for a period of four years after completion of the transactions, act or operations to which they relate.
(10) In the application of the provisions of this Act, the Commissioner may by notice in writing require any person whom the Commissioner may deem able to furnish information in regard to any approved public benefit organisation-
to answer any questions relating to such organisation; or
(a) to make available for inspection by the Commissioner or any person appointed by him, any books of account, records or other documents relating to such organisation; or
(b) to attend at the time and place appointed by the Commissioner for the purposes of producing for examination by the Commissioner or any person appointed by him, any books of account, records or other documents relating to such organisation.
(11) Any decision of the Commissioner in the exercise of his discretion under this section shall be subject to objection and appeal.
(12) Any person who is in a fiduciary capacity responsible for the management or control of the income and assets of any approved public benefit organisation who intentionally fails to comply with any provision of this section or of the constitution, will or other written instrument under which such organisation is established to the extent that it relates to the provisions of this section, shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.
THE PROPERTY RATES BILL 2002
An analysis of state land holdings from the Department of Land Affairs.
THE EXTENT OF STATE LAND IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA (ha) *
NATIONAL STATE LAND PER PROVINCE
PROVINCIAL STATE LAND
Department of Public Works
Department of Land Affairs
(the nine provincial governments)
SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PARKS
Ex- SADT (3)
other land obtained for land reform
OTHER (4 )
RSA – TOTAL
4 739 865
6 004 260
1 025 940
3 087 655
5 283 740
3 110 112
3 860 760
2 372 772
1 878 785
1 229 845
1 865 508
1 780 092
3 547 770
1 862 040
11 740 361
1 170 821
3 137 715
1 177 510
23 997 970
* Excluding the following:-
- some unsurveyed, unregistered state land (e.g. coastal areas)
- foreign properties (e.g. SA embassies)
- offshore islands (e.g. Robben Island)
- parastatal land (e.g. Transnet)
- former KwaZulu land (now Ingonyama Trust land - 2 902 056 ha)
- former Coloured Rural Areas (e.g. Rural Area of Steinkopf) - administrated and held in trust in terms of Act 9 of 1987 - 1 277 926 ha
- land held in trust by the Minister of Land Affairs for various African traditional communities (e.g. tribes) - 931 938 ha
(1) FALA-land refers to Financial Assistance Land (land bought in from insolvent farmers and PWD agricultural land) administrated by the National Department of Agriculture.
(2) Includes unreserved PWD-land, land held in shares, and other smaller holder departments (e.g. Home Affairs, Justice, Mineral & Energy Affairs, etc.).
(3) Ex-SADT - refers to South-African Development Trust land outside the geographical boundaries of the former homelands and Self Governing Territories.
(4) Includes provincial agricultural land, as well as school sites and hospital land.
Source: Department of Land Affairs, Directorate Public Land Support Services, 31 December 2002
STATE LAND IN SOUTH AFRICA – AN EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
EXTENT OF STATE LAND IN SOUTH AFRICA : 23 997 970 ha
PERCENTAGE OF STATE LAND IN SOUTH AFRICA : 19,80%
NATIONAL STATE LAND 19 682 745 ha (82,02 %)
PROVINCIAL STATE LAND 4 315 225 ha (17,92%)
DLA CONTROLLED LAND
12 911 182 ha (53,80 %)
PWD CONTROLLED LAND 6 771 563 ha (28,22 %)
NATIONAL PARKS 3 547 770 ha (14,78 %)
PROVINCIAL PARKS 3 137 715 ha (13,07 %)
NATIONAL PARKS, NATURE RESERVES & OTHER PROTECTED AREAS 6 685 485 ha (27,85 %)
WATER AFFAIRS & FORESRY 745 525 ha (3,11 %)
SANDF-LAND 426 367 ha (1,78 %)
PROVINCE EXTENT OF STATE LAND (ha)
EXTENT OF STATE LAND
EASTERN CAPE 6 004 260
5 283 740
3 860 760
2 372 772
1 878 785
1 865 508
1 780 092
23 997 970
EXTENT OF STATE LAND IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
PROVINCE EXTENT OF PROVINCE (ha)
EXTENT OF STATE LAND (ha)
EXTENT OF STATE LAND
36 209 847
1 865 508
EASTERN CAPE 17 550 137
6 004 260
13 079 503
12 250 188
1 878 785
11 730 440
5 283 740
11 624 140
3 860 760
9 234 717
1 780 092
7 842 378
2 372 772
1 687 443
121 208 793
23 997 970
as on 31 December 2002
State Land represents 19,80 % of South Africa’s land surface.