In 2012 Cabinet approved the establishment of the Office of the Valuer-General (OVG) aimed at assisting government to deal with among other issues the over pricing of land. In this edition, Vuk’uzenzele explains in detail what the office does.
What does the Office of the Valuer General does?
The basic role of the Office of the Valuer General is to act as a final authority on matters of land and property valuation where the government is a party or has an interest.
The office shall, in addition, provide specialist valuation services and 22 property market advice to government. The primary purpose for the Office is to create norms and standards for the determination of just and equitable compensation for land acquired for land reform and in the public interest, and to ensure their enforcement.
What powers does the OVG have?
The OVG shall have power to determine just and equitable compensation, or any other type of value, as the circumstances may require, in all cases where government has an interest, in accordance with recognised valuation methodology and professional valuation practice and standards applied in the country, and in line with relevant legislation and the constitution.
What is the relationship between the OVG and municipalities?
The OVG is a strategic intervention institution. It will not interfere in the normal functions of Departments and municipalities. These organs of government shall however conduct valuations using the norms and standards set by the OVG.
Can the OVG change decisions taken by local government and municipalities?
The OVG shall have power to override valuations done by all spheres of government where these are deemed not to be in line with set norms and standards.
Relationship between the OVG and other government departments.
The OVG shall report to the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform who shall, in cooperation with Ministers with vested interests in land and property, exercise executive oversight and policy guidance.
10 specific functions of the OVG
- The setting of norms and standards for the determination of just and equitable compensation in line with the Constitution.
- The determination of just and equitable compensation when Government is acquiring land for land reform purposes, including by expropriation.
- The determination of just and equitable compensation for land restitution purposes.
- The determination of value where government (National, Provincial and Local) is required to buy or sell land and/or property.
- The determination of market rental value, where government is a lessee or lessor. The determination of just and equitable compensation for expropriation and land restitution purposes.
- The provision of specialist valuation and property-related advice to support government policy-making and operations.
- Undertaking of land and property market research and sales analyses to support strategic and operational decisions.
- The setting of guidelines, norms and standards required to validate the integrity of property market data.
- The creation and maintenance of a database of property market information
- The dissemination of property market information to the public by way of regular publications.