City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality v Zibi and Another (234/2020)  ZASCA 97;  3 All SA 667 (SCA) (9 July 2021)
The property owners in this matter rented out rooms in their home to students and young professionals, rendering the property a “commune” for purposes of the relevant municipal zoning. They did not bother to comply with the zoning provisions and apply for permission or stop the letting business, but after years of receiving contravention notices from the municipality, decided to challenge the manner in which the municipality levied penalty rates – all the way to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The latter held that a municipality was entitled to levy a penalty rate for illegal or unauthorised use, without first changing the category of the property on its valuation roll from ‘residential’ to ‘illegal or unauthorised’ use. Not only was the charging of the penalty aligned with the municipality’s policy; to hold differently would cause an unreasonable administrative burden on municipalities were it required that a supplementary valuation roll had to be published in respect of every unlawful use of a property.