Motivation for a Special Rates Area for Kalk Bay/St. James
This is an excellent proven vehicle for communities to drive the change they wish to see
- The model is successful and is used widely across the Cape Peninsula (> 26 established SRA’s)
- The model has been successfully used across a wide range of communities and is well adapted for commercial, residential, high income and low income precincts.
- There are many successful case studies (Central City, Green Point, Claremont, Paarden Eiland, Groote Schuur (UCT), Observatory, Wynberg etc).
- The fund raising mechanism is effective and low cost (essentially bolted on to the municipality’s monthly billing system for free).
- The Council remains responsible for debt collection and for bad debts.
- All funds raised through the levy are ring-fenced for use exclusively within the SRA area.
- The SRA company is 100% in control of its budget and funds and appoints its own service providers. The Council checks on compliance by the SRA company with its approved budget and business plan. The SRA company’s accounts are audited annually.
- Property owners are eligible to be members/shareholders in the SRA company and to appoint its board.
- The financial contributions of SRA property owners are scaled according to the municipal valuations of their property/ies (which should address a lot of people’s affordability concerns), but every property owner gets an equal vote.
- For the past number of years, priority has been given by the Council to the provision of basic services to in previously disadvantaged areas. For example, 57% of the Council’s latest (2013/2014) budget on provision of services is allocated to previously disadvantaged areas. Because of this, those of us in developed areas are aware that while we may wish for better service delivery, we will need to be more pro-active and will have to supplement the budget for service delivery in our areas.
The SRA mechanism has strong checks & balances in place to protect the community
- A perception survey is required to establish community sentiment. This was conducted in November 2012. Key outcomes:
- 53% of survey respondents dissatisfied with municipal service delivery
- Safety and security, litter and cleanliness, maintenance of public spaces and social issues identified as key concerns.
- 75% of respondents prepared to pay an additional modest SRA levy.
- 60% vote in support of the SRA is required from property owners within the proposed SRA.
- The property owners approve a 5 year business plan to which the SRA company must adhere.
- Property owners will be fully informed via publicized public information meetings and the SRA website and will have adequate opportunity to vote on the proposal and lodge objections.
- Local property owners eligible to be members of SRA company and to vote in the Board of Directors.
- The Council monitors and ensures financial and legal compliance by the SRA company.
- The SRA gives communities considerable leverage with service providers (SAPS, Law Enforcement, and municipal departments like cleansing, roads, electricity, etc).
This is the right thing for Kalk Bay/St. James to do
- The perception survey that was conducted in November 2012 gave a strong indication that the community wants improved security, maintenance of public areas and better management of social services, and that they would be prepared to pay towards that.
- Our neighbours (Muizenberg and Fish Hoek) have long-established SRA’s and the improvement in those environments is clearly evident.
- Crime is on the increase in our area and it is affecting our quality of life. For a relatively modest sum of money a properly constituted SRA can implement a safety and security plan in the public space. A managed safety and security plan in the public space should eliminate much of the criminal and anti-social activities in our community.
- The SRA budget is very modest and has been tailored to meet priorities and financial constraints expressed in the perception survey. It aims to achieve a lot for very little overhead cost.
- We have structured a business plan with low overhead costs. Unlike other SRA’s, we will propose to keep monthly overhead costs to a minimum by saving on the costs of premises, and keeping assets to the bare requirements.
- We can achieve this because we intend to secure the services of someone with experience in managing SRA’s who is prepared to manage the KBSJ-SRA on a part time basis.
- We estimate that the monthly cost will be approximately R45 per month for every R1m in the municipal valuation of your property. This is one of the lowest rates of all 26 approved SRA’s.
- If we all contribute, we will all benefit.
This is a once-off opportunity
- Committee members have voluntarily invested enormous effort over the last 12 months to put this proposal before the community. Hundreds of hours have been spent in planning and executing various aspects required by City of Cape Town in preparation of launching an SRA, including gathering data for the perception survey, and holding public participation processes.