What is an SRA?

Background to the CID/SRA Model

Post 1994 brought about a restructured government which introduced basic services into areas where previously there were none.  This was achieved by redistributing revenue, and as less money was spent on the traditionally well-serviced areas, signs of urban decay began to appear.

In the late 1990’s the City of Cape Town took a proactive approach to the urban degeneration in the central city area.  Their global search for urban management best practice led to a model for urban renewal that had originated in Canada and was being used widely in the USA with excellent results.

In Cape Town the model was adapted for local conditions, and in early 2000 the urban renewal programme was introduced into the central city area.  The ‘City Improvement District’ or CID was established as a public-private partnership between the City of Cape Town and the property owners within the chosen area.   The Central City Improvement District (CCID) as it was named, was hugely successful.  Other areas quickly followed suit, with the Green Point, Sea Point and Claremont CID’s and the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID) and Fish Hoek CID being formed.  Through the revenue made available to the CCID, the central city has been totally transformed into the vibrant urban metropol that we enjoy today.  This was achieved by imposing an additional levy on property owners within the CID known as the CID Levy.

During the course of the next decade a further 15 CID’s were established across the City of Cape Town, mainly in commercial and industrial districts.  In 2010 the City of Cape Town reviewed the model which had proved to be a successful mechanism for transforming CBD’s and Industrial Districts.  In 2012 the newly revised Special Rating Area By-Law was promulgated which allowed for the adaptation of the ‘old’ CID model to extend the public-private partnership programme beyond industrial and commercial districts and into residential areas.

Between 2011 and 2013 five new SRA’s have been formed in predominantly residential areas.  The SRA By-Law provides for an additional rate to be levied on property owners within the Special Rates Area.  Unlike the revenue collected from traditional rates and taxes, the SRA levy is ring-fenced specifically for improving services exclusively within the Special Rates Area in which the SRA levy is paid.  The SRA levy (previously known as the CID levy) is collected by the City of Cape Town and disbursed to the Company which manages the SRA with a mandate to ‘top-up’ municipal services in accordance with a business plan and budget approved by the community and the City of Cape Town.  The SRA company is subject to audit and the City of Cape Town retains oversight of its affairs to ensure that it fulfills its approved mandate.

Building on the success of the Fish Hoek and Muizenberg CID’s, and following a decision made at the Kalk Bay-St. James Rate Payers and Residents Association AGM in 2011, a small group began the process to establish the feasibility of forming a Kalk Bay-St. James Special Rating Area.  To this end, a perception survey to establish the needs and priorities of the community was conducted in November 2012.