A request by the Onrus-Vermont (OVRA) and the Kleinmond (KSRA) Special Rating Areas to postpone the implementation of the special rating areas with a year was approved by council during a virtual meeting on 29 July.

The first additional monthly levy for the KSRA and OVSRA will now be payable from 1 July 2021. The Hermanus Special Rating Area (HSRA) and the operational implementation of the ratepayer approved business plan is going ahead as planned.

Hermanus Public Protection (HPP) will be the management body of the HSRA once all documents have been finalised. The full implementation of HPP Management services, in particular, Crime Prevention, Public Safety and Cleansing services, may be expected later this month.

Suburbs included in the HSRA are Westcliff, Westdene, Industria, Northcliff, the Central Business District (CBD), Eastcliff, Hermanus Heights, Fernkloof, Kwaaiwater and Voëlklip. The special rate levy that property owners will pay, is available on the HSRA website – go to www.hermanussra.co.za for further details.

According to a letter sent to residents by Abner Inghels on behalf of the OVSRA Steering Committee, there were several reasons for making the request to postpone the implementation. “Due to Covid-19 Regulations we cannot at this stage, nor could we for the past four months, hold a public meeting for the community to participate in and elect the board of the new non-profit company (NPC) required to manage the SRA. This needs to happen within six months of the creation of the NPC according to the by-law,” reads the letter.

“We could also not register the NPC as the department’s systems were down for a great part of lockdown and have only become operational recently. Many of the arrangements regarding the implementation of the SRA have been hampered / restricted by the various levels of lockdown we have experienced throughout these trying times. For example, we could not finalise the Financial Agreement and Memorandum of Incorporation with the municipality due to the challenges of holding meetings during this time,” writes Inghels.

According to him, due to the current situation regarding the pandemic, many people may also be under serious financial strain. “We must keep in mind that many pensioners and retirees (of which we have many in our area) rely on their investments for an income and these are currently severely impacted. The SRA could therefore be another financial strain to many community members at this stage. We therefore felt the responsible decision was to postpone the implementation of the SRA levy for a year.

“We trust that the community understands our difficulty in making this decision, and the disappointment of seeing our committed efforts to getting the vote through in time for 2020 implementation dashed. Nobody has remained untouched by this unprecedented situation, including our entire community. We are currently finalising discussions with the municipality regarding the agreements that need to be put in place and the processes we need to follow to get the NPC up and running and ensure implementation in 2021.”

The OVSRA includes all areas in Ward 13 (Onrus, Onrus North, Berghof and Vermont). The proposed first phase will entail purchasing and putting up CCTV cameras and implementing patrolling services. For more information, email the steering committee at onrus.vermont.sra@gmail.com

The KSRA will include all properties in the area within the boundaries of Kleinmond, being the eastern boundary of Heuningkloof, the coastline as the southern boundary, the western boundary of Palmiet and the informal settlement, and the mountain as northern boundary. The proposed first phase will be the purchasing and putting up of CCTV cameras. For more information, visit www.kleinmondsra.co.za.

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