Various communications regarding an “HPP Membership Drive”, dated 12 April 2019 have started circulating on social media and via email from a group called the Eastern Precinct Initiative (EPI). This communication does not originate from HPP and makes a number of claims regarding HPP, most importantly that there is “a recent decision by the HPP Board to dissolve HPP by 30 June 2019”.
In the interests of sharing the true position of the HPP management body and assisting the City Improvement District (CID) members to arrive at an informed decision, I feel compelled to respond to the aforementioned.
By signing up to this “HPP Membership Drive”, you will in fact be pledging your support for the removal of the current HPP Board of Directors.
- The HPP levy presently included in your municipal rates account, based on 10% of your property rates, will end on 30 June 2019.
- The Overstrand Municipality, after exploring a number of legal options, have advised that the only way to impose a new levy, similar to the HPP levy, will be for the ratepayers to establish a new Special Ratings Area (SRA) requiring full public participation.
- HPP will not be dissolved on 30 June 2019 as claimed. We have sufficient reserves to continue normal operations until the early part of 2020, including the final expansion of the CCTV surveillance network. When the funds to conduct a normal operation are finally exhausted, HPP will then be dissolved.
- If a new SRA is not in place by the time HPP is dissolved, we are legally obligated to transfer the remaining HPP assets to the Overstrand Municipality, which will include the CCTV surveillance network. This action does not preclude the CCTV surveillance system from being transferred by the municipality to a new SRA at some point in the future, if it is established.
On 6 April I was handed a document entitled Motion: Replacement of the HPP Board by representatives of the EPI. No reasons were given for the motion and it was proposed that we step aside voluntarily in order for the EPI and Whale Coast Business Community Forum to take over control of the HPP operation and assets soonest. The HPP Board of Directors has decided not to step down.
It is indeed disappointing that more energy is being expended on removing the current Board of HPP than on establishing an inclusive SRA that will serve the needs of the Hermanus community for many years to come.
The CCTV control room is located in the fire station administration building and is run as a joint venture with the Overstrand Municipality. Before HPP is finally dissolved, a detailed hand-over process will be agreed with the municipality, where they will assume responsibility for Cliff Path safety in addition to the CCTV surveillance system. I fail to understand how this action could be viewed by some as detrimental to the community.
I firmly believe that the current HPP Board of Directors, many of them long-serving, have the skills and experience to guide the HPP closing-down process to its final conclusion, difficult as this task may be. I must however also state that we are mindful of the fact that it is the Hermanus CID property owners that have placed us on the HPP Board and that we have no intention of overstaying our welcome if they decide that the HPP Board should be replaced.