In December of 2018 the Overstrand Municipality (OM) informed the board of Hermanus Public Protection (HPP) that as of the end of June 2019 it would no longer be permitted, because of new legislation, to collect funds from ratepayers on its behalf. The effect of this notification was that once its funds were exhausted, HPP would have no option but to wind down. This means that a new approach is needed, in the form of a Special Rating Area (SRA).
The Hermanus Ratepayers’ Association (HRA) as an organisation that exists to promote and protect the interests of our members and also the public at large, approached the OM regarding the formation of an SRA similar to those operating in Cape Town. This was motivated by concerns around security in particular. Following a very constructive engagement with the OM, a mandate was given to initiate the process of establishing an SRA.
A thorough examination of the bylaw and the relevant policy resulted in the compilation of a process document and timeline setting out the critical path towards getting the process going. This has been accepted by the OM and has resulted in the creation of a Steering Committee (SRASC) whose sole mandate is to bring into being an SRA for Hermanus.
The SRASC is representative of the following organisations: HRA, Westcliff Residents Association, Hermanus Business Chamber, Whale Coast Business Community Forum, Afriforum and the golf estates. Having complied with the initial requirements of the SRA process, the SRASC is preparing to conduct its first perception survey, asking ratepayers what their concerns are and which services they want. This will serve as a guide when formulating a business plan, which will be tabled at public meetings in order to canvass wide support.
The process of creating an SRA is complicated and time consuming and entails a lot of hard work. The SRASC is going to rely on your support during the public participation phase. There will be many questions on a variety of topics during this process and there will be ample opportunity at public meetings where these can be raised. As the process unfolds, the SRASC will make every effort to keep you informed of progress.
Please assist the SRASC in its quest to create a new SRA for Hermanus.