Given that the services of the HPP will only continue into the first half of 2020, a process to establish a new Special Ratings Area (SRA) for Hermanus has commenced. As is required by the Overstrand Municipality’s SRA by-law and SRA policy, a steering committee comprised of members who represent organized and established ratepayer constituencies in the proposed Hermanus SRA has been formed to pursue the establishment of an SRA to commence on 1 July 2020.
The members of the steering committee and the constituencies they represent are as follows: Michael Farr – Hermanus Ratepayers’ Association (Chairman of the Steering Committee), Barry van Vuren – Whale Coast Business Community Forum, Gideon Serfontein – Hermanus Business Chamber, Terry McCarthy – Hermanus Golf Estate, Jan Cilliers – Westcliff Residents’ Association, and Thomas van Dalen – Afriforum.
The steering committee is recommending that the current boundaries of the HPP should initially remain as is for the new SRA. These boundaries are 17th Avenue in the East up to Swartdam Road in the West, with Still Street as the southern border and Fernkloof Nature Reserve as the northern border. Suburbs included in the area are Westcliff, Westdene, Industria, Northcliff, the Central Business District, Eastcliff, Hermanus Heights, Fernkloof, Kwaaiwater and Voëlklip.
The proposed Hermanus SRA will play a key role in assisting the Overstrand Municipality with in particular, creating a sustainable town in Hermanus, by maintaining a safe and healthy environment and promoting local tourism and the local economy.
A public perception survey will be carried out to ensure that the proposed Hermanus SRA, in its business plan, is able to respond to the priority needs of ratepayers. Ratepayers in the defined area will be encouraged to participate in this survey, not only because it is a legal requirement of the establishment process, but it is essential to the drafting of a business plan that responds to what ratepayers want.
The vision, and the purpose, of the proposed Hermanus SRA is to create and maintain an urban environment in Hermanus that is safe, clean, caring and sustainable. It is the mission of the proposed Hermanus SRA to improve and upgrade the public environment for the benefit of all.
The proposed Hermanus SRA has the following goals which are in support of the Overstrand Municipality and the South African Police Services (SAPS):
- Provide public safety by proactive visible patrolling and co-operating with existing SAPS and Overstrand Law Enforcement efforts as well as other security service providers in the area;
- Create a safe and clean environment by addressing issues of maintenance and cleaning of public spaces in partnership with the Overstrand Municipality;
- Assist in the management of existing and new public infrastructure for the future benefit of all the users of the area in co-operation with the Overstrand Municipality;
- Protect and enhance property values;
- Attract new investment to the area;
- Support the promotion of the proposed Hermanus SRA as a safe and clean environment by promoting recreational, leisure and sporting activities;
- Support and promote social upliftment and development in the area;
- Ensure sustained and effective management of the proposed Hermanus SRA area.
Following the completion of the public perception survey and an analysis of the results, a draft business plan for the proposed Hermanus SRA will be prepared and presented to ratepayers at a public meeting. Notice of this public meeting will be widely advertised through the local media and ratepayer associations.
In order for the proposed Hermanus SRA to be established, it is legally required that the SRA must obtain 50% plus one written support from ratepayers (property owners) in the defined area. As has been the case with the HPP, property owners in the defined area will be asked to support the establishment of an Hermanus SRA through contributing a levy, included in their monthly municipal account, which will be similar to the levy that property owners have been contributing since the inception of the HPP.
As the proposed Hermanus SRA can only commence its services (listed above) on 1 July 2020, and assuming majority support for establishment of the Hermanus SRA and the provision of services, particularly safety and security, to property owners, the levy will only be collected from July 2020.
We would urge all ratepayers to support this initiative given the benefits outlined above.