The new-look HPP should serve as an example to all communities in the Overstrand of what can be achieved with the establishment of a Special Rating Area (SRA).

Several processes to establish SRAs in the region have been ongoing for several years and, unfortunately, the impact of Covid-19 has led to the establishment of SRAs in Onrus/Vermont and Kleinmond being postponed for a year. It is expected that these SRAs will start functioning from 1 July 2021.

The different SRA processes have elicited serious debate by those who either support or oppose them. In short, an SRA is the establishment of a non-profit company that delivers additional top-up services to those offered by the municipality. These include, amongst others, public safety, cleansing services, maintenance of infrastructure, and upgrading of the environment. The cost of these services is recouped through a special levy that is payable to the municipality along with your monthly rates and taxes.

Because the needs of different communities vary so much, SRAs are the perfect vehicle to cater to the individual needs of an area. While these needs may differ from one area to another, the one service all communities need is public safety. There is no denying that crime has a detrimental impact on all of us and we must all do whatever we can to help eradicate the scourge from our shores.

Llandudno near Cape Town is the perfect example of a suburb that has been able to drastically reduce its crime rate after the establishment of an SRA. While the most significant expenditure is extensive monitoring, detection and prevention initiatives, the whole area benefits from the additional security monitoring.

In much the same way the old HPP has served Hermanus with pride over the past two decades, the new HPP will do the same. With the assistance of Fidelity ADT as its public safety service provider, residents and visitors can look forward to greater peace of mind, especially along our Cliff Path. Along with the resumption of cleaning services, the area should hold on to its reputation as a sought-after destination during what is expected to be a busy summer season.

Other SRAs must take note of what is happening in Hermanus and work together with residents to bring about similar organisations to the benefit of us all. And yes, there is a levy to be paid, but nothing worthwhile is ever free.

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