Most people will be aware of the ongoing process to establish a Special Rating Area (SRA) in Hermanus, which will allow for the continuation of crime prevention and public safety services similar to those provided by Hermanus Public Protection (HPP).

According to Michael Farr, chair of the Hermanus SRA steering committee, there appears to be some confusion regarding the SRA process. The six steps below will provide better understanding of what is required to establish an SRA.

• Urban management survey (perception survey): All property owners within the boundary of the proposed improvement district will be canvassed to determine their expectations and requirements from an SRA. This will take the form of a questionaire issued electronically to ratepayers. The results from the survey will be analysed and will form part of the business plan on which the SRA is based
• Business plan: This is the backbone of the proposal and comprises a motivation report, an implementation plan and a term budget. The business plan will be presented to ratepayers at public meetings.
• Public meeting(s): It is a requirement of the SRA bylaw that the application is preceded by a public meeting. Affected property owners will be able to consult on the proposals for the application. The meeting will be chaired by an independent person appointed by the municipality. All the relevant information will be available at the meeting(s) and attendees will be given the opportunity to ask questions, and make representations.
• Consent survey: Following the public meeting(s) all eligible property owners will be contacted to approve or reject the SRA application. For the application to succeed a 50%+1 approval vote is required.
• Application: On obtaining a 50%+1 approval vote an application will be submitted to Council for consideration in the 2020/21 Budget. Provision is made for objections to the application to be submitted for consideration by the Council.
• Implementation: If the application is successful, a management body will be set up in compliance with the Companies Act for a non-profit company with members. The management body will have a board of directors elected by the members. A finance agreement will be signed with the municipality to enable the mandatory levy of an additional property rate to fund the crime prevention, public safety and cleansing top-up services.

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