If all goes according to plan the Overstrand will boast three Special Rating Areas (SRAs) by the middle of the year. This comes after the Hermanus SRA (HSRA) on Friday 31 January secured the required number of votes (50% + 1) to start with the application process to the municipality to establish an SRA.

A majority of yes votes for the establishment of SRAs in Onrus-Vermont and in Kleinmond have also been secured.

Michael Farr, Chair of the HSRA Steering Committee, said they are overjoyed to have reached the required number of votes before the deadline. “We have actually surpassed the required number of 2 752 yes votes and that gives us a degree of comfort that most of the residents are in favour of the SRA. We definitely have a secure mandate.”

According to him, the steering committee finalised and processed their application to Council on Monday. The next step will be a public meeting on Thursday 20 February at 17:00 at the Bosko Hall, where members of the public will have the opportunity to provide input on the business plan and raise any objections they may have in respect thereof.

“Residents need to remember, however, that a majority vote in favour of the establishment of an SRA has already been secured. Objections at the meeting will be heard on the SRA process and on the business plan, not on the establishment of an SRA,” Farr said. The meeting will also give further information as to the practical implications of the SRA.

Formal objections in writing can also be made from 6 February to 6 March. After the 30-day notice period the steering committee will answer to the objections, after which the application will be sent to Council for approval. “Should we receive the nod from Council, the first levies will be charged by the municipality in July and the funds will be paid over to the HSRA early in August,” said Farr.

Errol van Staden of Hermanus Public Protection (HPP) said the organisation would be able to provide security services until August if enough voluntary contributions were received. “I want to urge residents to keep up their contributions to HPP to enable us to continue delivering much-needed security services,” said van Staden. For more information on how you can contribute to HPP, visit hppsecurity.co.za.

Voting for the Onrus-Vermont SRA (OVSRA) closed on 9 January and here, too, the required number of yes votes was received. At a public meeting last week, OVSRA chair Abner Inghels said a total of 2 073 votes had been required and 2 236 were received. The steering committee has already submitted its application to the municipality and the period for objections closes on 14 February. They should be addressed to cgroenewald@overstrand.gov.za.

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