The creation of a public safety task team that will aim to prevent crime in Hermanus Old Town and along the coastal cliff paths in all areas should be supported by all businesses, civic organisations, residents and home-owners.

With our economy so dependent on tourism, any negative publicity or perceptions that the Cape Whale Coast may not be a safe destination must be avoided at all costs.

A concerted and coordinated approach to preventing crime from happening in the first place should be a top priority for everyone. Once the integrated grid plan is extended to include all areas of Hermanus, it is expected that the current crime rate will drop.

Closely related to ensuring our continued safety and security is the establishment of Special Ratings Areas (SRAs) throughout our region. These SRAs will ensure top-up services to those already delivered by the municipality, and will assist in keeping our towns safe, clean and attractive.

Weighing up the benefits of an SRA against the nominal payment required, it should be a no-brainer for property owners to vote in favour of the establishment of an SRA.

The resultant shortfall in security services if an SRA is not established will have dire consequences in the longer term. The very survival of Hermanus Public Protection (HPP), an institution that has proudly served our town for more than 20 years, is dependent on the establishment of an SRA.

Not being able to collect the monthly levy that was charged under previous legislation, HPP has experienced a dramatic drop in contributions and will not be able to continue with its work past the middle of next year.

Until such time as an SRA has been established and HPP receives funding via the SRA levy, we call on residents and visitors to support them. Visit hppsecurity.co.za where you can make a quick and safe contribution via PayFast.

By working together, we can create a brighter future for our region.

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