Property owners in Central take a lead in revitalisation of the area

Issued by Mandela Bay Development
Johannesburg, Aug 8, 2018

The City of Cape Town describes a Special Rating Area or SRA (Section 21 company) as one that provides top-up services (security, cleansing and urban management) to those provided currently by South African Police Service and the Municipality itself.

An SRA is a statutory body established under the SRA by-law (Provincial Gazette 6651/2009) previously known as a City Improvement District (CID). In Nelson Mandela Bay, there is one SRA in its fourth year of operation, the Richmond Hill entity, which was formed in collaboration with the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), an entity of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

Operation Manager at the MBDA, Mcebisi Ncalu, said: "From the funds collected by the Richmond Hill SRA, nearly 40% is spent on additional neighbourhood safety and security initiatives, while 20% goes towards top-up waste management initiatives. There are also plans to assist the municipality with accelerating the maintenance of street lights, reducing the turnaround time and helping to keep the lights on, also as a means to curb crime and promote safety."

Interim Chairman of the proposed Central SRA and long-time business manager operating in Central is Kenrick Brown from National Glass, situated in Russell Road. He said: "If, as a property owner, you believe that the area of Central is degenerating due to shortcomings in service delivery, crime, inadequate waste management, and urban decay, then you, as an owner/tenant, can either wait for change or you can make change happen."

Brown and his interim committee said: "The quickest and most legally effective means to create such a change in Central is the formation of a Special Rating Area (SRA). The purpose of an SRA is to arrest deterioration in a specific area and to improve the provision of basic services provided by the local municipality, as well as to ensure the delivery of additional supplementary services.

"Our aim is to work with the local municipality through a collaborative approach and active citizenry to ensure that the area of Central is rehabilitated and installed as Port Elizabeth's most sought-after area to live, work and play," he added.

The SRA, once established, will cover a specific area (see attached) within which property owners agree to pay a small percentage of their monthly rates to a Section 21 company as a levy. This is calculated as a 12% contribution in addition to your current monthly rates, equating to approximately R10 or R20 per R100 000 of property value for residential or commercially rated erven respectively. The members of the SRA will be elected residents and owners from within the specified area, thus the owners and residents of Central will control and determine how and where these funds are spent, with the core focus being ensuring basic municipal service delivery, safety and security, waste management, and urban renewal.

In order to legally constitute an SRA, the majority (50% + 1) of property owners within the specified area are required to consent to its formation, the levy will then be applicable to all property owners within the specified area as per the municipality's Special Rating Areas Policy.

Whether one is a tenant, a property owner, or living on the property, the upliftment of Central will undoubtedly improve the day-to-day quality of life, the value of property, or both.

The MBDA has put its weight behind this initiative, just as it did with Richmond Hill. Ncalu concluded: "We are putting a call out to all residents and property owners in Central to please communicate this initiative to everyone they know who may have an interest in the improvement of Central. Act quickly as the window of opportunity to get this initiative consented to start on 1 August and ends on the 31 October 2018. If you are an owner, please see attached consent form for your signature, and if you are a tenant, please speak to your landlord and or managing letting agent in order to ensure their consent form is signed."

Brown concluded: "Please realise that Central will not improve through apathy. If you truly want to live, work and play in a safer, cleaner and more beautiful area, then act now."

For the online consent process or for more general information please contact us at: 164 Russell Road, [email protected](010) 593 8271 or (082) 443 0791