Consider it a medical aid

The Proposed SRA is not unlike a Medical Aid!

There are no doubt some St Francis Property Owners are still sitting on the fence the with regard to the SRA (Special Rates Area) as proposed by St Francis Property Owners at their AGM in December. And no doubt there are others who are, and quite verbally so, totally against the concept.  Obviously everyone has a right to agree or disagree and need not explain their reasons but possibly some of the nays are based on misunderstandings.

Nobody enjoys paying out more and more money each month but sometime we simply have to, just so that we can continue with life in a manner we are accustomed to. The heavy fees demanded by medical aid schemes are a case in point. To most, this payment is an evil necessity but we ‘bite the bullet’ and pay enormous amounts for the alternatives are simply too terrible to even consider. The government will supply the pills, bandages and even the surgery at little cost but we pay the medical aid schemes so as to ensure we get the quality services we need.

Thus does it not make sense that we should pay a little medical aid to firstly make sure we cure our little town of the cancer that is slowly eating away at our infrastructure and then keep it in good health with regular check-ups and treatments by appropriate service practitioners.

SRA’s are being adopted  increasingly by property owners in city suburbs (sometimes referred to as CID’s) and towns alike, throughout South Africa and believe it or not, even in countries such as the US and Canada. So St Francis is not the first to venture into these waters as a way of improving service delivery and more importantly, saving the region falling into a state of disrepair that will be impossible to reverse if left unattended. The writing seems to be clearly on the wall that something needs to be done and that we need to take control of our future NOW!

Cape Town was the first to come up with the concept in the late 1990’s and have refined the concept over the years. Cape Town presently has some 30 SRA’s (CID’s) either  in place or going through the process of being registered. Port Elizabeth, following the huge success of the Richmond Hill SRA has now started an SRA for Central. Voicing his support for this initiative, Port Elizabeth Mayor Atholl Trollip commented.  “The Richmond Hill SRA is a huge success and has disposed of serious crime and filth. The renewal of this city has led to improved hygiene, huge increase in property value and the establishment of a popular restaurant area.”

Durban’s Florida Road SRA has transformed this fast decaying, once crime ridden restaurant belt back to its former state with a significant decrease in crime through the financial levies agreed to by the businesses that line this popular street in a type of SRA. Umhlanga has two SRA’s in place and Ballito is in the process of creating one .

Glynnis Carthy writing in BizNews had this to say. “Why is it that those of us who spend time and money on buying a property, renovating our house, and fixing up the garden are quite happy to sit back and accept that our suburb (read town) goes downhill due to the decisions that our local municipality makes?”

Take time for a moment and imagine a beautiful little town with properly paved roads that don’t devour your tyres and rims in deep potholes. Where CCTV cameras protect life, limb and property by curtailing and even arresting rising crime. A town where property values increase above the rate of inflation.

This could be St Francis!

FOOTNOTE:

All funds collected on the Special Rates Levy will be paid to the St Francis Property Owners Non-Profit Company and not the  Kouga municipality.

And to those who have made comment and believe otherwise the answer is NO! The St Francis Property Owners committee members do not get paid a cent and in fact contribute all there time absolutely free of charge.

Some interesting reading:

What is an SRA?

Special Rates Area for Central?

The Art of Rebuilding our communities

Eastern Cape citizens transform seaside village

Durban suburbs pay up for safety

Previous posts on St Francis SRA 

St Francis Property Owners AGM propose an SRA