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!
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:
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
Geen misverstand dit sal bil rande kos om dit tydelik reg te maak al gooi jy sement dolle soos in PE langs die Hi Way kan dit net tydelik wees
Maar weereens wil die in wooners op die cannels nie daarvan weet nie want dit lyk nie mooi nie
Ek dink ek praat namens almal wat hier in Santareme st francis on sea die port en otters landing ons sien geen nut waarvoor ons moet betaal nie
Die mense wat op die channels bly “deel with it”
Keep us out of your problem try the Goverment the sea belongs to them.
Stig ‘n Santareme SRA. Hoe kleiner die SRA, hoe beter kan dit werk.
Gooie Voorstel !
What will be the priority areas that will be taken care of first? Does the spit swallow the bulk of the funds to the detriment of the rest of St Francis Bay, Santereme, St Francis on Sea?
Well done to Wayne Furphy and his committee. St Francis has gone thru many years of indecisiveness and squabbling as to what action should be taken regarding upgrading the infrastructure, replenishing the beach, safeguarding the spit etc, and we have long been in need of someone/persons to take the initiative and come up with a constructive and workable solution to preserve this special village we live in.Thank you for your time, effort and commitment.
Attention Collo / SFPO
The proposed SRA levy – 50% of present property rates is not only an insult, but a joke to the ordinary home owner.
It sounds great, new roads, stormwater, sewers etc. – a complete new infrastructure! How many billion ?
Unlike the writer “Collo”, some homeowners pay their monthly rates and services timeously by forfeiting luxuries like new cars and medical aid schemes.
Just wondering how many of the retired home owners in the town will be exempt from this proposed scheme but allowed to vote.
How ironic we are being coerced to pay more monies to a municipality which has for years squandered our rates and led to the present disintegrated infrastructure.
Voting – No – limited finances for ever increasing living expenses.
Dankie vir die artikel en skakels om die publiek so stadig maar seker meer in te lig oor “Special Rates Areas (SRA)”. Hoe langer dit neem om SRAs te aktiveer, hoe langer gaan ons ‘n vervalle infrastruktuur en verwaarloosde omgewing hê. Vir die komitee van ‘n gemeenskap wat die stigtingswerk onderneem, is dit ‘n reuse taak.
Blame yourselves residents. We would not be where we are today if the proposals of the Beach Trust had been accepted in 2008. We had to put up with a failed 3M plan to save the beach thereafter. Now the costs of any remedial action is sky high.
Likening the levy to ones need for Medical Aid cover is an inappropriate comparison, many property owners have had to downgrade their level of cover at great risk of self funding.
Property owners with homes with Municipal Values ranging from R1.5M to R2.0M are likely to have a levy of between R 400.00 & R 550.00 pm. This might be in some cases a burden ( relief can be applied for). It is very likely that most property owners with rateable values above R 3M, should be able to afford their level of levy.It is likely that the higher rated property owners will be contributing in RAND terms a far great share of the total levies collected, maybe as much as 40% from about 25% of the total number of properties in St Francis Bay. It would a statistic that the SFPOA should establish and publish.
Thanks for the comment James. The medical aid comparison was meant to represent how although our taxes pay for medical care there really is no cover and thus we must supplement what the government (read municipality) should be providing but cannot. It certainly was not intended to suggest people give up their medical aid to pay for the SRA but rather to consider contributing to the health of the town for a healthy town certainly is to the benefit of all.
I am a recent retiree and, having bought a house in St Francis-on-Sea Phase II two and a half years ago, I expect to become a permanent resident soon. This SRA debate is concerning to say the least. Obviously, I am in favour of restoring and then maintaining the infrastructure of St Francis Bay. However, I would stop short of saying I fully endorse your 15 year vision as it implies more people, more development, more money, more pollution and I could go on and on.
While, in principle, I am in favour of the SRA idea, I am reluctant to agree to submit myself to a financial burden that I cannot guarantee I can carry successfully into the future. For me it is much more than being part of a “world class lifestyle destination” or having an improvement on an investment but whether I will still be able to afford being part of it ten, twenty , thirty years down the line.
For me pertinent questions become:
1 Will the 50% + 1 be a count from all property owners involved or a count from just those who vote? So how will this count be arrived at?
2 Should the SRA get the go-ahead, will the municipality decide on exemptions/reductions or will the executive of the SFBPOA decide? So how will decisions on exemptions/reductions be equitably made?
Who is “We” that you keep referring to in your editorial above, is it the St Francis Property Owners Association or that of this newsletter.