‘Proudly PMB’ plan to smarten city centre takes big leap forward

2012-04-17 00:00

PROUDLY Pietermaritzburg’s vision to create business investment districts (BIDs) to clean up the city centre takes a step closer to realisation after Thursday with an advert to be published in The Witness.

The advert is a public notice advising the public of proposed changes to bylaws with regard to special rating areas.

Proudly Pietermaritzburg was initiated by Guy Smith of attorneys Venn Nemeth and Hart towards the end of 2010. “From its inception the main goal of Proudly Pietermaritzburg has been the establishment of BIDs in the city,” says Guy Smith.

“Fifty-one percent of the ratepayers within a predefined city block or district must support the establishment of a BID,” says Smith. “If they do, then specifically allocated additional rates are imposed with the normal rates on the properties within the BID. This additional levy is used for street cleaning, security and other similar functions.

“This is done in collaboration with the municipality and is an adjunct to the usual municipal services.”

Smith says the BID concept is nothing new. “It has functioned with great success in Cape Town. It is also being duplicated in Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and various other places in South Africa.”

The municipal bylaws have to be amended in order to create a BID in the city. The proposed amendments have been drafted and from Thursday, following the advertisement in the newspaper, they will be available for public scrutiny and comment.

Copies of the proposed bylaws are available for public inspection during office hours at the following venues:

• Room G01, City Hall, Chief Albert Luthuli Street;

• Imbali Municipal Offices, F.J. Sithole Road;

• Room 701, 7th floor Professor Nyembezi Building, Church Street.

Any comments should be submitted in writing to the Legal Advisor, 7th floor Professor Nyembezi Building, Church Street, on or before 1 pm on May 3. Officials at these venues are available to transcribe the comments of those who are unable to write.

— Witness Reporter.

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