Special Rating Area revives Richmond Hill

2015-09-23 06:00
The Richmond Hill SRA crew are, from left: Valentino Andrews, Elaine Looss, Robert Brewers, Kevin Slattery (SRA Director) and Wentzel van Vuuren.             

The Richmond Hill SRA crew are, from left: Valentino Andrews, Elaine Looss, Robert Brewers, Kevin Slattery (SRA Director) and Wentzel van Vuuren. Photo: SUPPLIED

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WHETHER it’s assisting with a flat tyre or helping to apprehend a criminal, the recently established Special Rating Area (SRA) is cleaning up the streets of Richmond Hill.

The SRA is backed by the Mandela Bay Development Agency’s (MBDA) mandate to “renew, revive and inspire” the city.

The SRA was established in April this year to improve services and safety, and thereby increase property values, in Richmond Hill. The concept has already proved highly successful in restoring residential suburbs in larger cities like Cape Town and Durban.

Richmond Hill SRA members make use of two-way radios to communicate with each other during neighbourhood patrols. Incidents are radioed in and logged with the South African Police Service (SAPS). The SRA’s clean-up unit helps keep the suburb looking lovely and litter free too.

The organisation also makes effective use of social media. Two Facebook pages, Richmond Hill Village Voice and a crime page, have been created as a platform for community members to reach out to each other.

“In August someone tried to break into my house but I notified the SRA through WhatsApp and within seconds they arrived at my house. This gives me a sense of pride,” said Sue Hoppe, Richmond Hill resident.

“We are planning on starting our own recycling project, which will also create employment opportunities for the youth. The MBDA has pledged to assist us with the fencing and containers,” said Kevin Slattery, SRA Director.

The SRA’s future plans include the establishment of an aftercare facility, where learners will be able to do homework.

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