The Little Mowbray Rosebank Improvement District (LMRID) is now a reality with the special levy deducted from residents’ rates.
This initiative has been formally established by the City of Cape Town and the special levy necessary to run it is being deducted on residents’ rates account since 1 July.
Rae Wolpe, a committee member from Mowbray, explains that the levy is determined as a fixed percentage of property rates and so the rand amount will vary with the number of days in the billing cycle and the rateable value of the property.
“For July, property owners will have received a rates account showing a pro-rata SRA levy which is not for the whole month of July,” he says.
“The invoicing runs from mid-month to mid-month, yet the SRA amount only starts on 1 July. The rates account will itemise the SRA portion as rate “x” (depending on whether your property is a commercial or residential property) times a number of days.”
Other volunteer committee members are Jos Jeffries and Patsy Taylor from Little Mowbray, Marc Gammon, Lindsay Kennedy and Simon Birch from Rosebank, who are now directors of the registered non-profit company (NPC).
Once the bank account, VAT registration and other certification issues are complete, the business plan that residents approved when they voted for the improvement district, will begin to be implemented. It is anticipated services will start to be delivered sometime between September and October.
Wolpe explains that the initial focus of the organisation is to appoint a safety service provider to patrol in public spaces, and also to improve channels of communication with residents.
“All other tasks will be dealt with as soon as possible thereafter.”
One of the matters coming up for discussion is public safety.
Wolpe points out that the board, assisted by three community volunteers, has drawn up and distributed a “request for proposals” to seven credible security companies. “Six companies have responded with quotes to provide safety services for the public spaces (streets and parks) in the LMRID area. From these six we have shortlisted three, and invited them to a clarification meeting to discuss variations to their respective responses. We are currently reviewing these proposals with a view to finalising the appointment of the successful service provider. It is anticipated that the security company will start providing services from September.”
Wolpe also adds that the social responsibility aspect of the organisation, that includes homeless people, is also important to their activities for the area.
“The LMRID social service response needs to be strongly integrated into both the existing social networks in the wider community as well as the security and cleansing aspects of the SRA itself.
“We are thus exploring a range of options for the provision of targeted social engagement in conjunction with the security providers on our shortlist as well as partner organisations in our immediate vicinity.
“Any members of the community who wish to advise or otherwise assist in this portfolio can contact Marc Gammon on email@example.com.”
The environment and cleansing will also come under the spotlight.
“We have approached several companies in respect of the cleansing services and are busy assessing their various quotations on the base of price and service offered.
“Organisations that wish to be included in this process should contact the board member presently in charge of this portfolio, Lindsay Kennedy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
While many residents from the area are happy with these new proposals some feel that paying for services that are already included in rates is not needed.
One resident, who did not want to be named, was not happy with the decision to add to her expenses on her rates bill.
“I don’t want to pay this extra fee because I am already struggling,” she says.
“What improvements are they going to make because I am already getting good service from the City. If there is a problem with cleansing or other services I log a complaint and it is seen to and the Mowbray police is doing a good job with security in the area.”
Robert Ontong, is not a ratepayer in the area, but hopes that these new developments will not affect his rent.
“I am happy with the plans for improvement in this area even though I am not clear about what it all entails, but if security and safety is part of it then I am happy.
“My only hope is that it does not affect our rent when landlords have to pay the City this extra levy.”
Elaine October works in the area and hopes that future improvements will include cheaper housing in the area.
“I just wish that I could live closer to where I work in Mowbray,” she says.
“If this organisation is serious about improvements then this should be on their agenda. Travelling is the problem because the roads are so full, if we lived closer it would be a pleasure.”
Property owners who wish to, can now apply to become members of LMRID. The membership application form can be downloaded from the LMRID web site (www.lmrid.capetown) under the documents section.
Queries about the levy should be directed to the City of Cape Town, Inter-service Liaison, Eddie Scott (email@example.com).