Plans afoot to turn Central into SRA

2019-07-03 06:02
Dilapidated buildings in Central will possibly be renovated soon.      Photo:Lulama Zenzile

Dilapidated buildings in Central will possibly be renovated soon. Photo:Lulama Zenzile

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THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has set the wheels in motion to restore the dilapidated and crime-ridden Central area to its former glory by charging special rates for this area.

The metro’s budget and treasury committee members have approved the proposal to convert Central into a Special Rating Area (SRA) at a recent meeting.

Property owners, businesses in the area and the Mandela Bay Development Agency also play a key role in making the proposed SRA for Central a reality.

If the proposal gets the green light from the municipal council, it could mean that Central, which is plagued by crime and prostitution, could become a safer area.

The business plan for the SRA focuses on safety, waste disposal and upgrading of dilapidated buildings and open spaces. It is intended to use the money to provide security services that will be available 24 hours a day.

A surveillance camera system, an anti-crime phone number, patrol vehicles and armed security officers are part of the plan.

In addition to the focus on safety, residents want to have a vehicle that regularly removes garbage, to install garbage bins and to employ people to sweep the streets. Surplus funds will go toward urban renewal projects, focusing on historic buildings as well as open spaces.

A proposed budget plan was also tabled by committee members.

Leander Kruger, DA councillor and member of the budget and treasury committee, said they were in favour of the plan. According to him, the Richmond Hill SRA has shown such an initiative can make a positive difference in the area.

“Central, like many other central business centres (CBD), has suffered and declined as businesses move to other areas. The extra services the SRA will provide, in terms of safety and cleanliness, will also positively affect the success of the surrounding Richmond Hill SRA.”

Kruger said it will also boost efforts by the Mandela Bay Development Agency to revitalise the CBD. “Central will be a more favourable place to stay and to invest in,” Kruger said.

The budget and treasury committee is fine-tuning the final aspects of the plan before being brought to the municipal council for final approval.

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