Deadline for area too close to catch?

2015-08-18 06:00

A plan to establish a special ratings area (SRA) in Lower Gardens may be delayed for another year, as the deadline for application looms.

The establishment of an SRA allows for area improvement through increased rates, which will provide top-up services such as cleaning and security.

There is a strict establishment process, says mayoral committee member for finance Ian Neilson.

“The City of Cape Town does not itself drive the establishment of SRAs, as it is the prerogative of any community and property owners to initiate this.

Applications are submitted once the criteria are met and, if successful, the SRA commences service delivery from 1 July of the relevant year,” he says.

The process can take up to two years before applications are submitted, Neilson says.

“This is an ongoing process and runs over more than one financial year but applications must be submitted by 30 September to commence 1 July of the following year.”

Brandon Golding, who is heading up the establishment of the Lower Gardens SRA, says the process to create an application has been moving slowly.

He attributes this to a lack of funding and time, as he and the steering committee are volunteers.

A business case study is being completed. It will need to go out to residents for their comments. Following this, the draft business plan can be finalised and a public meeting held. This will be followed by voting, Golding explains.

If voted in by the majority of residents, the application will then be sent to the City of Cape Town.

After submitting an application, the process provides for an objection period as some property owners may not want an SRA, because once established, it becomes mandatory for all the eligible properties to contribute towards the SRA budget, Neilson explains.

There are currently 33 SRAs in Cape Town.

“No new applications have been submitted for the next financial year, but we are aware that there are two communities pursuing establishment, who have to submit applications by 30 September,” he says

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