Community urged to get involved

2018-05-08 06:00

The Kenilworth Village Residents’ and Business Association (KVRBA) is calling on all ratepayers to take part in public meetings and help make the idea of establishing a Community Improvement District (CID) a reality.

The idea was approved at an annual meeting held last year. A proposal was submitted to the City of Cape Town, followed by a successful survey process.

However, Henk Egberink says they urgently need about 60% of total ratepayers to participate in the processes by attending meetings.

This number needs to be reached by the third week of this month, otherwise the plan would have been in vain.

“To secure the 60% acceptance we need to ensure that all ratepayers within the defined CID area are fully informed about the procedure and attend the public meetings. So far all communication has been via email, SMS and Facebook, but we have only reached one third of the community. We are on a tight timeframe, because the first public meeting should be scheduled by the third week in May.

“We have discussed this with the Council and they have advised us of the procedure to be followed. The first step was an urban management survey on a format laid down by the City Council. This survey has been completed. The KVBRA has drawn up a business plan to address these issues and included a budget, which needs to be approved by Council, and they will advise us of the extra rates that will have be levied to cover these costs. Council will include these levies with their rates and taxes and will remit our portion to our CID,” explains Egberink.

The CID would cover the stretches of road that already fall under the KVRBA, which include Main Road, Wetton Road, Harfield Road bounded by the railway line and Tennant Road.

He says after two years of the KVRBA’s existence, it became obvious that the problems perceived by the community cannot be adequately addressed by the Council due to a lack of funds.

“We have been active for about two years but in October last year it was agreed that our association should consider forming a Special Rating Area (SRA), leading to a CID. The intention is to act as an intermediary between the residents, businesses and the City Council to speed up the alleviation of several problems that have arisen in the Kenilworth Village area.”

According to Egberink, the CID is intent on helping to find solutions to issues of safety, security, litter and cleanliness, vagrancy and other social responsibilities.

Last year, numerous complaints of vagrancy and litter were reported. The community social media pages are also buzzing with similar complaints where residents express their fear of being threatened in their own neighbourhood by those living in their streets, and crime is reportedly on the increase.

One of the posts reads as follows: “Morning, I need advice please. There are about 20 vagrants that make house every night on the corner of Mains Avenue and Main Road. They host parties and get loud more often. And when confronted they get aggressive. Police have been phoned numerous times but do not seem to bother. Last night at 3:30 I asked them to tone it down but to no success. These people also interfere with people leaving the restaurants in the evenings using profanities and racial slurs when they do not get what they want. My six-year-old daughter is to struggles to sleep because of the people shouting and swearing outside.”

Egberink says it is these sorts of concerns that have sparked interest in the formation of a CID.

“We are trying to get off the ground. We need the support.”V For more information, email hegberink@mweb.co.za.

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