Special ratings

2018-05-29 06:00
A special ratings area could see an overall improvement in the Town Centre with increased special rates for property owners.            PHOTO: Samantha Lee (FILE)

A special ratings area could see an overall improvement in the Town Centre with increased special rates for property owners. PHOTO: Samantha Lee (FILE)

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Plans are in place to see the Town Centre converted into a Special Rating Area (SRA) as part of a holistic approach to improving the shopping hub.

An SRA involves an increase in municipal rates by a certain percentage levied on property within a predefined geographical location.

The additional rate levied on property is used to raise funds for the improvement or upgrading of the area.

Previously known as Central Improvement Districts, SRAs form part of the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Development Plan.

Long-term benefits of the programme include increased property values and enhanced standards of living. The SRA policy statement implemented by the City on 1 July 2011 states that the model is based on international best practice, aiming to prevent the degeneration of cities and towns and the onset of urban decay.

The policy facilitates economic growth and sustainable development of areas to enhance and supplement municipal services already provided by the City.

Ward 79 councillor, Solomon Philander, hosted a straight-talk meeting at his Town Centre offices to address concerns and issues in the shopping hub (“New Dawn for centre”, People’s Post, 22 May).

The meeting was attended by invested stallholders, ward committee members, ratepayers’ association members, taxi and hawkers’ associations, business owners, safety volunteers and department heads and was aimed at providing answers to burning questions and reporting back on progress or lack thereof within the Town Centre.

“We have to look at the condition of the Town Centre and how we can improve the conditions of the Town Centre,” says Philander.

For the most part, the initiative was welcomed by the stakeholders.

Michael Jacobs, Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association deputy chairperson questioned why only the Town Centre was included in the proposal further stating it would limit the fund potential­.

Philander explains that because the majority of the surrounding households are indigent grant recipients, their rates could not be increased.

Philander says they already have commitments from building owners but would be in touch to further discuss the initiative in line with procedure.

This will also see the buildings re-evaluated, as Philander says most of the building owners are paying rates well below the value of the properties. This would also be amended with the increase­.

To have a successful SRA, the officials will need a buy-in from 50% + 1 from the property owners and not business owners who lease the properties as it will affect the owners’ rates.

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