BOATERS were given a reprieve on Tuesday when the Ward 10 Committee proposed that no “launch fee” should be charged to use the Small Boat Harbour (SBH), and that an alternative method of funding maintenance be found.
At the meeting, held at the mayoral offices, Angus Schlemmer explained the harbour requires maintenance and that more funding was needed. Schlemmer is chairman of the Small Boat Harbour Company which placed a boom at the harbour slipway last year to the anger and consternation of boat users.
At the last committee meeting it was recommended that no additional launch fees be levied on boaters, and that the river usage fees and horsepower levy be charged as they are currently.
“The recommendation (in the agenda) does not help,” he said. “This matter should be advertised by the municipality for public input.”
Warwick Heny pointed out that people who didn’t want to pay a launch fee could use any one of the other slipways along the river at no charge. Doug Hattingh said many older people with boats will not be able to afford any additional fees.
Several committee members queried the more than R200 000 the Small Boat Harbour Company spent on legal fees, as published at their AGM last year.
“If these costs had not been incurred we would not be having this discussion,” commented Lyn Nettleton. Ward 10 councillor, Ross Purdon, agreed with Nettleton’s assessment. The actual amount allocated to legal fees according to the report was R230 813.
“Boating is already very expensive,” added Rick Pryce who suggested an alternative might be an increase in the boat registration fee or the HP (horse-power) levy.
Schlemmer said he was happy with this.
“I keep on being reminded of the e-toll situation in Gauteng,” he said.
The committee agreed to put his recommendation to council.