Special ratings area company now operating

AS the ward councillor of the Richmond Hill Special Ratings Area (SRA) precinct, I congratulate and thank the numerous individuals who have expended so much of their time and efforts to make the Richmond Hill Special Ratings Area Company a reality.

It is with great pride that I am able to announce that all administrative requirements have now been fulfilled for the company to commence operations and that it has received payment of the special rates levies collected from property owners since July last year.

The Richmond Hill precinct was chosen to be the pilot programme for this very exciting initiative in Nelson Mandela Bay which is successfully employed in various areas in the city of Cape Town. What really makes this initiative so exciting is that residents are able to utilise the monies they contribute in the form of the special rates levy directly in their given area through the vehicle of a company established by property owners of the area and from which the directors are elected by the property owners of the area.

This paves the way for more SRAs to be established across our metro and for more communities to benefit directly in their areas from funds which they contribute. The upliftment and betterment of all communities across the metro must be our main priority and any manner in which this can be effected must be welcomed.

This of course does not excuse the obligation of the municipality to provide the basic services property owners already pay for. However, in saying so, the limited nature of the municipal budget must be taken into consideration and it must be remembered these companies are intended to better the given areas for which the municipal budget does not allow.

This “top up” funding is not intended to provide basic services, the municipal budget must continue to provide for basic service delivery.

I wish the best of luck to the directors of the Richmond Hill Special Ratings Area Company in their future efforts to better the wonderful area that is Richmond Hill, and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship in making Richmond Hill the envy of the NMBM.

-Morne Steyn, DA councillor Ward 5, Port Elizabeth

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