THE purpose of a Special Rates Area (SRA), which is based on international best practice, is to enhance and supplement municipal services, and promote investment.
An SRA aims to achieve this through a co-operative approach in order to halt the degeneration of the areas and facilitate upliftment, so promoting economic growth and sustainable development.
The SRA will cover a specific area, suburb, or precinct within which property owners agree to pay a small monthly levy to a Section 21 company of which the members will be private sector property owners in the specific area. The Section 21 company will regulate and have full control of the spending of the levies according to the needs in the area with the funds spent in on security, cleansing, beautification and the regulation of informal trading, for example.
More than 50% of the residents of the area need to approve the declaration of an SRA before it can be approved by council.
The Richmond Hill residents have taken the plunge and are well on their way to being the first area in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro to be up and running as an SRA.