Property owners take a lead in Central’s revitalisation

NELSON Mandela Bay is on the verge of implementing the second local Special Rating Area (SRA) in Central.

An SRA is a statutory body established under the SRA by-law previously known as a City Improvement District (CID).

It provides top-up services, such as security, cleansing and urban management, in a specific community in the place of the South African Police Service and the municipality.

In Nelson Mandela Bay there is one SRA currently in its fourth year of operation, the Richmond Hill entity, which was formed in collaboration with the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) as an entity of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

Once established, the Central SRA will cover a specific area within which property owners agree to pay a small percentage of their monthly rates to a Section 21 company as a levy. This is calculated as a 12% contribution in addition to their current monthly rates, equating to approximately R10 or R20 per R100 000 of property value for residential or commercially rated erven respectively.

The members of the SRA will be elected residents and owners from within the specified area; thus the owners and residents of Central will control and determine how and where these funds are spent, with the core focus on ensuring basic municipal service delivery, safety and security, waste management and urban renewal.

MBDA operations manager Mcebisi Ncalu said, “From the funds collected by the Richmond Hill SRA, nearly 40% is spent on additional neighbourhood safety and security initiatives, while 20% goes towards top-up waste management initiatives.

“There are also plans to assist the municipality with accelerating the maintenance of street lights as a means of curbing crime and promote safety.”

The interim chairperson of the proposed Central SRA is Kenrick Brown from National Glass situated in Russell Road and a long-time business manager operating in Central.

“If, as a property owner, you believe that the area of Central is degenerating due to shortcomings in service delivery, crime, inadequate waste management and urban decay, then you as an owner/tenant can either wait for change or you can make change happen,” he said.

Brown and his interim committee believe the quickest and most legally effective means to create such a change in Central is the formation of an SRA.

“The purpose of a SRA is to arrest deterioration in a specific area and to improve the provision of basic services provided by the local municipality, as well as to ensure the delivery of additional supplementary services.

“Our aim is to work with the local municipality through a collaborative approach and active citizenry to ensure that the area of Central is rehabilitated and installed as Port Elizabeth’s most sought-after area to live, work and play.”

In order to legally constitute an SRA, the majority of property owners within the specified area are required to consent to its formation. The levy will then be applicable to all property owners within the specified area as per the municipality’s Special Rating Areas Policy.

The MBDA has put its weight behind the initiative.

Ncalu said, “We are putting a call out to all residents and property owners in Central to please communicate this initiative to everyone they know who may have an interest in the improvement of Central.

“Act quickly as the window of opportunity to get this initiative consented to start on August 1 and ends on October 31, Ncalu added.

For the online consent process or more information, go to www.centralsra.co.za.