City ‘sucking me dry’, says crèche owner

Nicky Day- Anderson hopes to have 42 Gie Road, Table View registered as a crèche.

A 63-year-old Table View woman is demanding answers from the City after being slapped with an “exorbitant bill” to have her crèche registered.

Nicky Day-Anderson says she shed tears over City documents requesting almost R30 0000 by the end of this month.

If Ms Day-Anderson cannot come up with the money, her application for consent to run the crèche for 40 children from Gie Road will not be approved, according to City documents.

She has been running the Amatus Kids Academy since March last year.

Of the R29 317 she is being charged, R17 850 is for road infrastructure, which the City says is necessary to accommodate the extra cars that will use Gie Road to get to and from the crèche.

Day-Anderson is also being charged R872 for transport, R751 for stormwater, R5389 for sewage, R1818 for water, and R2634 for solid waste.

But Ms Day-Anderson said she had already spent a considerable amount on fixing up her property to comply with the City’s demands.

She said she had had to repaint the house using a lead-free paint, fence the pool area, create an entrance and exit gate and secure the whole property, which had cost her nearly R100 000.

She has turned all the bedrooms in her three-bedroom house into classrooms and the granny-flat at the back is for Grade Rs. She now uses her lounge as a bedroom.

She said she would like to understand why the City would charge her so much for road infrastructure when the children who attended the crèche lived in walking distance.

“We only use one minibus to bring seven children to the school, the rest of them live in the neighbouring streets,” she said.

Ms Day-Anderson said that if the City had fixed Gie Road and put speed humps there, she would understand, but she claimed work had not been done on the road for years.

“If the City can make me understand where this money will be going to, I will make amends, try to come to an agreement with them, but it seems like they are just sucking me dry and do not respond to my requests,” she said.

The City had forced her to remove her signs from her gate until she was registered, said Ms Day-Anderson.

She said she had approached other crèches in the area, some of them registered and others in the process of registering, and none had paid more than R4000 to register.

Tabletalk approached three crèches in the area, but they refused to talk to us.

Ms Day-Anderson said her crèche was her passion and not a “money-making scheme”.

“I have five teachers who are here looking after the 40 kids that attend the crèche. It’s five people who are employed and 40 kids who have a safe space to go to, but the City doesn’t see it like that.”

Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews said the amount being charged was based on the additional impact of newly approved rights on surrounding infrastructure.

“The breakdown of development charges is provided to applicants as part of the application process so that they can be informed of how these charges were calculated and for what purpose,” he said.

Plans for the crèche could not be passed without the charges being paid, he said.

“The applicant was advised of the right to appeal the decision of the authorised official and opted not to do so. A possible remedy to lack of affordability is for the applicant to submit a land-use application to amend conditions of approval in order to reduce the number of children,” said Mr Andrews.

Nicky Day-Anderson has turned her three-bedroom house into a creche with different classrooms.