Questions over SRA plans

Dave Thorpe, Table View

The article, “SRA plans for Table View,” (Tabletalk, February 7) refers.

I have the following queries regarding top-up rates: Where have the vagrants who have migrated from the Montague Gardens-Marconi Beam Improvement District (MMID)gone to? Table View or Milnerton or transferred out of the City perhaps?

Regarding extra municipal services, such as cleansing and law enforcement — are additional law enforcement officers employed by the City or are existing law enforcement officers taken off duties elsewhere to another area’s disadvantage?

There are numerous people living in the area sans work — is it justifiable to extract additional rates from them?

Who administers the top-up rates fund, at what cost and will the fund be audited annually by an independent auditor or are the top-ups paid directly to the City?

We have two neighbourhood watches under the CPF, namely Table View and Parklands, so not sure if we really do need to hire a private security firm for the area.

Tony Pronk, MMID public safety director, responds:

Firstly I know that some vagrants from Montague Gardens came Table View way but some also went to other areas like Summer Greens etc.

An SRA does not automatically get “extra” law enforcement officers. In fact if an SRA wants them they can approach the City of Cape Town for “rent-a-cops” and this has to be in the proposed budget/business plan that is submitted to the City about two years before an SRA can take effect.

An SRA does not automatically get “additional” services from the City. It is rather a case of the SRA holding the City departments to account to do their jobs properly.

So this does not mean that law enforcement officers are taken from “other” areas to look after SRA areas.

I did explain this “extra rates” at the public meeting, and it is a big discussion point whether it is justifiable or not.

The fund is managed by a committee of directors who earn no income from this. They appoint staff, cleaning contractor, security initiatives.

The Auditor General does the auditing on the financial side. The money is collected by the City on the property owners’ rates account and paid over to the SRA directors/committee.

I will reserve comment on the need or the not around a “private” security firm for the area as this is a big issue and a very poorly managed situation in most residential areas.

Mr Thorpe gives no reason/plan “for” or “against” as he is not sure if it is needed. My comment is that the right private security provider with a clear mandate can do wonders.

This is hugely lacking in Table View as all security providers here and in other areas are there to monitor your property and alarm. This has to change.

Councillor Joy McCarthy also advised that there are people within the City who would be able to advise us on how to go about this process.

It was discussed that earmarking a specific area, which included business and residential, was a good idea as the budget per capita would be higher.

We also need to find out from the City what percentage of this area would need to agree to it. We would then need to go door to door and get people’s buy-in.

We have a business in Montague Gardens, and it is incredible to see the difference the SRA has made and the very little extra we pay for this.

Once an amount per month is defined as to what is necessary to provide the above to an area, it can then be decided what the extra costs would be.

The City makes no money out of this, but rather acts as the collector of the funds that then get paid over to the SRA to be used.

Please also note the minutes of our meeting are on the website.