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'Last chance to rescue the Central's property market'

Feb 19, 2019
'Last chance to rescue the Central's property market'

The count down to the final day of signing the Central Special Rates Area (SRA) consent is fast coming to an end.

The deteriorating state of Central is a concern to many - property owners have only 14 days to get involved in a bid to rescue the property market in Central by giving their SRA concurrence. Currently, only 865 consents have been achieved, 448 additional consents are needed to renew this historic CBD.

Also known as a City Improvement District (CID), a Special Rated Area (SRA) is a specific geographic area within which property owners agree to pay for additional services. The Municipal Property Rates Act 2004, allowed for the formation of SRAs which empower property owners to implement additional services in their designated area.

Municipalities are obligated to maintain existing service levels for the sole use of improving aspects of service delivery after an SRA is established.

Ward 5 Councillor, Sandile Rwexana said, “SRA is a much-needed initiative to improve the state of Central, it has brought tangible change in Richmond Hill as it is well looked after even when the municipal workers are striking”.

There are various SRA benefits that are valuable to Central property owners. As a collective voice, an SRA will always allow for the municipality to be held accountable to ensure the delivery of basic services.

Mandela Bay Development Agency’s town ranger, Philinda Reid said, “we have been working hard to keep Central in a good state for urban renewal.

"However, the area faces many challenges, which include roaming perpetrator of crime and other illegal activities”.

Reid added that “once the SRA is initiated, there will be monitoring and systematic interventions to assist vagrants by bringing on board relevant stakeholders for psychosocial support, hence property owners need to take initiative before the consent deadline lapses”.

Central SRA will help improve safety and security in Central, Port Elizabeth

With the increasing number of reported crime incidents within the Central area, the SRA will also offer a safety and security benefit, which will include 24-hour security patrols with armed security personnel, as well a camera monitoring system and a dedicated crime hotline.

Pam Golding Properties joint area principal, Justin Kreusch, said, “Central has a very high concentration of blocks of flats, an option of securing main access points, installation of CCTV and security patrols would assist the area. An active SRA is an attractive attribute to an area as it shows residents are keen and active in making their suburb safe”.

The other sustainable SRA benefit includes a waste management system, which will have a dedicated vehicle patrolling the area collecting waste, install bins in strategic locations throughout the Central area, as well as Ad hoc employment of street sweepers.

Should the SRA fail to make the targeted consents, citizen-led initiatives will be hampered in creating improved property values and improved services.

Central will continue to have an increase in crime, heightened illegal waste dumping and an increase of vagrants in the area.

Over time, investment opportunities such as businesses and student accommodation will be threatened. The property value will also be negatively affected in the future.

As the 28th of February draws closer, interested  property owners should head to www.centralsra.co.za to download a consent form as well as upload a signed consent form.

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