Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are questions that have been put to the Saving St Francis Committee. If any of your questions remain unanswered regarding the Saving St Francis initiative simply send us an e-Mail with your question and we shall endeavour to answer it. e-Mail can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the priority projects? (August 2016)
We want to do the projects listed below as soon as possible. Ideally we would like to start ASAP, and in some cases finish before the Christmas holiday period :
- Repair the existing Spit revetments ASAP (R4.9m). We will delay the extension of the revetment along the Spit until we collect (R14.9m or have made progress on Phase 2 to avoid this cost)
- Re-surface phase 1 of the Arterial Roads (R6.3m)
- Clear all Stormwater Drains (R0.8m)
- Restore the Anne Avenue car park and revetment (R1.3m)
- Start Phase 2 Engineering Solution and EIA for River, Spit and Beach (R1m)
What do you expect to be change or improved by the new DA administration? 8th August 2016)
We expect the DA leadership to focus on performance by both the Councillors and the Municipal Management and Staff. Performance would include: accessibility to Municipal Councillors and Officials; speeding up decision making; and introducing a mind-set of Public Private Partnership in dealing with the infrastructure challenges all our towns in Kouga are experiencing.
Will there be new talks and discussions set up with the NEW DA municipality to hopefully recover some of the funds paid to the Kouga Council, over the years? (11th August 2016)
We met with DA leadership (Elza van Lingen the new Mayor, Chimpie Cawood and Ben Rheeder) in February this year and explained what we planned to do. She was very supportive of our proposal. It will take the DA a couple of years to turn the KM around, but what they can now offer is a faster turnaround in decision making, avoiding destructive delaying tactics which has been nothing more than political victimisation, and communicating their support for what we are trying to do directly to you the Rate Payer. We require their timely support to get a number of MOUs agreed and signed off. We also need them to change the KM’s By-Laws to allow us to introduce a SRA so we can raise a levy to maintain our infrastructure once we have restored it
What will a DA Council do for us in terms of budget allocation? (12th August 2016)
The DA election win will probably not mean much in terms of budget re-allocation, but we will not rule this out. The current financial position of the Municipality is very weak and will take some years to rectify. The total capital budget for 2016/17 year is R60m. The expansion of the SFB Waste Treatment plant is estimated to be R25m. This is one of 40 or more projects on the Municipality’s wish list of capital projects. The key issues we do want addressed are :
- The speed of turn around on the various MOUs we want signed e.g. the MOU we require to allow the NPC to manage the Spit and Beach repair work on behalf of the Municipality and allow us to communicate directly with DEDEAT. We gave them a draft MOU in February, and have requested a number of times for them to allow our attorney to talk to theirs….still waiting.
- The preparation for a SRA (Self Rating Area) as there is a lot of work that has to be done by the Municipality to allow for these i.e. writing new By-Laws, preparing and submitting a business case justifying the level amount requested that has to approved by National Treasury, Council approvals, etc. We passed on all the information sent to us by the City of Cape Town to the Municipality in February….still no progress.
- Working with Municipal officials to prepare Project capital requests from National Treasury to upgrade infrastructure like the expansion of our waste water treatment plant.
- Assuring our Rate Payers that the Municipality and its Council (Political Leadership) support our Saving St Francis campaign. They promised us a letter we could include in our Roadshow presentations recently….still waiting.
- Provide us with certain in-kind support e.g. the allocation of Municipal offices space for our use in St Francis, storage facilities, an office at the Fire Station for our Disaster Management Pop-up Command Centre, material e.g. tar for pothole repair, etc.
- We suspect that all of these delays have been caused by the interference of ANC Councillors. They have victimise Municipal staff, particularly senior management should they give too much attention to DA controlled Wards. Hopefully this will now be rectified.
- We met with Elza van Lingen (incoming Mayor) in February and presented our thinking to her. She was very supportive of what we are doing, and so expect to move forward quickly once the new leadership has settled in. Ben Rheeder has been intimately involved in our dealings with the Municipality and the games they have played.
The key reason is to save St Francis, so the message needs to be spread and must show all the benefits both to having a better infrastructure but also the financial benefit of increased property values which was also pointed out. (11th August 2016)
You just need to look at what has happened to property values in Cape Town. They have sky-rocketed. The rates collected by the Cape Town metro have also grown similarly. This coupled with a performing DA local authority makes for a property market experiencing high demand for both South African and Overseas investors. As mentioned in the presentation, Llandudno Rate Payers say that international research has shown that precincts that go the SRA route on average experience a fairly quick increase in value of some 15%.