Funding Frequently Asked Questions
A large number of residents/ retirees would financially not be in a position to support a levy as proposed. How will this matter be handled? (5th January 2016)
We have not proposed a specific levy amount as yet. We have merely suggested some alternative ways that this kind of levy can be structured. Ideally we would like to raise the capital we need to fix and restore our infrastructure through donations from property owners and businesses, as well as a possible financial contribution from Government (although I think this is unlikely). The levy itself would then be used to maintain our infrastructure, once it has been restored, which would require a substantially lower levy amount e.g. 25% of monthly rates. The levy amount will need to be calculated accurately to ensure we are not over or under taxing property owners. If we cannot raise sufficient funding through donations then we will probably have to look at a higher levy, but this is certainly not the preferred option. We are aware that there are retirees that are on a fixed income and would struggle to contribute. In the context of the 3,000 or so property owners in the greater St Francis Bay area, we don’t believe this is a significant percentage, and can probably be accommodated/assisted in some way.
What are property owners expected to contribute if we are going to be able to complete the projects outlined in the presentation? (5th August 2016)
We are asking property owners to donate 2 times their annual property rates. We also have a group of people who formed the Hamburger Club with a donation of R150,000 to join this illustrious mob! Both Chris Gray and I are members, as are Gert Vorster, Peter Mountford, Brett Dawson, Sean Joubert, Louis van der Merwe, John van Tubbergh, Barry Webb, George Rautenbach, Chris Redfern, Karen Smith, Bernard Rhoode, and Guy Hopkins.
What choices do I have in paying my donation/contribution? (5th August 2016)
We have suggested the following with regards to alternative donation payment approaches. Some people are donating the full amount upfront, others are paying a portion upfront (e.g. one year equivalent of rates) and the balance over the year on a monthly basis. For those that simply cannot afford to pay anything upfront then a monthly debit order over 12-24 months is another alternative. Bear in mind that the projects we will undertake are multi-million rand projects so we cannot commit to these until we have sufficient funds “banked”. We will not put ourselves into the position of awarding tenders if we do not have the money available. The consequence is that we will be forced into spreading the restoration work over a longer than necessary or ideal period if we do not collect substantial cash donations upfront.
Can I specify what project(s) my donation should be used for? (5th August 2016)
Donations can be earmarked for specific projects. For example, a number of the Canal Property Owners who have donated have asked that their donations be earmarked for the Spit, and whatever is left then applied to other projects.
The sum required was fully spelt out at the Public Meeting at the Links, which defines what the extent of the required donation is. My understanding is that to raise this all property owners would need, over a period of a few years, to contribute money equal to twice their annual rates only charge. What I am not clear on is this required to raise the R39M required? (11th August 2016)
Two years of rates paid by all property owners would raise between R80-100m i.e. the 2,150 properties that sit outside the private estates. If you add the properties in the Greater St Francis area (40 private estates and Cape St Francis) then we have about 3,500 properties with a total estimated value of R4,5billion.
There is little doubt that many will not be able to afford this and some who could at least contribute various relatively significant amounts. (11th August 2016)
About 90% of all property owners are holiday makers and not residents. Anyone who can afford an R4m or more holiday home can certainly afford to invest in the protection of their investment. These are typically not retired people with fixed incomes.
What would happen if say only half that was raised? (11th August 2016)
We will not get everyone contributing because human nature is what it is, but we will prioritise the most important projects that we need to undertake. Then we will have to decide what the levy (% of rates) should be to accomplish the restoration of our infrastructure, and if necessary spread the restoration out over a longer period.
How will you prioritise the R40M spend? (6th September 2016)
Priorities will be :
- the Spit
- Spit Revetment repairs (as the existing revetment on the Spit is a continuation of the Aldabara revetment who are the first group of beachfront property owners to submit their revetment repair plans to DEDEAT for approval)
- ongoing maintenance of the Spit, especially the vulnerable areas, dredging from the canals and using sandbags if approved by DEDEAT (request submitted 2 months ago and awaiting approval)
- the Anne Avenue car park and beach revetment
- Stormwater drains
- Phase 2 of River, Spit and Beach – choosing the Engineering Solution and submitting the EIA for the long term solution
- Phase 1 of the Arterial roads :
- Road Survey (complete)
- Resurfacing of the Arterial roads (Lime Road North and South and a section of St Francis Drive)
There are a number of wealthy homeowners who live in SFB who I know are not happy to make donation. They need a one on one sales pitch. (6th September 2016)
I agree. I am prepared to talk to all of these property owners because they have the right to look us in the eye and convince themselves that their donation will be used responsibly.
We need a regular update on fundraising- suggest update on Spar noticeboard. (6th September 2016)
The donation update is on our websites and in our monthly newsletters. It will also be in St Francis Today (daily). We are also thinking about putting it on a board somewhere in the Village. The Spar is certainly a possibility.
Will there be a list of donors for public information? (6thSeptember 2016)
Yes – this will be available on the SFPO NPC website which will be launched shortly. The SFPO Association’s website is already launched.
Are retailers & commercial enterprises considered for donations? (6th September 2016)
Yes – but very few have contacted us or made a contribution to-date, but we will be contacting them. We have also decided that no local business will be awarded any work by the NPC unless they have made a contribution.
I believe trucks carrying cement, bricks, thatch etc. make a big contribution to road damage. I suggest tonnage be reduced & severe penalties for non-compliance or all trucks doing business in SFB pay a special ‘road maint. levy’. (6th September 2016)
While this makes sense it is difficult to enforce. The reality is that our roads so worn down that these trucks do damage the surface, or what little we have left of the tarred surface. The real damage to the roads I am told comes from the water lying on the roads where it is unable to drain off.