May news from St Francis
Greetings to all St Francis Property Owners. Easter has come and gone and we were delighted to see many of our holiday homes occupied. For those of you who were in town over Easter, hopefully, you picked up your copy of our publication, St Francis Future describing the SRA proposal. This is essentially the SRA Business Plan that we have submitted to the Municipality as part of our application process. We have sent out an electronic version of St Francis Future to all property owners that we have in our email database, and we have also added it to the SFPO websites
We received the Rates Revenue information we had requested from the Kouga Municipality on 15 March, which enabled us to finalise the SRA proposal with more accurate levy revenue forecasts. We were also able to improve the accuracy of our cost estimates over the past three months, which allowed us to finalise our forecasted revenue and costs and complete the SRA Business Plan. As a consequence of the revenue forecast and the inclusion of exemptions, we had to drop the sewerage infrastructure upgrade from the SRA proposal. We simply will not collect sufficient funds through the proposed SRA levy to fund the conversion to waterborne sewerage. We have requested the Municipality to include the water-borne sewerage upgrade in the Municipality’s IDP as a 10-year programme.
We have had several meetings with the Kouga Municipality. We can confirm that the Kouga Municipality does have the SRA By-Law already in its Municipal legislation, and the By-Law has been in force during our entire application process. The consultation that we have undertaken with the broader St Francis community over the past 18 months, has given us a lot of feedback on what needs to be included, where practical, in the SRA Policy which is being drafted by the Municipality’s legal support. The likely acceptance of our proposal, specifically with respect to the exemptions, is dependent on whether the Municipality’s computer systems can accommodate these exemption criteria.
It is clear that we will not be able to implement the proposed SRA in the 2017/18 financial year (starting on 1 July 2017), as the approval process had to be completed by May 31, 2017, as part of the Municipality’s Council Budget approval process. The targeted implementation date will be set for 1 July 2018 should our SRA application be consented to by the majority of property owners and the Kouga Municipality.
We will continue with our infrastructure planning and design projects for the roads, river and beach, using our donated funds to finance this.
We have proposed the SRA levy because we do not see any other way to avoid a continuing loss of value of our St Francis property investments. We have probably lost half the real value of these investments over the past 10 years, due to the inability of our community to step up and address the environmental and infrastructure issues St Francis faces.
You will hear vociferous arguments why property owners should not support the SRA proposal, but these are the same arguments that have guided our town into the crisis we face and caused the massive loss in property investments that we have experienced. Any sensible investor can see this and refuses to continue down the “do nothing” path. We are also told to give the DA a chance. That is precisely what the SRA proposal is doing. The Kouga Municipality is an organisation that has been brought to its knees, both in terms of its financial position and its capability. It is a long journey to restore its well-being. The DA needs all the help they can get from their ratepayers to make sure St Francis is an attractive lifestyle destination for property investors.
Those residents who have expressed concern with their property valuations have an opportunity on the 15th June to meet the evaluators at St Francis Links clubhouse organised by the Kouga municipality. Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen said “Property owners will have the opportunity to meet the new evaluators and to interact with them regarding the valuation process to be followed,”
For more information on the valuation process refer …..
Public meetings to introduce Kouga’s new municipal valuers
Data collectors start gathering info for new General Valuation Roll
Download Voting Form