This time it’s all about financials, and transparency. For those of you who would like to go out and do your own fact-finding, there are many resources where you can do this.
You can get answers here https://stfrancispropertyowners.co.za/
You can find a contact phone number, an email address and a physical address here https://stfrancispropertyowners.co.za/
You can also find out all about the AGM here https://stfrancispropertyowners.co.za/2019-annual-general-meeting/
Setting the scene:
One of the SRA committee members (Wayne Furphy) fielded a call and an email from a strong SRA supporter, who recently had negative interaction with a CRA member who is also a friend. Wanting clarification on this CRA-borne negativity, he thus reached out to Wayne and the SRA with some questions, of which Wayne was more than happy to answer. Here’s the most important.
“My friend stated that the CRA is critical of the SFPO for not divulging the finances of the SRA and how funds are being deployed or earmarked for projects. Please advise how the SFPO reports on its finances. I assume that there will be a finance report at the AGM on 17 December.”
The SFPO has published its monthly financial statements and the Minutes of its monthly Board meetings on the stfrancispropertyowners.co.za website. The Annual report for Year 1 is available on the website, as is the Auditors report. Contrary to what the CRA say we are totally transparent. Our tender documentation is filed in the SFPO office and available to anyone who wishes to look through these files. We will not, as the CRA demanded, go to the expense of copying all of this documentation and supplying it to them. The management of our projects and tenders is as follows:
1) The CCTV tender was run by David Truter (SFPO Association Committee member) and Greg Miller (SFPO NPC project manager) and overseen by the SFPO’s Technical Committee (consisting of Chris Gray, Craig Northwood, Deon Pienaar and Greg Miller) as well as the Security Industry Workshop participants that guided the entire process (R FI with 16 submissions and RFP process with 5 invited submissions and 3 actual submissions) including the SFPO NPC and Association, the St Francis Police Sector Forum and the St Francis Bay Police Sector Forum (chaired by John Hammond and Nigel Aitken respectively), SAPS, the private security companies (ie Calibre, G4S and Smhart), Municipal Law Enforcement, and an ex-British Police Officer (Simon Cunneen).
We chose the lowest price option. The 3 tenders had monthly price quotations of R136k per month, R363k per month and R765k per month. We reduced the final price to R115k per month by adjusting the number of cameras and poles
2) The Village Entrance Upgrade project was managed by EAS (Engineering Advisory Services) a firm of Consulting Engineers from PE. EAS had done the road surveys for the Kouga region, and we had them survey all the roads in St Francis Bay. This was paid for out of donations. EAS managed the tender process and project from start to finish. Craig Northwood (SFPO NPC Director and retired Consulting Engineer) and Greg Miller have responsibility for our Roads projects, with oversight provided by our Technical Committee
3) The River/Spit/Beach project has two components and is managed by Deon Pienaar (SFPO NPC Director and a practising Consulting Engineer) and Greg Miller, with oversight provided by our Technical Committee. The Engineering Design is being done by Advisian, and the EIA application by CES. Both of these companies were awarded the work through a competitive tender process.
The earmarking of SRA funds is laid out in our 10 year business plan which formed part of our SRA application, and is available on our website. We submit an annual budget to the Municipality. These are also available on our website. Please bear in mind that only half the funds we require for these 3 projects are provided by the levy. We have to source the balance of the funding from other parties, including Government (Municipality, provincial and national funding programmes), Riparians Association and NPC (which receives the Riparian levy from the Municipality as well as boat licence revenue for the canals and jetty rentals), Kromme River Estates and Joint Kromme River Association and NPC (which receives the boat licence revenue for the river from the Municipality), and donations.
We are all out there working hard at sourcing additional funding. The existing group of 7 directors of the SFPO NPC collectively donated R650,000 to the NPC a few years ago to fund this initiative. I personally donated 20 years of this levy in advance, and pay the levy again for a third time each month as my commitment to making the SRA work. None of the directors have claimed a single cent for our expenses associated with our involvement in the SRA. We spend many hours of our own personal time serving every property owner’s interests. Yet we are denigrated by some of our fellow property owners, mostly because they listen to rumours and choose to believe them rather than engage with us, and read our reports we send out to everyone.
Remember the date for the Annual General Meeting
SFPO NPC AGM
Date: 17 December 2019
Venue: St Francis Links