Ratepayers’ body for Shirley Park

Shirley Park Ratepayers Association committee members, from left, are Irma Gayba, Bernard Swanepoel, Phillip Moller and Louna Engelbrecht.

Shirley Park residents met at a church hall last week where they took the final step in forming a fully-fledged ratepayers’ association.

Membership of the Shirley Park Ratepayers’ Association, which serves Shirley Park, Loumar and Meyerhof, is open to all ratepayers and residents.

During the meeting at the De La Bat Dutch Reformed Church on Tuesday February 28, the residents elected committee members and adopted the association’s constitution.

Committee member Phillip Moller said residents had, up until now, been using the neighbourhood watch as a de facto ratepayers’ association, which had not been ideal.

Ward 21 councillor Taki Amira met with residents last October and advised them how to start a ratepayers’ association. The following month, residents met to elect a steering committee to work on a draft constitution.

At last week’s inaugural meeting, residents chose six people to be part of the executive committee, the seventh position being kept open for a member of the Shirley Park Neighbourhood Watch.

At a later date, the executive committee will elect a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and treasurer, who will hold office for one year.

The association would liaise with the municipality and other organisations to promote residents’ interests, said Mr Moller.

Ward 3 councillor Brendan van Merwe, who was at the meeting, said forums such as these helped their members to get to know City officials and learn how to escalate certain problems.

He encouraged residents to appreciate the work being done by the association.

“They do not get paid for this and use their free time for the benefit of the community.”

Some of the residents top concerns at the moment include taxis in the area (“Taxis rank low with Shirley Park residents,” Northern News February 23) and high-density developments on small properties without the necessary consultation.