SRA plan in pipeline

Residents discuss issues in Goodwood at a monthly ratepayers meeting.

A special ratings area (SRA) could beat back crime and grime in Goodwood, say those in favour of the proposal.

The Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association raised the idea at a meeting last month.

Dennis Botha, of Wiener Street, said he was in favour of an SRA, which would see residents pay more, over and above their rates, for top-up municipal services, such as street cleaning and law enforcement.

“We are pensioners so the levy that we are going to be charged should be cost-effective,” he said, complaining about rampant crime and grime in the area.

“Dumping is a huge problem, and the City has been very slow in implementing measures to curb it. Goodwood is filthy and the streets look like rubbish dumps.”

There was also a growing problem with vagrancy in the area.

“I think an SRA would be good for this area. Last week, two cars were stolen in the vicinity of my house and thieves broke into my vehicle, but they didn’t steal it.

“One of my neighbours had to fire three shots in the air after two men broke into his house, stole his bunch of keys and wanted to make off with his car.

“The resident had to pay a small fortune to have all his locks replaced.

“We have noticed four guys operating in a green Opel Kadett in this area. Two men wait in the car, while the others break into homes,” he said.

Warren Brown, of Merriman Street, said he had been at last month’s ratepayers’ meeting where the SRA came up.

“I think it will be good for the area. Police don’t have the manpower to police our area properly. Paying a levy to have the SRA in the area will help a great deal. It will make our lives a lot easier. It will also aim to reduce crime, grime and the number of homeless in the area,” he said.

Goodwood Ratepayers Association chairman Faizel Petersen said last month that the association was exploring the SRA option.

There had been attempts in the past to start an SRA in Goodwood but without success.

He said surrounding neighbourhoods had set up SRAs, pushing a lot of homeless people into Goodwood.

“It’s now a ‘safe haven’ for them to set up camp,” he said.

Northern News asked Ward 27 councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg what she thought of the idea, but Mayco member for Finance Johan van der Merwe answered on her behalf, saying it was up to the community to decide whether an SRA was needed.

“Should they decide to proceed with establishment of an SRA, the City will provide guidance to ensure legal compliance,” he said.

Derek Bock, CEO of the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District, said each commercial property in the SRA paid a different levy, one based on the value of the property.

“The monthly levy must be worked out according to the SRA’s budget and property value,” he said.

Mr Bock said there were 41 SRAs in the city.

“We support an SRA in Goodwood and would like to advise them to start it from our boundary wall in Steenbras Street in Parow to make it more effective.”

Goodwood police spokesman Captain Waynne Theunis said the community and police needed to work together to fight crime in Goodwood.

“If an SRA can help in reducing crime in Goodwood, we welcome any help,” he said.