The elections have come and gone and the festive season is upon us. The HRA is determined to make Hilton one of the most desirable and safe places to live and work in South Africa. All our residents will be aware of the developments taking place, which already indicates that we are becoming a sought after destination to live and work.
The HRA will hit the ground running in the new year and our main focus will be to establish a Special Rating Area (SRA) or Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP). These terms are used interchangeably in the literature and we will refer to UIPs in future. Ratepayers will know that this has been on the cards for over 2 years where we have submitted all the necessary draft Policy documents, By-Laws and motivation to the Umngeni Municipality. We have however been unable to obtain any response despite frequent phone calls, E-Mails and visits, in spite of the fact that UIPs are provided for in Legislation and exist in many Municipalities in South Africa.
The climate at City Hall has now changed and we hope to make rapid progress in setting up our UIP. Readers of this newsletter may be interested to google SRA’s to see where they are operating and what they're doing elsewhere.
We have explained what a UIP is in previous newsletters but it is worth briefly summarizing in point form.
1. A UIP covers a specific area and includes all ratepayers in the area, both business and private.
2. A UIP is controlled by a Section 21 non-profit company whose Chair and Board Members are voted on by the ratepayers in the defined area .They are all voluntary.
3. The UIP is funded by a levy on rates ,suggestion is 5% at this stage, which is collected via the rates account and paid over to the UIP.
4. The UIP is then in a position to embark on various projects as decided by the ratepayers ,but not to perform functions that the Municipality is legally mandated to carry out.
5. There are a number of proposed projects in the pipeline which will be fully discussed and canvassed with ratepayers before any action is taken. Suggestions from ratepayers will be encouraged.
6. A UIP can only be established after a period of extensive consultation with the Community followed by a referendum. A detailed portfolio of evidence will need to be prepared on all actions taken by the HRA for scrutiny by the community and Council before being passed into the By-Laws.
One matter that will receive priority attention relates to the matters of security. Readers if they have not already done so are referred to the HCSI (Hilton Community Safety Initiative) video that now appears on our website. Not all residents and ratepayers are aware of the many hours of hard work and dedication that HCSI does on our behalf. We believe that safety and security is paramount in any society in the world, and one project that would not be negotiable for the UIP would be to promote and support safety activities. Clearly any action would need to be in collaboration with SAPS who are very helpful in our area, but unfortunately under-resourced. A UIP could contribute substantially to this initiative which is costly and carried by few donors at present.
Finally we hope to involve as many ratepayers as possible in the process of setting up a UIP and will be calling for assistance in the new year. We will also be providing regular updates on our progress.
If you have not done so already, please consider joining the Hilton Ratepayers’ Association, click here. Please encourage others to do the same. The stronger the support we receive, the more effective we can be.
Hilton and Winterskloof Security Initiatives
Please consider signing up as a contributing member in your area towards the security initiatives. If you live in Hilton please read more and sign up here. If you live in Winterskloof please read more and sign up here.
Hilton Ratepayers Association