What are Special Rating Areas (SRAs)?
Special Rating Areas were previously known as City Improvement Districts. These are geographic areas in which property owners have agreed to pay for services which top-up the basic services supplied by the municipality. Most often these top-up services focus on extra security and cleansing.
The Municipal Property Rates Act 2004 makes provision for the formation of SRAs. In Cape Town the SRAs are established and governed by the most recent municipal by-law: Special Rating Area By-law 2012.
How did the Woodstock Improvement District (WID) begin?
In the early 2000s several local business leaders became increasingly concerned about the signs of urban decay in the Woodstock area and the safety of employees travelling between transport hubs and places of employment. They initiated the Woodstock Upliftment Project which subsequently led to the establishment of a Business Forum, which wanted to focus on security, cleaning and greening. With support and input from City Council the decision to initiate the process of establishing a fully-fledged City Improvement District began. The support of a majority of commercial property owners was sought and obtained. In May 2005 the City of Cape Town approved the establishment of the Woodstock Improvement District.
Since July 2005 the WID has been operational and the positive results are there for all to see. In co-operation with its partners (City of Cape Town, SAPS, property and business owners) the WID has made and continues to make a constructive contribution to making Woodstock a desirable place to live, work and play.
Which are the core responsibilities of the WID?
- To supplement and enhance the basic services offered by the City of Cape Town;
- To facilitate a co-operative approach between the City and private sector in the provision of municipal services;
- To co-ordinate the provision of a well-maintained, safer, cleaner and greener environment for those who work, visit and invest in Woodstock;
- To market Woodstock as a prime locality and preserve its district identity.
The WID has expanded its initial mandate of safety and cleaning to include social upliftment activities in the area and since 2010 employs a qualified full-time social worker.
How is the WID funded?
A levy over and above the existing property rates is charged by the City of Cape Town on all business properties within the WID area of operation (see map). This levy, expressed as cents in the Rand, is based on the municipal valuation of the property and is payable by all property owners. These funds are paid over to the WID, which in turn operates according to an approved business plan and budget.
How does the WID operate?
The WID is a Section 21 company (Registration number 2006/015254/08) with a board of directors representing local commercial property owners. The board provides financial and operational oversight and strategic direction, and develops the business plan and budget of the WID.
The current board of directors:
- Teun Baartman (chairperson)
- Mukhtar Joonas
- Andre Potgieter
- Tammi Glick
- Craig Hall
- Gregg Huntingford
Day-to-day operations are carried out by the WID General Manager, Chris Lloyd, who is assisted by the Operational Manager, John Julies, the Office Administrator, Nicola le Roux, and the Field Worker, Abigail Abrahams.
Security and cleaning are performed by companies contracted by the WID. In addition the WID supervises two Law Enforcement Officers committed to the WID area by the City of Cape Town.
The WID is accountable to its members, who are commercial property owners in the WID area and are registered as such. It reports on its management and finances on an annual basis at the Annual General Meeting, which all registered commercial property owners are entitled to attend.