OVSRA achieves a rate hikes postponement
HERMANUS – Dear Onrus and Vermont ratepayers/property owners, as you may have seen in the municipal release, the Onrus Vermont Special Ratings Area (OVSRA) steering committee requested to postpone the implementation of the additional rate to 1 July 2021. This request was approved by council on 29 July 2020.
The reasons for this request from our side are as follows: due to Covid-19 Regulations we cannot at this stage, nor could we for the past four months, hold a public meeting for the community to participate in and elect the board of the new non-profit company (NPC) required to manage the SRA. This needs to happen within six months of the creation of the non-profit, according to the by-law. We could also not register the NPC, as the departments’ systems were down for a great part of lockdown, and it became operational only recently. Many of the arrangements regarding the implementation of the SRA have been hampered/restricted by the various levels of lockdown we have experienced throughout these trying times. For example, we could not finalise the Financial Agreement and Memorandum of Incorporation with the municipality due to the challenges of holding meetings at this time.
Owing to the current situation with the pandemic many people may also currently be under serious financial strain. We have to keep in mind many pensioners and retired people rely on their investments for an income, and these are currently severely impacted. The SRA could therefore be another financial strain to many community members at this stage.
We therefore felt the responsible decision was to postpone the implementation of the OVSRA levy for a year. We trust the community understands our difficulty in making this decision and the disappointment of seeing our committed efforts to getting the vote through in time for 2020 implementation dashed. Nobody has remained untouched by this unprecedented situation, including our entire community. We are currently finalising discussions with the municipality regarding agreements that need to be put in place and the processes we need to follow to get the NPC up and running and ensure the implementation for 2021.
We will keep you informed regarding progress made in due time. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard with us to get the votes in place, and we look forward to setting things up in the coming months so we are prepared and ready for implementation in 2021.