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The unavoidable win of a Special Rates Area

Despite Eskom and SAA, some things are working out OK in South Africa.

There are a few great reasons why the #imstaying hashtag has real relevance, but just a few.

The slow but relentless pervasion of Special Rates Areas in the country are indicative of a nation that wants to
stay, that wants things to be better than they are, and who are prepared to roll sleeves up, climb in and make
things happen before the speed of urban decay overtakes the rate of upgrades and restorative projects.

It takes a certain type of leadership, a definite skill in business management, and obviously a desire to improve
a swathe of peoples’ lives and not just your own, in order to run an SRA effectively.

The Special Ratings Area in St Francis Bay is one such area out of the many in the country. At last count we were just short of 40 SRA’s nation-wide.

Over the last two decades the greater St Francis area has experienced various forms of decline. There are many
ways to apportion blame, but the only way to get stuff done, as is often the case in life, is to take control of a
situation and actually get it done yourself.

The St Francis Bay SRA has made some massive steps, and with their constant consulting with the Cape-based SRA’s
like Green Point and Llandudno SRA’s, have kept abreast of best practices, and have held the line with regards to
their goals and objectives.

The 141 cameras were installed to great success, and the resultant percentile drop in crime was significant and fairly instantaneous.

The upgrade of the Entrance Road to the Village as the first phase in the restoration of the arterial roads was
completed as a resounding success.

Works included for rehabilitation of the road pavement on the link road between Lyme Road North and South and the R330; improved drainage to accommodate surface run off during heavy rains and replacing a Municipal water main under the intersection that was in poor condition.

The SRA also provided for a drop-off point for commuters; provided pedestrian footpaths and crossings to improve road safety.

It also provided speed humps, parking for taxis, an all weather pedestrian shelter for Humansdorp bound commuters, improved street lighting and undertook landscaping to enhance the aesthetics of the intersection.

st francis bay SRA
The Kromme River. Photo: Clive Wright

There has been great feedback and overwhelming positivity from all, especially from regular visitors, homeowners living elsewhere, and tourists alike.

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The building of groynes at St Francis Bay and the sand pumping from the heavily silted Kromme River is the next
project.

The excitement in the St Francis area amongst the surfers and business owners is palpable, with everyone wanting
the process to get underway as soon as possible, and not be held back by unnecessarily hindering processes.

It is understood that the groynes and the sand pumping could transform St Francis Bay into one of the best and most consistent surfing zones in the world.

Arno Lane, surf industry businessman and The Store surfshop owner, is excited about the SRA’s plans for the
groynes and the sand pumping plans.

“We are completely for the groynes in St Francis Bay, and looking at the success they have had world wide in
restoring beaches, are excited about this prospect,” said Lane.

“With our shop in St Francis Bay, it would be great for the holidaymakers to be able to frequent the beaches in the town instead of going to Cape St Francis or Jeffreys Bay and losing the potential revenue.

I do believe it would be in the town’s best interest to back the project and get the beaches back, and keep the tourists and visitors in town.”

To follow the St Francis Property Owners NPC on Facebook visit  https://www.facebook.com/SFPOSavingStFrancis/

The St Francis Property Owners (SFPO) Non Profit Company (NPC) will be having their AGM soon:

Date:            17 December 2019
Time:            17:00
Venue:          St Francis Links

Photo: Darren Peens

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