In the last 12 months more than 20 homes have been totally destroyed or severely damaged by fires in the St Francis Bay area.
It is an important fact to note that property owners are liable for the management of their stands, not the municipality.
If your stand is overgrown and something goes wrong, there is a strong chance that you could be liable for damages resulting from fire damage.
The municipality intends to ensure that owners comply with bush clearing bylaws, and if not, the repercussions include stand clearing by the municipality at a high cost, that is recoverable from the stand owner.
SFPO Service Offering
As a result, the St Francis Property Owners (SFPO) has stepped up to assist owners of residential stands to comply. A new committee role has been created to focus on bush clearing.
In brief, the SFPO Fire Risk Reduction initiative will offer the following service:
1. A single contact point for owners who have received notices from the municipality or are concerned about the state of their stands.
2. A status alert to owners whose stands need urgent attention.
3. Access to simplified information regarding bylaw standards.
4. An audit of the state of stands and their variance from the standards required by the municipality.
5. Access to a panel of approved, competent and equipped service providers.
6. Based on a stand audit, the submission of transparent cost estimates to owners. Rates are expected to be well below the municipality published rates.
7. Provision of a payment gateway.
8. Release of fund to service providers on satisfactory completion of work agreed.
9. Notification to municipality of compliance of stand.
This is the first part of the Fire Risk Reduction communication, with more to follow.