Camps Bay CID responds to CRAG

Spencer McNally, Chairperson of the Camps Bay CID Steering Committee

The recent letter from the Cape Rates Action Group (CRAG) (“Alternatives to CID”, Atlantic Sun, 12 October, 2023) refers.

The Steering Committee (SC) of the proposed Camps Bay CID is sympathetic towards the views expressed therein, and the SC values the fact that in our democratic society citizens are able to raise such issues for public discourse.

Nonetheless, the reality is that the alternatives suggested by the CRAG cannot be pursued as part of the current CID application process, for the simple reason that any and all such alternatives are ultra vires.

More specifically, the relevant CID legislation provides for only one possible funding mechanism, whereby property owners pay an additional levy that is determined by reference to their municipal property valuations.

Furthermore, there is no permissible mechanism whereby non-property-owners can be levied in the manner in which the CRAG suggests. The fairness or otherwise of all of this is a moot point as the prescribed funding model is the only option legally available.

The CRAG is of course free to pursue its preferred alternatives independently of any CID application process. This will take many years and require significant funding and resources to lobby the legislature in order to change the relevant laws to obtain a result satisfactory to the CRAG.

Camps Bay does not have time to wait and see if such a path of action is successful. Camps Bay has pressing problems that must be addressed now if property owners are to protect their quality of life and the value of their properties. Currently and for the foreseeable future, a CID is the only option to achieve that.