Community Improvement District

» Ratepayers & Residents Association
» Councillor's Report
» Pinelands Neighbourhood Watch
» CID / Special Rating Area
Chairman: Riad Davids
Secretary: Sally Borchert
Exco Member: John Berry
Exco Member: Gavin Biggs
Exco Member: John Stinson
Exco Member: Val Stinson

Where The CID Application Stands

Councillor Brian Watkyns reports that in May 2009, Council passed the Special Rating Areas By law and Policy which paves the way for residential CIDs. We expect to hear more about the implications and possibilities of this soon.

Why The Pinelands CID Was Formed

Four and a half years ago Pinelands became the target of a number of serious crimes. When an elderly couple were brutally attacked in their home and subsequently died of their injuries, the Neighbourhood Watch Committee approached the local police station to seek help. A meeting was called and over a thousand residents attended to hear how this could be achieved.

By mutual consent it was decided to divide Pinelands in 12 zones. Each zone was to have a controller and volunteers who would assist the police in patrolling their area and to report any untoward activity. The Neighbourhood Watch realized that this would only be a short term solution as residents would eventually become reluctant to continue to patrol.

The solution to form a more permanent structure proved to be a mammoth task. In June 2002 the Neighbourhood Watch, together with the Ratepayers Association, formed and supported a Steering Committee to run with the forming of a CID( City Improvement District) for Pinelands.

The History Of The CID Application

The Steering Committee approached the local Council and received from them a booklet, "Establishing And Managing City and Improvement Districts" Over the next four months they followed the By-law religiously. By October 2002 they had a comprehensive business plan in place and were ready to take this to the residents and get their approval.

A public meeting was advertised in two local newspapers and was held in the Pinelands High School Hall on the 6th November,2002. There was an overwhelming response to the proposed business plan and over 800 of the residents that attended signed support forms. The Committee gathered further support by having information tables at Howard Centre and Central Square. By January 2003, 69% of the residents had signed in support of this business plan.

In accordance with the By-law objections had to be noted and these amounted to 1%. With all the necessary details conformed to in accordance with the By-law the Committee were confident to submit the plan to Council for approval.The plan was submitted on the 17th January 2003 for the February Council Meeting.

The Council approached the Committee and asked to defer the Council hearing till March, 2003. The Committee agreed, and in March when the Council finally scrutenised the plan, were deeply disappointed when a decision was deferred till July 2003. This was due to Durbanville having a pilot project of a residential CID. Council was awaiting a report on their progress before granting our CID.

The Problems With The Application

In the meantime, the By-law had been updated and although certain criteria had changed the business plan was still valid. By February 2005 the Committee was no closer to an answer. Then finally the Mayor consented to give the Committee and audience. There she informed them that Pinelands could have a CID as long as we followed the by-law. Little did we know at that time the by-law was again to be updated. This updating could only be done after the elections in November 2005 and therefore we would again have to wait.

Mr Ebrahim Rasool then became Premier of the Western Cape. As he is a Pinelands resident the Committee invited him to attend the Ratepayers Association's General Meeting in October 2004. He was present when a brief but comprehensive account of the progress/non progress of the CID was given. He then addressed the residents and said he would endeavour to help us with this project, but to date there has been no further communication.

The Future Of The CID Application

Over the past years there has been a vast number of residences sold and bought and a good majority of those that signed the original support forms have left Pinelands. This means that when the new By-law is presented to the Committee they will have to start from scratch.

Our belief is that a CID can make Pinelands a safe, clean town, where jobs opportunities can be created for those in neighbouring areas who are desperately in need of work.