As South Africans, all of us are faced with various challenges on a daily basis, be it crime, unemployment, or inadequate service delivery. Even though we have a functioning municipality in Cape Town, demands on our resources are increasing, which is why it’s becoming more and more common for residents to start working together to uplift their own areas and communities where the municipality can’t provide.
For many years, Welgemoed has been known as an affluent suburb, but we face our own challenges and are exposed to increasing crime and vagrancy – often a spill-over effect from issues elsewhere.
Crime, especially, increased exponentially over the last few years and we all knew something had to be done, as law enforcement agencies were under heavy pressure. This led to the establishment of WelgemoedSafe in 2011. As a community, we took hands and, after a successful fundraising campaign, the camera monitoring system was installed in 2013/14. By working hard at initiatives such as this one, and the neighbourhood patrols, we managed to buck the crime trend in Welgemoed, but we’re still under pressure in this regard, with serious crimes still happening in our area. We have to maintain our vigilance and fight crime together as citizens.
WelgemoedSafe has been very successful, but it’s now time for the next step, which would be to officially register our neighbourhood as a City Improvement District (CID), also known as a Special Rates Area (SRA). The structure of a CID is governed by legislation and the City’s by-laws. It allows property owners to become involved in the management of their own area by collecting money through the City’s billing system (up to a maximum value of 25% of the property rates). This money is then ploughed back into the area.
The CID structure is nothing new and has been especially successful in improving areas that have become run down over the years. Welgemoed may not fit that description, but it doesn’t prohibit us from employing the same structure to further improve our area – collectively.