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The CID levy seems high. Can we reduce costs and proceed with a more affordable solution?

The Steering Committee spent a lot of time discussing potential options for the Business Plan, and consulted far and wide, particularly with other CIDs regarding what has been found to be effective elsewhere.

The short answer is that while we could of course reduce the budget, doing so would not be optimal, and would result in substantially less effective outcomes, particularly for public safety and dealing with homelessness / vagrancy / illegal structures.

For example:

  1. Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) are an absolute must. Without them, we would not have power of arrest, which is crucial for dealing promptly with (for example) the building of illegal structures. In case you didn’t know, the law says that once the roof is on a structure, however ramshackle, then the occupant cannot be evicted, hence speed is often of the essence. Given your location at the top of the Little Glen green belt, we’re sure that you appreciate the importance of this.
  2. We absolutely have to have multiple tactical response (TAC) vehicles, as we often have more than one incident in progress at a time, and we need to be able to get LEOs to the location of these incidents quickly. And of course having only one LEO would leave us very exposed when a second incident happens, so two LEOs is again an absolute must. We would actually have preferred three, but kept it at two in an attempt to keep costs contained.
  3. Foot patrol officers are an effective deterrent to crime, begging, vagrancy, etc in busy tourist areas, which our beachfront strip most certainly is. Unfortunately, the strip is often busy 14-18 hours a day, which increases the need (and cost) further.
  4. Blanket coverage of road intersections and green belt edges using CCTV is key. Reducing coverage would create gaps for criminals and vagrants to exploit. And again, without sufficient resources (TAC and LEO) to respond to alerts a large CCTV network would not be effective.
  5. Our solution has to be holistic and integrated. For example, if we cut costs and only clean up the beachfront then from experience at other CIDs (which have taken less integrated approaches) and from CBCSI we know that the homeless structures will simply migrate to the green belts. Again given your position at the edge of a large green belt, it is very much in your interests that our plan includes proper upgrading, maintenance and monitoring of those spaces to remove escape routes and hiding places and increase foot traffic.
  6. Similarly, a properly integrated plan for social services is key, for both ethical / compassionate reasons and for public safety. Our plan gives homeless people a viable alternative to living on the street (i.e. rather than simply shifting them off to some other place, likely our green belts), and demonstrably increases public safety also.
  7. We agree that it would be ideal if our rates and taxes paid for all of the above, but that’s unfortunately not how reality works. Nonetheless, a key function of a CID is to hold the City (and other government structures, including SAPS) to account for performance, so that will be a big part of what the CID’s full-time staff will do every day. 

Under our proposals, half of all property owners will pay R1,043 extra per month, less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day.

If you are already paying R395 per month towards the voluntary Camps Bay Community Security Initiative (CBCSI, which the CID will replace), that will fall away. We believe that this is a very reasonable amount to invest in ensuring the long-term value of your property, safety of your family and quality of your life in Camps Bay.