Updated: Oct 24, 2020
Dear property owners and residents
The Oakhurst Hughenden Meadows Community Improvement District (OHMCID) was officially a year old on 30 June 2020. It has been a challenging first year for the Board with lots of learnings, a few successes and plenty of things carried over to the new financial year.
Although our website is up and running, our communication hasn’t been as good as it could have been. Our apologies. Here is an update across the different portfolios:
The Board has spent an enormous amount of time and energy getting to grips with the regulation and governance processes required by the City of Cape Town (CoCT) to run a Special Ratings Area (SRA also referred to as a Community Improvement District or CID). This has slowed us down but now that we’ve been through a full year’s cycle we now understand what’s needed, by when and by whom.
We have completed all formalisation steps with the exception of registering the OHMCID Not for Profit Company as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) with SARS - so that we don’t have to pay income tax. Our application expired at SARS due to COVID-19 and we have re-submitted via the CoCT’s service provider.
We have finalised our procurement policy which aims to ensure that all purchases are fair, transparent, and free of conflicts of interest. Purchases between R5k and R20k require at least two quotations, and purchases above R20k require a full tender process to be completed.
We are currently busy with our FY20 year-end audit with Harry Curtis & Co (the auditors recommended and approved at the first OHMCID Members meeting in January 2020). Our annual financial statements must be submitted to the City by the end of August and will be distributed ahead of our AGM on 26 November 2020.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, delays in concluding our procurement policy and slow progress in putting out tenders for service providers, we have not spent our full budget for the year. Through the City’s adjustment budget process, an amount of R286k (total income R859k excl. VAT) has been rolled over to FY21 and allocated to three projects (included below under the Public Safety & Security and the Environment & Urban Management sections).
Hout Bay falls under sub-council 16 and we are still trying to secure a meeting with the sub-council’s City manager through whom we are supposed to liaise to address service delivery issues. They are also supposed to appoint an observer to our Board, which they haven’t finalised.
The administrative load is time consuming and we are looking to run a tender process to appoint a service provider who can look after the day to day administration of the CID. We do not want to employ anyone directly and we need them to be VAT registered.
Despite an uptick in crime in Hout Bay over the lock-down period the OHM area has been relatively quiet. Hughenden has borne the brunt of incidents and there were a couple of break-ins in lower Meadows (off the greenbelt running along Main road).
We successfully transitioned the Deep Blue Security (DBS) area access guard from the Meadows Security Initiative to the CID in August last year. The 24/7 guard costs us R27,500 per month.
We donate R3,500 per month to HBNW for the provision of the radio and camera network as well as the Watchcon facility. HBNW in turn pay half of this to CCP as part of the Watchcon outsource arrangement.
We donate R3,500 per month to CCP for their tactical response to security incidents in the CID area.
Together with property owners in Hughenden, we launched the Hughenden Safe Pathway Project to increase security in Hughenden and to provide DY and IY residents with more direct and safer access to Main Road. The City has invested a significant amount of money to construct the pathway on the water servitude between Hughenden and IY. We contributed R225k to fund an additional security fence on the Hughenden side of the pathway. Unfortunately, the CoCT still hasn’t completed the construction, and this has led to even more problems for Hughenden residents and property owners (see Hughenden section below).
We need to finalise the contracting with a camera monitoring service provider. HBNW is currently paying Verifier to monitor the perimeter area cameras – thanks to the ongoing donations of a few OHM residents.
In line with our Procurement Policy, we need to complete tender processes and appoint security service providers for:
Area access guarding i.e. re-run the process through which we appointed and contracted DBS to ensure compliance
Camera installation and maintenance
We have set-aside project and capital expenditure funding to install perimeter cameras along the greenbelt between Main Road and the properties on Woodcutter’s Close and Forester’s Close.
We have identified a number of things that need attention, most important of which is the ongoing degradation of Hughenden and ERF 2286 (the land just above Hughenden). We have made little progress on any of these and our engagements, together with Hughenden property owners, with the City have not translated into the actions promised.
We are looking to run a tender process to appoint a service provider to provide ‘top-up’ mowing, bush clearing, firebreak cutting and alien vegetation removal.
We have set-aside project funding for:
Urban and environmental restoration of Hughenden and ERF 2286.
The improvement of the appearance of the entrance to the area (between the graveyard and the school).
Despite the intention to improve matters, because the Safe Pathway (that the Board has been working on with the CoCT since the beginning of April 2019) has still not been completed, property owners and residents are having to deal with more shacks being erected where construction is not yet finished, massively increased noise levels and an influx of cars/taxis parking along Hughenden road. There has also been a recent spate of gunshots up at the Dontse Yakhe (DY) southern hairpin in Hughenden. A lot of this has been caused by the CoCTs total failure to control the goings on in Dontse Yakhe (DY) and Imizamo Yethu (IY) for years & by them taking down the existing barrier at the DY southern hairpin in Hughenden, in the name of the Safety Pathway, and then leaving it wide open. This is something the Board begged the CoCT not to do, as it would cause dangerous precedents that are hard to roll back. Added to this, there is raw sewage running down Hughenden road and ERF 2286 which has been an open toilet for some time and is now completely strewn with human faeces and litter. These living conditions are unacceptable for both residents of Hughenden and IY/DY. At a follow-up on-site meeting held with relevant City officials on Thursday 18 June 2020, the City committed to:
Completing the pathway at both hairpin bends (IY/DY) and closing both these corners as promised with no pedestrian entry to Hughenden by the end of July 2020.
Installing a strong gate at the DY southern hairpin bend that is always locked unless there is an emergency - the keys to be held at the Fire Station.
Installing proper drainage for the effluent that is now pouring into Hughenden at the DY hairpin bend due to incorrect gulley construction on the pathway
Installing sewer drop access points in DY for these residents to drop effluent directly into the sewer system instead of onto the road which then pours into Hughenden and other surrounding areas, and then ultimately into the river and sea, severely polluting Hout Bay as a whole.
Repairing/reinforcing and making good the existing concrete palisade on the Western boundary of ERF 2286 and DY. This palisade is currently broken open in many places leading to the extensive polluting of ERF 2286 which, although owned by the CoCT as Public Open space, is proclaimed as part of the Unesco World Heritage site of Table Mountain National Park.
Making future plans to remove the shacks off the land over the water pipes next to this concrete palisade. This has been promised many times before by the CoCT
Providing for the way forward with proper consultation regarding ERF 1459 - the triangular piece of land just above the cemetery, which the CoCT has been pushing as a Temporary Residential Area (TRA). The CoCT has tried with 3 separate applications to turn this into a TRA, despite nearly 3,000 objections to the first application. Historically, the CoCT has allowed TRA’s in Hout Bay to simply become permanent extensions of IY/DY. The Hout Bay Ratepayers Association (HBRA) has, at an expense of around R700k, litigated the CoCT to ensure this did not happen. These funds were raised by concerned residents and we are still not out of the woods with the Triangle. Further comms will be issued about this matter from HBRA.
So far none of these commitments have been met in full and after much pushing from Hughenden stakeholders the CoCT finally began on 29 July 2020, only 2 days before their promised deadline, erecting part of the fence committed to at both hairpin bends (IY & DY). However it is important to note that these still remain open, contrary to what was agreed, and this does not yet solve any of the problems associated with this. The Board is incredibly concerned about this situation and is committed to working with the few remaining property owners who haven’t yet given up hope. The success of the CID is at risk if we do not resolve the ‘Hughenden Crisis’ soon.
Resignation of Norman Brook
The Board would like to acknowledge and extend our heartfelt thanks to Norman for spearheading the implementation of the OHMCID and all his hard work during our first year. Unfortunately, due to demanding professional commitments, Norman has resigned as a director and the secretary of the OHMCID NPC. We are looking to appoint another director and outsource the secretarial/administrative function to a service provider.
Could you contribute?
The Board operates on a volunteer basis and would appreciate any assistance we could get from the community. For example, we could do with some help running tender processes and identifying possible service providers.
Please also remember
The Board meets on a monthly basis and property owners are welcome to raise matters of interest or concern at these meetings. The upcoming meeting dates are on the website - simply email email@example.com or RSVP on the Event to let us know that you’d like to raise something
All property owners are eligible to be members of the OHMCID NPC. If you have not yet applied, please download and complete the relevant application form from the website and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org