Minutes of Special Meeting 13th March 2024 – Safety & Security

Elizabeth thanked all for coming and especially Multi and Sky, as none of the others invited to attend braved the rain. She voiced regret that SAPS, the ward councilor and the neighbourhood watch were not present.

Suggested measures to reduce crime in Bathurst were:

  1. Cameras: Presently we have cameras at the Shawpark intersection and the St. Francis Road intersection as well as some cameras in the waters meeting side of the village. Multi is able to monitor, but each solar powered camera will cost about R 85’000.00. Monitoring costs are about R 750.00 per camera per month. Bathurst would have to choose the hot spots and main routes.
  2. Lighting: One suggestion was to add some street lighting. Some other suggestions was that households should put in motion sensor lighting. Or make use of drones to monitor the areas.
  3. Visible policing: Multi mentioned that visible policing and neighbourhood watches are actually very effective, as they can be disrupting a crime in progress or even preventing it from being carried out, despite the fact that criminals can hide easily in the surrounding bush of Bathurst.
  4. Community Police Forum: It is important to re-establish an operational CPF structure in Bathurst and improve the liaison with the police. This can be done under the roof of BR&RA.
  5. Car guards: The problem of car guards was briefly discussed, but no real solution was found.


Minutes of Special Meeting 17th January 2024 – SRA

The idea of establishing an SRA was mooted by certain members of the Bathurst community late in 2023.  Chris Boyd made a presentation to the January BR&RA Community Conversation which is available here. BR&RA has researched aspects of establishing an SRA, and our analysis and report is as follows.

Establishing and Operating an SRA
(Special Rating Area, also known as an Improvement District)

What is an SRA?

A Special Rating Area (SRA) is a clearly defined geographical area, approved by the Municipality, in which property owners can raise levies to fund ‘top up’ or improved services for that specific area.

 Regulatory Framework Governing SRAs

 The following Acts are relevant to establishing and governing SRAs:

    1. Municipal Property Rates Act (MPRA)Section 22,
    2. The Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA),
    3. Companies Act Section 21,
    4. The SA Constitution Sections 152 & 153, and
    5. The Municipality Improvement District By-law (where it exists).


  1. A local authority aims to provide all its residents with certain basic services such as water, sanitation, refuse removal, electricity (unless Eskom direct) etc – up to an equitable standard. For ratepayers who wish to enjoy municipal services of a higher level, an SRA provides them with the option of paying for these additional services, which should be affordable and sustainable.
  2. What normally happens is that a metropolitan area (Cape Town, Jo’burg, Gqeberha) passes a by-law according to the provisions of Section 22 of the Municipal Property Rates Act, in order to create a framework for the establishment of SRAs.
  3. An SRA is, however, initiated by a community, and not by the Municipality. It usually starts with ‘champions’ within a community who feel the necessity to upgrade the environment within the boundaries of a certain area. They then compile a business plan indicating how the improvements are to be achieved, and present this to the community at a public meeting.  Property owners are then lobbied for their support.  A majority (more than 50% – Cape Town, 100% – Jo’burg) has to give written consent to the formation of an SRA.
  4. Once consent has been obtained, the steering group has to submit the business plan, motivation report and implementation plan, as an application to the Municipality.
  5. The proposal is then advertised in the media to allow affected parties at least 30 days to render any comments or objections. The Municipality then considers the application and the objections.
  6. After the Municipality has approved the application, a board is elected and a Section 21 company is set up with VAT registration, a bank account, accreditation, etc., etc.  This must all be in place before the Municipality bills the property owners in the designated area and pays over their levies to the SRA.  (Less a certain percentage allowed for possible bad debts.)


An SRA is a Section 21 company managed by a board elected by its members and operated by a management team appointed by the board. The Municipality is not involved in their day-to-day operations, but merely exercises financial oversight and legal compliance.

  1. An SRA manages its own finances and appoints its own auditors. The audited financial statements form part of the Municipality’s consolidated accounts, which are reviewed by the Auditor-General. In addition, monthly financial reports are submitted to the Municipality to monitor that expenditure is incurred according to the business plan.
  2. An SRA is funded entirely from the levies paid by its members. It does not receive any subsidies from the Municipality but does have the powers to raise additional loans and sponsorships.  Normally, ratepayers agree to pay an excess over and above their ordinary rates and service charges to improve on certain aspects of municipal services, such as security provision and street cleaning.
  3. An SRA does not have the power to hold the municipality to account for provision of basic services such as road maintenance, sanitation, water provision, refuse removal or electricity (where applicable). The SRA provides only supplementary “improvement” services.

 SRA Levy calculation

  1. The SRA management confirms the details of the database of property owners within the boundaries of the SRA, which is then linked by the Municipality to the municipal valuations according to the most recent general valuation roll.
  2. The SRA management prepares an overall budget for the year based on the specific needs of the area. The individual levies are then calculated by dividing up the budget total according to the municipal valuations of each SRA member. The more valuable properties pay proportionately higher levies.
  3. The budget formula allows for a differentiation in levies for the different types of properties – be it residential, commercial or industrial.
  4. This levy is expressed as a cent in the rand and is applicable over a financial year, which starts on 1 July.
  5. The SRA budget and proposed levy have to be approved by the Municipality and advertised for comments and objections prior to implementation on 1 July.
  6. Once levy and business plan are approved by the Municipality, all property owners within the boundaries of the SRA will be charged an additional levy which is mandatory.
  7. The SRA sets its own 3-year budget according to input from its members. The Municipality does not get involved in this process.  Each year, the SRA board has to submit a detailed budget to the Municipality by 31 January. The proposed budget may not deviate materially from the approved business plan and three-year budget.

 Questions for Bathurst

  1. How do we persuade Ndlambe municipality to create an SRA by-law?
  2. How do we become the only SRA in the country to operate – as envisaged – on the discount between current rates/service charges and what we think we ought to pay? Every other SRA simply pays a percentage over the top.
  3. Bathurst has only a few hundred ratepayers, and a total municipal rates/service charge income devoid of support from major commercial or industrial operations.
    Assuming we can negotiate to have a percentage of this paid into the account of the hypothetical SRA, what could we achieve with so little money?
  4. Is it worth trying for?

 Elizabeth Milne
BR&RA Chair and former Director of Muizenberg Improvement District


Minutes of Annual General Meeting 22nd November 2023

Ray Schenk’s presentation on the importance of working with the Municipality was truely enlightening and very interesting.

Chair’s Report  – available here

Financial Report – available here

Election of Committee: No new nominations were presented and the committee was re-elected as follows:

Chair                   Elizabeth Milne
Treasurer            Warwick Lewarne
Secretary            Claire Rothwell

Minutes of meeting are available here.  


Held at Pike’s Post, Wednesday 20 September 2023

About 25 people signed the attendance register.  Apologies were received from a number of community members, and from one member of the committee.

Nick Cowley, Stan Esterhuizen and Jacqui Nel (of Ndlambe municipality) agreed to be panellists.

Nick Cowley gave a brief summary of some mysteries surrounding the building of the hall more than 100 years ago.  Stan Esterhuizen gave an example of the kind of symbolic bridge-building function that could be fulfilled by the hall rebuilt as a library and information centre.  Chris Boyd filled in some background regarding events following the February 2022 fire.  There are various conflicting accounts of events, and apparent lack of effective investigation by SAPS.

Jacqui Nel was standing in for the Director, Corporate Services, of Ndlambe municipality, who had been invited but was unfortunately not able to attend.  She set about supplying information regarding municipal action in respect of the insurance claim for the building.  The claim was initially repudiated by the insurers (whose identity was not known), but eventually settled at something over R500 000 after being challenged by Ndlambe.

Enthusiastic questioning by Bathurstians identified a number of gaps in the information Jacqui Nel was able to provide.  It was therefore resolved that BR&RA would elicit additional information from the municipality as soon as possible, and would also take steps necessary to ensure that the statutorily required public participation process is undertaken forthwith in order to allow planning of a way forward.


Minutes of Special General Meeting 18th July 2023

BR&RA Draft Minutes of SGM held at Showgrounds on18 July 2023 18:00

Attendance register 22,  Apologies 6

  Topic Decision
1. Constitution Elizabeth asked if there were no objection to the amended constitution which had been sent to all members for perusal with the invitation to the special general meeting.

Chris Boyd asked that the changes were briefly outlined and Elizabeth explained them all.

Chris expressed concern about the change of ‘The inclusion of juristic persons as well as natural persons as members of the BR&RA’ on the basis that if a resident had many businesses, he could have many votes. Elizabeth explained that the reason for the inclusion was mainly that quite a few farms in ward 6 are trusts and therefore excluded. The dispute was resolved and Chris agreed to write an amendment to the constitution that corporates could have 1 vote per fee, as long as they were properly registered businesses.

The amended constitution, subject to the agreed amendments, was accepted unanimously.

2. Presentation by Lindsay Luppnow Lindsay, as chairlady of PARRA gave a great presentation about the beautification of Port Alfred town in conjunction with the Ndlambe municipality and the importance of working together and service delivery.
3. Presentation by Hyman van Zyl Hyman presented the Sunshine NGO Forum, the development of aid and the Sunshine NGO Center

Minutes of General Meeting 19th April 2023 & Annual Report

Minutes of GM of the Bathurst Residents and Ratepayers Association held on 19th April 2023:


Chris Boyd welcomed all who attended and thanked them for taking time out for this meeting.

Topic Decision
1. BR&RA background Chris Boyd explained the reasons for the 2021 reestablishment of the BR&RA.
2. Warne Rippon  proposal Warne Rippon had to cancel at short notice. Chris Boyd gave a summary of what he thought Rippon would say.
3. Chairman’s report Chris Boyd presented the Chairman’s Report – see below.
4. Roads Chris Boyd engaged with the municipality regarding the maintenance of the minor roads, in the hope that that would translate into a budget. This didn’t happen.
5. Burned-down hall No progress to report
6. Volunteers 17 members expressed willingness to get involved with BR&RA efforts.
7. Financial statements These were presented by Warwick Lewarne, and accepted.
8. Constitution Chris Boyd mentioned that this would have to be revised and approved at a special general meeting.
9. Election of new executive committee The following members were proposed and seconded:
Elizabeth Milne: Chairperson
Shane Steenkamp: Vice Chairperson
Warwick Lewarne: Treasurer
Clare Rothwell: Secretary
10. Votes of thanks A vote of thanks for Chris Boyd was proposed.
Chris Boyd proposed votes of thanks for Patrick Grafton and Stanley Esterhuizen.

BR&RA – Chairman’s Report 19 April 2023 by Chris Boyd  – available here

General Meeting held 28th August 2021

In 2021 some residents in Bathurst felt that the old and defunct Residents and Ratepayers Association should be re-instated and thus a General Meeting was held on 28th August 2021.

  • Constitution:  Earlier version of a constitution had been revisited and significant amendments were proposed and this new version was adopted without any amendments. The constitution is to be submitted to the national depaartment of Social Development and BR&RA registered as s non-profit organisation. The municipality will be notified that a bona fide rate payers association has been formed and requested to be recognized as such.
  • Elections:     Chairperson           Chris Boyd
    Vice chair               Stan Esterhuizen
    Secretary                Clare Rothwell
    Treasurer                Warwick Lewarne
    Membership          Carey Tesselaar
  • Membership fees:    Proposed membership fees are R 150.00 per member or couple and R 200.00 per family.