RAMSGATE RATEPAYERS NEWS
It is the mission of the Ramsgate Ratepayers Association to ensure that the unique characteristics,
natural beauty, tranquillity and safety of the area are preserved and enhanced.
Most of you will know by now that Hazel Voice decided to step down at the AGM in January,
and once again I would like to pay tribute to the sterling work she did since establishing this
Association some 4 years ago. By her actions she has demonstrated that she is passionate about
this wonderful area that we live in. It was, and remains, a task that is in many respects very
frustrating because it entails dealing with municipal officials who are simply not coping.
However, she stuck to her guns, developed useful relationships with some of these officials and,
with the willing help of the community, got many things done without recourse to the
municipality. We should all be very grateful for the enormous amount of effort she put into this
job. She will be continuing with her anti-fireworks efforts and deserves all our support in this.
The New Committee
We have a very tough act to follow, but the following are those who are going to do their best:
Olliver Ransome Chair. Telephone: 039 3149366. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Portfolio s: Cleansing, Water / waste water, Marketing
Sharon Turnbull-Jackson Vice Chair. Telephone: 039 3174473. E-mail:
Portfolio s: Building and Planning, Ramsgate U.I.P. matters
John Makin. Telephone: 039 3149105. E-mail: email@example.com
Portfolio s: Conservancy Liaison and Roads
Bill Ross-Adams. Telephone: 039 314 4837.
Portfolio: Protection Services
Mike Spence. Telephone: 082 415 7330.
Portfolio: Roads and Infrastructure
Dasen Naidoo. Telephone: 082 444 4018. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lexley Lewis. Telephone: 073 180 0357. E-mail: email@example.com
Doreen Gaze. Telephone: 039 314 4927.
Portfolio: Environmental Concerns
We need someone to volunteer to come on to the Committee to keep an eye on the beaches (and
the municipal official who is involved is a very co-operative man Anton Botha)
If you have a problem that you would like us to help you sort out, please contact the relevant
person on the Committee. Please also realise that although we will do our best, this is limited by
the co-operation we get from the municipality.
The Ramsgate Urban Improvement Precinct
For those who want to know more about the background to this additional levy, please visit the
Everything you may want to know is dealt with here.
The Rates Issue
As everyone is too painfully aware, our rates have gone up by an exorbitant amount. Following
the many objections and complaints, the Council were, in my opinion, not initially
unreasonable they conceded that mistakes may have been made and allowed each area to
appoint a respected estate agent to help their appeals forum to come to reasonable conclusions.
They also ruled that anyone who was overpaying in terms of the objection outcome would be
refunded with interest at prime, or that people may pay what they thought was reasonable and,
if they turned out to be underpaying, they would have to pay the difference plus interest at
prime. But they undertook to finalise and publish this process by the end of February an
undertaking which they have failed to honour, and which we, through the Ward Committee,
will continue to push for.
Everybody must understand that while the Council must recover its costs (the quantum of
which needs to be challenged), the State sets the maximum percentage by which the aggregate
rates income may rise and that the important number is the rate randage (presently 6.7 cents in
the Rand). Following the re-valuations it appears that this may well be too high and that the
Council may be obliged to reduce it (but don t hold your breath!). Therefore, the most
important issue about our valuations is that they are correct relative to each other i.e. that
some properties are not relatively undervalued and other overvalued. We should all bear a fair
share of the costs.
Roads are the most worrying aspect of all the problems we face, primarily because of the
enormous, and rapidly escalating, costs of rehabilitating them and the reported lack of adequate
funds to do so. Mike Spence, who has devoted his career to roads, says that many are reaching
the point of no return (re-pave at R1 million per kilometre or revert to gravel) and that pot-holes
are re-appearing faster than they are being repaired. The unusually wet rainy season has, of
course, made things much worse. Through the Ward Committee, the following resolution was
submitted to the HCM in January:
OR proposed that this Committee
1. having received an authoritative opinion that many of the paved roads in the Ward are in a serious state
of disrepair, some almost having reached the point of no return (when repair is no longer possible and
the road must either be re-laid or reverted to a gravel road); and
2. recognising that the roads in the area are a very valuable asset and a key socio-economic factor in
attracting investment and tourists to the area; and
3. recognising that the gravel roads in Ramsgate Extension 3 are in a particularly poor state of repair; and
4. asserting that any reasonable and prudent individual or body, having personal or fiduciary
responsibility over a valuable asset, forms a strategy to maintain, and eventually replace, that asset,
demands that the Director: Infrastructure and Roads of the Hibiscus Coast Municipality prepares, and
submits for public scrutiny, short (1 2 year), medium (2 4 year) and long-term physical and financial plans
for the maintenance and replacement of this asset.
Seconded HV and passed unanimously.
We have not yet had the courtesy of an acknowledgement of receipt, let alone a response! We
will continue to push the Municipality for responsible action.
Concerning the traffic lights at the corner of Alford and the old National Road (R102), the good
news is that the Council has approved them in principle but, regrettably, is dragging its heels
conveying this to the Provincial authorities, who are responsible for the old National Road. This
is also being pushed There will then be further delays because then Province has to do its own
traffic count, work out the cost and convey to HCM what its share of this cost will be..
Building and Planning
A number of interesting developments have appeared recently:
1. Breezie View:
This is a proposal for a large, multi-faceted development of what is now farm land
immediately to the west of Ramsgate s present borders and just north of Alford Road. It
extends on both sides of the highway, and light industry, a shopping centre, residential
plots and an old age facility are planned. Although this will impact negatively on the wild
life of the area, we believe that it will, in the long run, be good for Ramsgate, particularly
as it will create jobs for the unemployed.
2. Erf 2116:
This is also presently farm land and although it has an erf number, does not come under
the HCM. The piece of land is on the south side of Ramsgate, overlooking the Imbazane
River just east of Pistols.
We have objected on the grounds that UGU cannot (or has not been approached to)
supply water-borne sewage disposal, thus putting the river at risk, and that there has not
been an Environmental Impact Study done. We will await developments.
3. Further Waldheim Development:
This is also farm land overlooking the Ibilanhlolo River, west of the highway. In this
case the developers have done all their homework, including provision for a sewage
plant. We have provisionally and conditionally supported the development.
4. Erf 2125
This is a large stand right on the border of Margate and between Marine Drive and the
old National Road. The large house that was on it burned down recently and the area is
now a haven for squatters and skebengu s. The proposal is for 3 blocks of 6 apartments
with retention of most of the beautiful trees on the property. We have supported a Special
Zoning for the proposed plans but not a blanket high density (GR3) re-zoning.
Although garbage removal is very good in our area, maintenance of the verges and picking up
of litter remain huge problems, in spite of repeated interaction with the officials concerned.
Invariably, lack of resources is brought up as the reason for non-delivery.
Illegal dumping is rife and we appeal to all residents who see it happening to take a note of the
registration number of the vehicle involved, so that it can be reported to the police or, better
still, if you have the means, take a photograph and send it to me.
Water and Waste Water
These are the responsibility of the UGU Municipality and, by and large, work well. We
certainly drink tap water without problems. An unfortunate combination of a prolonged
ESKOM outage with a burst main pipe lead to the water shortage problems a few months ago.
We appeal to anyone who notices either a leaking water main or a sewage leak to report this to
039 6885830 or 080 009 2837. I have found them to be helpful and reasonably efficient. When
doing this, the number of the erf nearest the problem must be known.
Our Community Policing Forum is steaming along well now that it is properly funded you
will be getting the stats from them.
We remain unhappy about the wider policing issues, including traffic policing. We also, along
with most other areas like us, strongly believe that policing should be re-sectorised. Bill Ross-
Adams proposed the following at the Ward Committee in January:
1. noting that Protection Services were dysfunctional and had all but collapsed in the HCM area;
2. being able to give many examples of the truth of this statement (see addendum below); and
3. noting that the traffic police were also too thinly spread,
calls upon the HCM to allocate sufficient resources and management to enable this situation to be
rectified, and also to re-sectorise these services.
Seconded by OR and passed unanimously.
We haven t had a response or an acknowledgement of receipt!
The Conservancy group continue to do sterling work, not the least of which is our magnificent
Whale Viewing site overlooking the south side of the main beach. If you haven t been there to
have a look, do yourself a favour. They are also fighting alien vegetation, which, with the
unusually high rainfall we have had, is thriving; they need funds to do this please help.
Through the Ward Committee, we put in the following resolution to the HCM (with similar
results to the others):
1. noting that there is widespread invasion of alien vegetation; and
2. noting that the HCM is doing nothing about it; and
3. recording that the Ramsgate Conservancy Group has volunteered to supervise this work
calls upon the HCM to comply forthwith with the statutory obligation under the National Biodiversity
Management Act (2004) to deal with this problem, viz.:
All organs of state in all spheres of government must prepare an invasive species monitoring control and
eradication plan for land under their control, as part of their environmental plans in accordance with
section 11 of the National Environmental Management Act
The long-awaited tidal surge repairs have at last begun, the central beaches being under the
supervision of the consulting engineering firm, Stewart Scott. This is costing millions (not from
our rates!) and will probably take months to complete. The work due to be done in Ramsgate is
primarily that of restoring the beach path south of the main beach, but without any concrete
The Priorities Questionnaire
You would all have received the letter from the R.U.I.P. and the questionnaire from me. Please
fill it in and return it as soon as possible, analysing it is going to be a big job which I would like
to get behind me. The next Newsletter will be about the results.
A group which calls itself the KZN Ratepayers and Residents Association has been formed,
centred in Pinetown, with the aim of organising collective action. Everybody is fed up with
poor service delivery and high rates and there are evidently more than 200 of the approximately
280 municipalities in South Africa which have declared disputes. The KZN Group is trying to
get various sub-groups organised in the Province, one of which stretches from Umdoni to Port
Edward. We have indicated our willingness to be part of this sub-group and will keep you
informed about developments.
When push comes to shove, the only weapon we have (apart from the ballot box) is a rates
boycott. Having been through an unsuccessful one in Johannesburg, and having heard at the
AGM what Robin Petterson said about the difficulties entailed, my own personal view is rather
to push the negotiation angle as hard and as high up as possible before going this route.
However, if anyone feels strongly enough about it and wants to organise it, I will not stand in
We (your EXCO) will be holding a strategic planning meeting in May and will report back on
the conclusions of that meeting.
For those who don t already know, the address is:
Please visit it - it contains a mine of information.
We are looking for people to advertise their services on the site and the initial fee until the end
of the year will be R100, thereafter the annual fee will be R250. Links to the advertiser s own
website will be provided.
Funding the Ramsgate Ratepayers Association
Having done about 100 priorities questionnaires, the majority opinion at the moment seems to
be that a voluntary donation of R100 per year should be made by those who feel that we are
doing something worthwhile for Ramsgate. Interestingly, a few people said we should be
funded by an additional levy on the rates!! In due course we will produce a budget and publish
it. If you want to send a cheque, please make it out to the Ramsgate Ratepayers Association
and post it to PO Box 346, Ramsgate, 4185.
New Banking Details
Because they offer free banking to Non-Profit Organisations, Dasen Naidoo has arranged to
move our bank account to the Nedbank. The details (for those who would like to do EFT s for
their contributions) are as follows:
Nedbank, South Coast Mall Branch
Branch code: 139728
Account number: 1397088457
Useful Emergency Numbers:
EMERGENCY NUMBERS 10111
RAMSGATE CPF NO: 073 486 8683
Don t forget let s communicate and solve our problems by collective action!