SHOW OF VIGILANCE: CCID public safety officers patrol St George’s Mall. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA
Cape Town - The Central City Improvement District (CCID) has urged the City to support its request for more money, given the influx of tourists and local visitors to the CBD.

“The CCID needs to invest in its infrastructure so that it is able to meet the challenges it will face in the next five years,” said CCID chief executive Tasso Evangelinos. “The CCID’s current five-year plan, which ends in July 2020, is based on a budget approved in the 2014/15 financial year.”

The CCID’s 2018/19 annual budget is R60624218. The City was asked to support a 12.5% increase, which would include an annual inflationary increase.

The bulk of the additional budget would be spent on the critical areas of safety and security, social development and urban management.

“The CCID has a mandate to provide top-up services to our primary partners, namely the City of Cape Town and the SAPS, and together we have been successful in ensuring the CBD is regarded as the safest downtown in the country,” Evangelinos said.

The budget would cover additional contracted security personnel, law enforcement officers and traffic wardens; additional urban management and cleaning services including extending the highly successful Long Street Bin Project, piloted in the 2018/19 financial year and which has been running for 12 months, into neighbouring Loop Street; additional graffiti removal; increased “hot spot” cleaning (the removal of organic waste from city streets); increased litter collection and road maintenance; and bolstering the resources of the social development team which engages with the most vulnerable people in the CBD community: the homeless.

The increase in budget would also allow for the continuation of various outreach projects, including added funding towards the Khulisa Streetscapes project, which is a substance harm-reduction programme and the TB/HIV Care programme which provides regular one-on-one sessions, group therapy, education and support.

Mayco member for finance Ian Neilson told the Cape Argus that the proposals would be published with the draft budget for public comment.

“The City will only decide on the matter once public comment has been received, and has not yet taken any position on the proposals.

“The proposals come from the City Improvement District board, not the City. In accordance with the five-year business plan, the increase would have been 7.5% which means that the additional rate requirement (used to fund CCID operations) was increased by a further 5%. This is a proposed budget and still has to be approved by council as mentioned,” Neilson said.

“The proposed budget increase aims to provide more of a CCID presence in the public space which is well managed and will serve as a deterrent to would-be criminal or anti-social behaviour. The City may not and does not fund the CCID, which is funded by property owners within its boundaries.

“The City merely collects the individual contributions from property owners by charging an additional rate on the property valuation and paying this over to the CCID monthly.”

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Cape Argus