Glenwood businesses can expect safer and cleaner spaces and the enhancement of property values after they reached an agreement with municipality.
DURBAN - Glenwood businesses can expect safer and cleaner spaces and the enhancement of property values after they reached an agreement with eThekwini Municipality to establish an Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP) in the area.

The UIP idea follows the successful implementation of the same programme in uMhlanga and Durban’s Florida Road.

The city’s executive committe yesterday approved the establishment of the UIP and Glenwood Special Rating Area, which means that commercial property owners will pay an additional rate for the improvement and upgrading of the area.

A member of the UIP board, Heather Rorick, clarified that the UIP was not a residential project, and said that the residents of the area would not have to cough up extra money.

“Basically, the business owners and landlords of commercial properties will be footing the bill,” she said.

The executive council yesterday said that a tabled report cited the uMhlanga and Florida Road UIPs as good examples of how UIPs had played a positive role in obtaining private funds and energy to work alongside the municipality.

“This will result in substantially improved public space environments and will raise property values and investment, as well as social and ­economic vibrancy in their areas,” the report read. It further stated that Glenwood was an area in transition with the potential for a high road or a low road scenario, depending on how well it was managed and maintained.

“Many residential houses have been turned into commercial properties with a dynamic mix of small businesses that brings a higher rates value to the city,” it read.

Umhlanga UIP precinct manager Dewet Geldenhuys said a UIP worked as a supplementary service to the municipality.

Geldenhuys said that in uMhlanga, the UIP swept, cleaned and maintained the solid ground, while the municipality focused on the beaches.

“We help DSW on the solid ground and ensure that all light faults and potholes are reported to the municipality. In this way, property values are enhanced and we keep the place safe, clean and green,” he said.

The Glenwood UIP will be managed by a non-profit company, with a board of directors and will employ its own staff.

The operational plan will have four pillars, including security, maintenance, branding and beautification projects and social responsibility.

The report detailed that community ambassador street monitors would be employed while a security company would conduct 24/7 patrols and back-up to the monitors.

The police and private security companies will also work hand in hand with them.