HPP Newsletter - February 2024

Supplementing Municipal Services for a Safe, Clean and Healthy HSRA

Eastern Hermanus

Dear Hermanus Special Rating Area (HSRA) Property Owner,


During February

  • Statistics released by the South African Police Services (SAPS) on Friday 16 February for third quarter of 2023/24, show that the number of violent crimes committed in the Western Cape outstrip the number of violent crimes committed in other provinces. The increase in contact crimes in the SAPS Hermanus Precinct (which includes Karwyderskraal, Fisherhaven, Hawston, Vermont, Onrus, Sandbaai, Zwelihle and Hermanus) is concerning.
  • HPP and the Hermanus Ratepayers Association (HRA) facilitated a Think Tank, dealing with homelessness, vagrancy, and unemployment in Hermanus.
  • As part of the Term Extension Project, the business models of three neighbouring Special Rating Areas have been examined.
  • The initial camera installation for the Kwaaiwater Camera Project took place at Kraal Rock.


Increasing levels of contact crime recorded by SAPS in the Hermanus precinct.

In the middle of February, the South African Police Service released its crime data for the third quarter of 2023/2024, comparing it with figures from the same period over the past four years. The latest statistics for the third quarter nationwide reveal a rise in various criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, murders, and sexual offenses, although there has been a decrease in property-related crimes during this timeframe.


Within the Hermanus precinct, which encompasses Karwyderskraal, Fisherhaven, Hawston, Vermont, Onrus, Sandbaai, Zwelihle, and Hermanus, there’s been a noticeable uptick in contact crimes, nearing levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. Particularly concerning is the surge in crimes against individuals, notably common assault and robbery, with many of these incidents concentrated in Zwelihle, Mount Pleasant and Hawston. HPP has been alerted to numerous robbery cases along Swartdam Road and is collaborating with SAPS and Law Enforcement to enhance awareness and conduct active street patrols.


Similar to the national trend, property crimes have decreased throughout the Hermanus precinct. However, it’s important to approach this decrease with caution, recognising that some homeowners might not report property crimes to the police for various reasons.


During an election year, common crime incidents that increase include election-related violence, voter fraud, theft, and vandalism. Public disturbances and riots may also occur during protests. Cybercrimes such as hacking and spreading disinformation may rise due to increased reliance on digital technology. Opportunistic crimes like theft, burglary, and assault may also increase amidst distractions and heightened emotions surrounding the elections. We remind you to remain vigilant to these possible issues.


With the approaching elections scheduled for the end of May, HPP will be vigilantly scrutinising crime levels and trends in the area. We remain committed to close cooperation with local SAPS and Overstrand Law Enforcement and will utilise shared intelligence to inform appropriate responses.


Think Tank on homelessness, vagrancy, and unemployment in Hermanus.


The purpose of the Think Tank.

A group of 25 people gathered on 5 February to gain a deeper understanding of the threats of vagrancy, homelessness, and unemployment in Hermanus. The view was expressed that, given the socio-economic circumstances in SA and indeed our region, these threats will most likely intensify.


HPP is thankful that the HRA has played a leading role in addressing the situation and in facilitating the Think Tank.


At the start of proceedings, it was emphasised that HPP offers supplementary services to those of the Overstrand Municipality (OM) and that our mandate does not include social upliftment initiatives. At most, HPP can currently support the OM’s efforts in a limited way.


Wide ranging discussions included topics such as our current reality, the nature of the problem and our desired future.


Recommendations made.


A range of recommendations were made, which included:


  • The public must be encouraged to report cases to SAPS and the OM Law Enforcement team. Without diligent reporting a proper understanding of the problems will go amiss, and incidents may escalate.
  • Unity of purpose, effort and sound coordination needs to be achieved in addressing these problems.
  • A “Homeless /Vagrancy management plan”, executed by a mandated steering team and backed by substantial involvement from the OM and business groups, is required.
  • The OM needs to be asked to reignite the excellent work done by the Homeless Working Group and to play the leading role it did in the past.
  • Enlist the help of business in crafting and funding a solution.
  • Establish a public private partnership to address these issues.
  • Engage with the departments of Health and Social Development. Psychiatric and substance abuse facilities are required locally.
  • Employ a third-party specialist organization like Uturn.
  • Revisit the night shelter model and extend its operations.
  • Learn from what the City of Cape Town is doing.


Next Steps

A request has been made to meet with the OM Mayor and Municipal Manager.

Delegate group discussions at the Think Tank

Term Extension Project


In last month’s letter, I advised that the HSRA’s mandate ends in July 2025. A project to seek extension of the HSRA mandate for a further five-year period, was launched on 22 January 2024. An early stage of the project includes examining neighbouring City Improvement District (CID) models. In February the CIDs of Voortrekker Road, Claremont and Pinelands were examined. The information gathered supplements the data gathered in 2023 from the eThekwini, Umhlanga, Johannesburg, and Cape Town CID initiatives. We have noted that:

  • The term “City or Community Improvement District” is preferred to that of “Special Rating Area.”
  • The identification and management of specific precincts within CIDs is common. A precinct is described as “a walking scale urban area, focused on service provision and public spaces which knit the area together.” In the current HSRA we possibly have three precincts (Residential, CBD and Industrial) with their own characteristics and requirements. (It is understood that Westcliff, Northcliff, Eastcliff, Hermanus Heights, Fernkloof and Voëlklip could be included in the “Residential Precinct.”)


It is expected that the prioritised need to provide a safe and clean environment will be common to these three precincts. In the CBD however, parking management could for instance be a unique need.

  • Because of the increasingly challenging socio-economic situation in South Africa, social upliftment (to address vagrancy, homelessness, and unemployment) is a common addition to the cornerstone services required to provide a safe and clean environment.
  • Where property owners in non-residential areas such as the CBD, require different services to those provided in residential areas, different SRA rates are determined.
  • Parking management is not seen as an integral part of CID services in the examples studied thus far.


During March, one of the focus points will be to ensure that the project meets all legal requirements in its application to the Overstrand Municipality to extend the term.


Good News Story

On February 15th at 15:38, HPP received a report from a CBD business, Funky Vibes regarding a shoplifting incident. Despite lacking an initial suspect description, the owner swiftly reviewed in-store camera footage to provide one.


HPP promptly notified CBD foot patrols and HPP Vehicle Response Officers to watch for suspicious behaviour. Jason Botes, HPP Contract Manager, who was in the area at the time, conducted patrols to locate the suspect.


During patrol, Mr Botes spotted a male with colourful items resembling those from Funky Vibes. The individual retrieved a plastic bag from a nearby bin, transferring the items into it. Mr Botes maintained visual surveillance, guiding officers to the suspect’s location.


Thanks to rapid response, HPP Foot Patroller Officer Mabone intercepted the suspect before he could flee. A search of the bag revealed stolen items matching the shop’s report.


The suspect and recovered items were returned to Funky Vibes, where the owner identified both. The stolen goods totalled R1655.00. SAPS arrived and arrested the suspect for shoplifting and possession of stolen goods.


As always, HPP urges you to remain vigilant and to be safe.

Jerry van Niekerk


HPP Chair

E-Mail: chairperson@hpp.org.za

Website: https://hpp.org.za


Emergency Numbers

Emergency Services 
HPP Control Centre087 550 5295
SAPS (Police)028 313 5300
Fire Department028 312 2400
Overstrand Law Enforcement028 313 8000 OR 028 313 8111
National Sea Rescue (NSRI)112 or 087 094 9774
Medical Services 
Provincial Ambulances028 492 0032
St John’s Ambulance076 585 0899
CMC066 222 7219