Ramsgate Ratepayer’s and Residents Assocation
Newsletter – March 2019
Ramsgate Ratepayers and Residents Association (RRRA)
Dear Fellow Ramsgaters,
2018 was an eventful year, fortunately, ending in a December season, where there were no major issues with water and electricity and by all accounts, the tourism industry had a good season. It would appear thus far, that 2019 will be a busy year.
As residents of Ramsgate know, our village is very vulnerable to the breakdowns in the municipal supply of water by UGU. As highlighted previously, this is as a consequence of several factors.
- The first is an ageing infrastructure, which has been poorly maintained and much of which, has been acknowledged by UGU as needing replacement.
- The second is that Ramsgate’s reservoirs are the last in the main delivery line from the Umzimkulu pumping station and therefore, are always the first to lose supply and the last to be restored.
- The third, is some poor engineering in the design of the local infrastructure, making it difficult to restore supply locally and refill the reservoirs, after prolonged outages.
As you may be aware, the RRRA has, over recent years and with very limited resources, built up a stock of 5 000 litre tanks, which are strategically placed around Ramsgate during periods of prolonged water outages. These tanks are for the benefit of all residents to refill bottles. The water is obtained from reliable sources but it is recommended, nevertheless, that the water from these points be boiled before consumption.
It is important to note, that the UGU tankers are responsible for replenishing the static tanks, but if the drivers are on strike or being intimidated, the RRRA will endeavour to fill the tanks, using the trailer and pump that it has secured the use of, via a rental cost. Only bottles, up to a maximum of 20 litres per person, may be filled from these tanks during a crisis.
The request, per our December 2018 newsletter for Ramsgaters to volunteer as street captains, who will know where the UGU supply line valves are located in their own and surrounding streets, DID NOT, unfortunately, get a good response.
We once again, appeal to all Ramsgaters to volunteer for this critical role in our community.
The task of a captain is not an onerous one, and the RRRA has detailed water reticulation maps of Ramsgate, to assist captains to identify where the valves are located. Often, residents complain that they still do not have water after the restoration of supply, following a break. This may be as a result, of valves not being re-opened.
While UGU staff ONLY, can operate the valves, it is helpful, if the UGU technicians and plumbers, can be guided to the problem valves, so corrective action can be taken quickly. This can speed up the restoration of supply, significantly.
FYI – The RRRA has set up an emergency number, which will be activated when a crisis with UGU occurs. The elderly or handicapped community members who need assistance, are encouraged to use this number. The number is 073 931 5955
As reported previously, the RRRA initially investigated the concept of the RRRA sinking a borehole. This option was subsequently rejected, as there is no way that the equipment can be adequately protected.
Then the RRRA investigated purchasing a water tanker trailer, with pump, to service its static tanks during extended water outages.
An appeal was issued to Ramsgaters, requesting a voluntary contribution towards the cost of acquiring such a vehicle. The RRRA itself was able to contribute R30k to the cost of the trailer, which was going to cost approximately R70k in all.
We as a committee would like to say a huge thank you, to those of you who contributed to this project, as we collected approximately R13k.
However, this unfortunately meant, that there was a significant shortfall in funds to implement this project.
Consequently, the RRRA had to go back to the drawing board, as this option, like the borehole, had to be rejected, partly due to lack of funds but also due to several other factors, which made it a “not viable” option.
Subsequent to that decision, an active member of the community proposed that he would purchase a trailer suitable for the purposes of his business, but which would have the capability of carrying a 2,500l tank and pump. This trailer would then be rented to the RRRA in times of need, at a fair market-related cost.
A suitable contract has been drawn up and signed by both parties, facilitating a situation, where the RRRA has access to the trailer, pump, etc. when the community is in need and the cost of access to this solution will only be incurred at those specific times.
You may have seen this equipment in use during the past two weeks in March 2019 with the recent water debacle?
Your RRRA committee has ring-fenced the funds, which were collected for the borehole and trailer projects and propose to utilize them, to fund the rental of the above trailer going forward.
A huge thank you, to this incredible and committed Ramsgater (who wishes to remain anonymous) for providing a feasible solution to the challenge our community faces, when UGU fails to deliver this essential life-giving service.
We alerted you, in our December 2018 newsletter, to the fact that John Scott, who has voluntarily given an enormous amount of his time on almost a daily basis, looking after the Ramble and keeping an eye on all the facilities of the main beach and other beaches of Ramsgate, had decided to call it a day and as such the RRRA needed a volunteer to take over his critical role.
Unfortunately, no one has stepped up to volunteer their services and the RRRA is desperately seeking a resident, who would be willing to take over from John.
Should you be interested please contact the RRRA on the email below.
KZNRRA (Lower south coast):
The RRRA is actively involved in the KZNRRA (Lower south coast), which, incidentally is chaired by Prof Ransome (previous Ramsgate RRRA Chair).
Prof Ransome has been instrumental in getting the KZNRRA up and running in an effective manner and is taking the lead, in assuring that the various Ratepayers Associations have a forum to discuss key issues with the two municipalities, from a consolidated base of strength. The most recent meeting was held on 20 March 2019.
It is anticipated, those strong relationships will be forged with the key players and that this will contribute, to improved services in the long run.
A grateful thank you to Prof Ransome, for taking on the responsibility involved with that association.
2019 annual members VOLUNTARY subscriptions:
I would like to take this opportunity, to say a big thank you to all of you in general, as there are too many people to respond to individually, who have made payment for the invoice sent out in November 2018, requesting the annual VOLUNTARY subscription payment of R100, for the 2019 year.
The response has been outstanding. You know who you are and we really appreciate your support for those payments, as well as all the extra donation payments that have been made by some of you, in addition to the annual subscription payment.
An invitation has been sent out, inviting all residents to attend the RRRA annual AGM which is to be held on 2 April 2019, at 17h30 at the Lions community hall in Ramsgate. We would really appreciate it, if you could ALL, please make an effort to come along and support your local association.
The committee, is in desperate need of a community member, with the secretarial skills, such as preparing minutes of meetings, etc., to volunteer to assist the team. If you have that skill set and are willing to assist, please contact us on the email below.
Your committee also engaged in a strategic planning workshop during the past few months, incorporating the committee, several prominent Ramsgate business owners, as well as a representative from the Margate Ratepayers association. The document produced, has both short and long term goals, allocated to various people for responsibility.
Residents are reminded, that the RRRA Exec Committee meets formally, in the Village Hall in Ramsgate, at 16:00 on the third Tuesday of every month. Residents are always welcome to attend and to bring their ideas to the attention of the committee.
In concluding, I would like to take this opportunity, to say a grateful thank you, to all our members for your support, both financially and in other ways, it is very much appreciated and finally, to wish all of you a happy Easter season which is coming up, safe travels and enjoy what Ramsgate has to offer.
Chairperson – RRRA
Cell number: 076 243 1910
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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