Overall, the past financial year has been a good one for Royal Ascot. The landscaping is looking great and crime is minimal; leading to high demand for residential property, both for rental and purchasing. Sadly two months ago, Peter Dayson, our landscaping trustee, passed away; may he rest in peace.
The Annual Financial Statements have been circulated. Levies (revenue) saw an increase of 10% to R2.66m. Interest income increased in line with our cash holdings to around R65k. Expenses were managed tightly and saw a negligible increase of 0.1% at R2.45m. Tax of R4k was also paid because of reaching the interest exemption threshold. We have therefore added another R270k to our reserves during the year. Our liabilities increased marginally from R63k to R111k, while our cash reserves increased from R832k to a healthy R1.15m.
The landscaping portfolio continued to see the positive influence of Peter Dayson. He looked to revitalise and replant many areas. He, Planning Partners (our landscape consultants) and our services company, Servest, did a commendable job of maintaining our beautiful landscaping.
Old benches were refurbished, and kids play area equipment was repaired during the course of the year.
Further incidents of vandalism along Bridle Way and Parade Ring Road caused damage to our irrigation systems. After costly repairs we decided to advance our camera installations to monitor more areas.
Sadly, on 7 August 2015, Peter Dayson, our landscaping trustee, passed away. This came as a complete shock to us; he will be sorely missed. He was known as the hardest working trustee, was passionate about what he did, and took pride in what he accomplished. In two short years as a RAMPOA trustee he truly made his presence felt; the landscaping never looked better. He single-handedly contributed tangible value to every single property in Royal Ascot.
In recognition of his contribution and achievements the trustees have decide to erect a memorial bench and plaque in memory of Peter.
Infrastructure, in this case, refers mainly to the roads and sidewalks. RAMPOA does not own this infrastructure, and therefore has to work closely with the Cape Town Municipality to ensure repairs and maintenance gets done.
We performed a comprehensive audit of all items needing attention during the 2013/2014 financial year, from road markings requiring new paint to crumbling roads, sidewalks and drains. We’re still monitoring progress against this list of required repairs, and have added more to the list. Progress has been slow. Although we have a good relationship with the Cape Town Municipality, we are hamstrung by their limited resources and their need to prioritise areas needing more critical attention.
We partner with Crime Watch, which provides vehicle patrols and camera surveillance services. This increases visibility of crime prevention and supplements security provided by residential precinct and commercial precincts.
There have been very few crimes committed in the residential precincts of Royal Ascot; noticeably fewer than in surrounding areas. Unfortunately, there have been a few robberies at the Paddocks Shopping Centre which is of concern. However, the Paddocks owners are improving their security all the time to allay any fears customers may have.
We have further expanded our surveillance camera network by installing more cameras in carefully selected spots, in Grand National Boulevard and Parade Ring Road, around commercial precincts and on the roads leading into Royal Ascot.
Residential precincts, their trustees, and residents have contributed valuably towards the Royal Ascot community. Some precincts have painted its buildings and others have painted its boundary walls, which contributes towards the good image of Royal Ascot. Individual property owners have also improved their properties. We also thank all owners and precincts that take their responsibility, to secure their precincts and their own properties, very seriously.
We should all strive to be the best we can be to improve our community.
The commercial precincts have brought life to Royal Ascot. Cape Grand China and Hirsch’s seem to be operating well, and the Stodels Centre seems to be doing well. The Paddocks Shopping Centre continues to improve its tenant mix, which has created a vibrant atmosphere for all Royal Ascot residents.
As owners of property within Royal Ascot we should all be supporting the commercial precincts as much as possible. Together we create a vibrant, viable and value-adding Royal Ascot community.
Milnerton Racecourse Nature Reserve
The Milnerton Racecourse Nature Reserve is a tremendous asset that falls within the boundaries of Royal Ascot. It is ably being managed by the Environmental Management Committee (EMC), and the site manager, Landi Louw, who manages the day-to-day operations and ensures that the interests of the Milnerton Racecourse Nature Reserve are looked after within the broader Table Bay Nature Reserve structures.
Royal Ascot is situated in a very ecologically sensitive area, between the Milnerton Racecourse Nature Reserve and the Rietvlei Nature Reserve. We should all take heed of the EMC rules that apply to us all. Furthermore, we should take the opportunity to venture into the nature reserve and experience the beautiful sights and sounds of the area.
I would like to sincerely thank Zulfa Solomon, our Portfolio Manager (from Rabie Property Administrators). Zulfa works tirelessly to ensure the smooth functioning of RAMPOA; she is always willing to help where she can.
Thanks also to the members of the Executive Committee, Peter Dayson (posthumously), Basil Tommy, Tony Heath, Charl van der Merwe, and Brian Davis. I thank you for your support and contributions during the year. Thanks also to all the members of the RAMPOA trustees committee for their interest and support during the year. Being a trustee is a thankless job; but know within yourselves that you helped make your precinct and Royal Ascot a better place to live in for all.
I am a proud owner in Royal Ascot. Thanks to all of you for making my job easy, and for contributing to a great Royal Ascot community.