MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF THE 15th JANUARY 2020
MINUTES FOR THE MONTHLY PUBLIC MEETING OF THE
NEW KILLARNEY-RIVIERA ASSOCIATION
HELD AT SHOP 56 OF THE KILLARNEY MALL
ON WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY 2020 AT 17H00
PRESENT: Wayne Ford (Killarney Village); Charles Whyte (Beverley Heights); Mike Kalk (Brenthurst Court); Floh Thiele (La Camargue); Tony Mantle (Gleneagles); Dean Dada (RCS Security); Vivienne Cobbett (Biarritz); Margaret Urban (Hanover Gate); Adrienne Egbers (Cranwell Hall); Annica Marincowitz (Chartwell); Clinton Knop (Dumbarton Oaks); Sipho Dlova (Killarney Gardens); George Kymdell (NAMA); Priya Hargovan (The Rivieras); Oda E Maraire.
Wayne welcomed everyone to the meeting, with Seasons Greetings.
2. APOLOGIES RECEIVED
Dimitri Clayton (Brenthurst Court); Colin Froneman (Chartwell); Tim Davies (Chartwell); Jaco le Roux (Chartwell); Julie Wilson (Killarney Hills); Zeenat Ghoor (Killarney Hills); Ruth Kuper (Gleneagles); Eleanor Huggett (Ward Councillor); Kayte Denham (Pam Golding Properties).
3. DISCUSSION OF TIME CONSTRAINT
• We will strive to keep the discussions short and relevant, so as to finish by 6pm.
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
• The Minutes of the previous meeting were taken as read, and were approved.
5. SECURITY FEEDBACK / SECTOR CRIME FORUM
• Sergeant Mdlolo did not attend, and no crime statistics have yet been received. Wayne will follow up with Sergeant Mdlolo.
• We have appealed to the chairman of the Hillbrow Community Policing Forum to assist us to get better support from the SAPS, some of whose officers are unaware that drinking alcohol on a public road is illegal. Cameras will make a big difference here, because the drinkers can see a police car approaching, hide the alcohol, and then continue drinking illegally once the car is gone, thereby avoiding fines and confiscations.
• We have still had no feedback from Cityprop re the future of the taxi rank, and we no longer expect to get any more communication on this subject for the foreseeable future. The Mall management were clearly embarrassed by the negative response of the community to their last attempt to “help” the community, and they feel that they were misled by the We Love Killarney organisation. Our efforts to obtain information about the Mall’s future development plans from municipal planning officials have been blocked on grounds of confidentiality. We have therefore applied to obtain this information via the PAIA process, but we have been warned that it is not a quick process, and that we will not necessarily succeed.
• However, we do still have a good relationship with the centre manager. Floh is a tenant of the Mall, and is approaching the centre manager on our behalf to request their assistance with managing the excess litter caused by the taxi rank. We hope to get a positive response.
• The security situation is looking very positive in the Safe Zone in the two blocks of 1st Street to the west of 2nd Avenue. Charles reported that the street parties are now reduced to an occasional gathering of a handful of people, that the Safe Zone guard is very effective in reducing the occasional disturbance, and that the festive season was unexpectedly quiet and peaceful. He reported that improving the lights in that street seem to have added a lot of value, and that the NKRA camera is now mainly watching for evidence of alcohol being brought out of buildings onto the street. Residents from the Hyde Court building are no longer much of a problem, and we are now focusing on the few remaining problems relating to residents from the Lhenveolan building.
• We have recently enjoyed the presence of a number of JMPD new recruits, which is a welcome development. However the new recruits are not always accompanied by an experienced supervisor, and they seemingly only work on weekdays, whereas the street drinking problem is most serious on weekends. The councillor and the CPF will be requested to assist with this issue, so that we can get full value from these JMPD people while they are still here.
• In addition, the security situation is getting steadily worse further up, in the blocks of 2nd Street and 3rd Street, where we are seeing increasing urban deterioration. This includes a growing number of street drinkers in 2nd Street near the Mall, and occasional disturbances caused by the Uber drivers in 3rd Street, as well as the occasional illegal car washers and hawkers in both of 2nd Street and 3rd Street. All of these issues contribute to a general erosion of the by-laws, and if left to themselves, things will continue to deteriorate.
• Various ideas have been proposed, but as usual we are struggling to secure the necessary funding for the projects. An idea to install a second high-quality camera in 2nd Street has run into some problems, including the costs of hiring extra guards to monitor the cameras, as well as all the trees and parked vehicles which make it easy for law-breakers to find blind-spots in which to do their business. The Vumacams are more expensive but even less functional. We are therefore researching additional alternatives.
• One relatively cheap and easy option is to mount a high-quality mobile camera on a tuk-tuk security vehicle, which can film its surrounds as the vehicle circulates. A simple slow drive-by at the drinking spot can record a lot of evidence, although we will need to ensure that we use a very high-quality camera.
• To keep costs manageable we envisage starting with a pilot project of one mobile guard, for at least 10 hours per day, and for at least four days per week – probably Thursday to Sunday. The envisaged patrol area is large (all of 2nd Street and all of 3rd Street between 4th Ave and Killarney Ave), but if the guard is in a motorised vehicle he can cover a lot of ground fairly quickly.
• The guard will have a radio and a phone, and can be contacted by the guards of participating buildings if they need help with a car thief or purse snatcher etc. For most of the time, he will circulate and “be visible”, and hopefully create a substantial deterrent effect, as well as taking note of issues and recording evidence with a mobile camera.
• The project can obviously increase and develop over time, as and when more funding becomes available from additional buildings.
• We have obtained some quotes from RCS Security, who are currently implementing the Secure Zone in 1st Street, and who already have a tuk-tuk in Killarney. Costs range from R7,800 for 10 hours per day for 4 days per week, up to R14,160 for 12 hours per day for 7 days per week.
• This project has suffered up to now because most buildings wait to see what the other buildings do first, and this inertia is harming all of us, as the erosion of the by-laws is continuing to gather momentum. We really need for some buildings to create a critical mass by joining the pilot project, after which we are more likely to get additional volunteers joining in. If we start with the 4-days per week version, then we only need four buildings to contribute R1950 per month each. If we get more than four buildings coming forward, then we can expand the project to cover more days for more hours, and the area will become steadily safer.
• In order to break the inertia and get the pilot project started, we have started approaching individual households in the affected zones to see if they are prepared to make small donations toward the Secure Zone project. Already 20-30 households have committed to making monthly donations, and although this is not nearly enough to fund the whole project, it certainly is a very meaningful contribution. The admin effort required to manage numerous small donors is quite substantial, so it has been suggested to let them donate to the NKRA, who will accumulate and pass on the funds collected to the service provider. However we will have a problem in that the quantum of donations will fluctuate substantially from month to month.
• It was suggested at the meeting that perhaps the NKRA could also use membership money to underwrite the project for a few months, filling in the shortfall between what participating buildings and residents contribute and what is needed to fund a basic pilot project. The NKRA does not have the financial means to fund this project substantially or for very long, but if two or three buildings come on board, then it might be valuable for the suburb overall if the NKRA tops up the pot to help get things started. The meeting approved a theoretical maximum expenditure of R24,000 for this initiative, but this expenditure will also need to be approved by the other member buildings who were not represented at the meeting. If any member building objects to us using NKRA money to assist in getting this project started, please would you let us know urgently?
• Floh Thiele, our representative to the Hillbrow Community Policing Forum, will be away at the beginning of February, and we need a substitute please for the meeting of Wednesday 5 February (at 6pm, at the Hillbrow Police Station). These meetings are our best opportunity to convey our concerns to the senior police officials, and to get their attention and support. Melissa, who was our official back-up to Floh, has recently moved out of Killarney.
• It was previously reported that homeless people are living in the vacant stand in Oxford Road, next door to The Rivieras complex. The police and the councillor have been informed. Please would the residents in the area help to keep an eye on the activities at that vacant stand?
• Sgt Mdlolo can be contacted on 071 675 6000. Please call her directly if there is any problem requiring the SAPS.
• When you notice a problem developing with a street party or similar, please first call the City emergency hotline on 011 375 5911 and ask the operator to log a call for you. Don’t let them just transfer you to JMPD, make sure they first log a call for you with a reference number. If JMPD don’t thereafter arrive within about 30 minutes, then contact the Councillor with your reference number and ask her to chase JMPD for service.
• Councillor Huggett can be contacted by the community at any time, by SMS or WhatsApp, on 071 785 8068.
6. FEEDBACK FROM COUNCILLORS
• The councillor did not attend this meeting.
• The councillor will however be asked again to follow up with the JMPD about the deployment of the JMPD officers in Killarney, to get some presence on weekends as well, and to ensure that the officers are aware that drinking alcohol is illegal on a public pavement.
• The councillor will also be asked to obtain action on the serious potholes in 3rd Street between 4th Ave and 2nd Ave, as well as in 7th Street at the corner of 3rd Ave.
7. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
• In December we undertook repairs on various pavements in Killarney, to improve safety for pedestrians. The work was done as agreed, and although we did not devote a lot of time and effort to achieving aesthetic perfection, the primary safety objectives were achieved. The cost was R24,600 as quoted, and this invoice has been paid. The meeting agreed to wait until after the rains before starting on phase 2 of this project.
• It was suggested that the pavement in Riviera Road outside Daventry Court should perhaps be fully repaved, as the ancient flagstones have been much disturbed and are now dangerously uneven over much of the length of that block. This project would be very expensive, but perhaps it can be attempted if Daventry Court are prepared to finance it. However there are many pipes and cables under that pavement, so there is the risk that it will be dug up again at some point, and once again poorly reinstated afterward.
• A project was suggested to level and pave the pavement in 7th Street at the Gautrain bus stop, where the pavement is very narrow and quite uneven. We will again need to find donors willing to help fund this, as a paving project along that entire pavement could cost more than R30,000, depending on what we choose to do there.
• It was noted that some pavements get very messy very quickly, especially those which do not “belong” to any specific building. The most serious is 7th Street, a high-traffic pedestrian route whose northern pavement borders the motorway embankment. This area is again overgrown with weeds, semi-blocked in places by branches from adjacent trees, and smothered in litter and dumped rubble. We have done clean-up operations here several times before, and it is time to do this again. A messy area attracts more litter, as well as other lawless activities, and criminals will feel safe to gather in the deep shadow of those overhanging branches at night. The meeting resolved to hire RCS Security to once again clean this entire pavement. The maximum budget approved was R3,600.
• It was agreed that more pavement rubbish bins are needed in the areas of 1st Street and 2nd Street closest to the Mall, where people are inclined to litter profusely. We cannot get bins from the normal source unless we have sponsors willing to advertise on those bins, but that sponsorship is expensive, and if we do find sponsors then the bin company will probably move unsponsored bins a few blocks from other places in Killarney to these locations, thereby causing “bin-shortages” elsewhere in Killarney. If there are no bins in a spot with much litter then the litter will simply end up on the floor, so the meeting resolved to purchase some suitable bins to be placed in high-litter locations. Medium sized bins cost around R2500 each, but we need the biggest bins possible, as a new bin will not help much if it is constantly overflowing. An initial budget of R10,000 was approved by the meeting for this project, so research will continue.
• Meanwhile, all buildings are again asked to help with this problem, by each keeping your own pavements and gutters free of litter and weeds at all times.
• Please would all residents continue to report problems on roads and pavements to the JRA at http://www.jra.org.za/find-and-fix-mobile-app, or call 011 375 5555. Please keep the reference numbers for follow-up.
• Please also use the number 0860 562 874 to report all road and pavement-related problems to the municipality. This includes all cases of rubble being dumped on pavements, potholes in roads or pavements, road signs in need of repair, streetlights not working, blocked storm-drains, or traffic lights out of order. You can also report all of these issues to the call centre hotline number – 080 872 3342. Please keep the reference numbers for follow-up.
8. FINANCE AND MEMBERSHIP
• Invoices for the 2020 membership contributions will be sent out shortly.
• With an increasing need for security projects, pavement repair projects, street cleaning projects and other such things, the pressure on our finances this year will be steep. Nonetheless, these things need to be done, and so we hope that most of the buildings in Killarney-Riviera will support us in 2020.
• If your building would like to join up and help us to make our area Safer, Cleaner, Better and Greener, please contact Wayne on firstname.lastname@example.org
• We ask all residents to help us to monitor the number of people who are living illegally on the motorway embankment please.
The meeting was closed, with thanks to the Killarney Mall for hosting our meeting.
Our next public meeting will be held on
WEDNESDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2020 at 5pm
PLEASE PASS ON THESE MINUTES TO OTHER RESIDENTS IN YOUR BUILDINGS
JMPD call centre hotline number – 080 872 3342
JMPD Control Room – 011 758 9620
City emergency hotline on 011 375 5911
SAPS patrol van – 071 675 6001
If you get no response from the patrol van, please call 10111
Councillor Huggett – by SMS or WhatsApp – 071 785 8068