MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF THE 17th MAY 2017
MINUTES FOR THE MONTHLY PUBLIC MEETING OF THE
NEW KILLARNEY-RIVIERA ASSOCIATION
HELD AT THE MALL MANAGEMENT OFFICES (1ST FLOOR OFFICE TOWER)
ON WEDNESDAY 17 MAY 2017 AT 17H00
PRESENT: Wayne Ford (Killarney Village); Deon Pelser (Brenthurst Court); Faye Susser-Sher (Whitehall Court); Colin Froneman (Chartwell); Charles Whyte (Beverley Heights); Elena Joaquim (St Johns Wood); Mike Kalk (Brenthurst Court); Julie Wilson (Killarney Hills); Trish Terry (Gleneagles); Jaco le Roux (Chartwell); Dave Jones (Chartwell); Eleanor Huggett (Ward Councillor); Paulo Joaquim (Sevenoaks); Margaret Urban (Hanover Gate); Ruth Kuper (Gleneagles); David Kramer (Chartwell); Amora Visser (Killarney Park); Andre Papadopoulos (Hanover Gate); CA Devorik (Hanover Gate); Cara Snyman (Earls Court); Chelsea Paull (Gleneagles); Estelle Jacobs (Killarney Park); Larry Benjamin (Gleneagles); Mahmood Sonday (Dukes Court); Rochester Shen (Mentone Court); Tim Davies (Chartwell); Yogan Naidoo (Dukes Court).
The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Captain Moonsamy (SAPS); Dean Dada (RCS Security); Vivian Cobbett (Biarritz); Hussein Dudhia (Hampshire Mews); Dalien Rutenberg (Glenhof); Harry Rutenberg (Sevenoaks);
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
• Captain Moonsamy had apologised, but he sent Wayne the crime statistics for the past four weeks: – 4 thefts of vehicles; 2 shoplifting; 1 common assault; 1 common robbery; 1 drunk driving. Vehicle-related crimes are thus still our most serious concern. Please would you all warn your members and your visitors about the risk of car theft if they are parking in the street. Car thefts happen in broad daylight as well, not just at night.
• Security guards are greatly assisted by cameras, especially at night, and cameras help the police a lot to follow up on crimes. However in order to be really useful, the cameras need to be powerful enough to show faces and car registration plates.
• The noise and disturbance problems in 1st Street continue, particularly at the taxi rank, and are seemingly getting worse.
• It was clarified to the meeting that the proposed taxi rank project is still in the very early stages. The Mall owners are currently reassessing their draft plans based on all our feedback, and they will make further decisions once they have had time to consult with their technical people. If they decide to proceed with this project, then they will at some point need to apply for condonation from the City Council. This will require public participation, in a process where affected residents can make their case to the Council. Only if the Council determines that the interests of all other parties outweighs the interests of the immediate neighbours, can the Mall proceed with construction. If that condonation is given at all, it will have conditions attached, in order to protect the rights of the affected residents. This process will take months, not weeks. There is thus no need for panic.
• The current taxi-and-hawker situation in 1st Street is already negatively affecting the investor-perceptions of Killarney overall, and if we don’t do something proactive to address this, then all our property values will be affected – not just those in 1st Street.
• Please note also that if you are putting doom-laden comments about crashing property prices on Facebook etc, a future buyer doing research will see those comments years down the line, and it will indeed affect the property prices, for the entire suburb.
• Various attendees then spoke on various aspects of the problem.
• It was clarified that the taxis are not only used by Mall employees and shoppers, but are also used by many people who live or work in the Killarney residential buildings as well.
• It was mentioned that the proposed plan is more like a formal “taxi terminus”, in that it has provision for holding bays and wash-bays and toilets as well. It was explained that the traffic congestion and the people urinating in doorways in 1st Street are major components of the existing problem, and that the Mall is therefore specifically trying to help us to address these issues – at great expense to themselves – by providing these extra facilities.
• It was clarified that the main problem with the taxis is that criminals hide among the queuing passengers. JMPD are not able to manage this problem on the street, but moving the taxi facility onto private property will allow at least this aspect of the problem to be properly managed by a private security service. We will have very different powers on private property compared to in a public street, and much of the problem could in fact be managed if the facility is moved onto private property.
• If the JMPD could be persuaded to do their job properly, much of this issue would disappear. However that is not going to happen in the foreseeable future.
• It was once again suggested that we investigate a suburb-wide CoreTactical project, and that this might be affordable if enough buildings join in.
• Booming off the street will not help to solve the problem, even if we could get permission from Council, which is doubtful.
• It was agreed that this is a complex social issue, and it is not just a matter of expanding the security or the law enforcement aspects.
• It was suggested that we should engage directly with the taxi associations to seek to establish a better working relationship. We have however been warned by the Council not to enter into deals with taxis, because that can lead to the taxis claiming that they have been “authorised” to deviate from the by-laws going forward, thereby making the by-laws even more difficult to enforce in future.
• It was generally agreed that the situation in 1st Street is untenable and needs to be addressed. The residents in 3rd Street sympathise deeply with the residents in 1st Street, but they are concerned that moving the taxi facility into 3rd Street will merely relocate the problem rather than solve the problem.
• It was agreed that we all need to work together to find a mutually agreeable solution for Killarney as a whole, rather than having a 1st Street group and a 3rd Street group fighting each other to protect their narrow self-interests.
• The Mall is trying to assist us here, they do not wish to harm Killarney. They have assured me that they are taking our inputs very seriously, and that they are open to modifying the plan in order to find appropriate solutions, to the extent of their inherent constraints.
• It was agreed that we are all aware of the problems, but we need to identify actual workable solutions as well. It was thus agreed to form a task team to discuss the matter in detail, outside of NKRA general meetings. There is already a task team consisting of 1st Street residents, but we need to expand this group to include our 3rd Street residents as well. Any resident who wishes to participate should volunteer their services to Wayne by email.
• Rochester committed to continuing as our CPF representative, but he needs more advance warning of meeting dates. Wayne will correspond with the CPF chairman to resolve this.
6. FEEDBACK FROM COUNCILLORS
• Court action is underway by the Council against the owner of Martindale Mews, to remove illegal backyard shacks and to ensure that the by-laws are complied with in future. The admin person in charge is struggling now to find the file. Clr Huggett will monitor progress for us going forward.
• A shack has been built on the highway embankment, opposite the east end of 5th Street. It is removed regularly but the occupant keeps rebuilding it. This will only be finally solved when the homeless person in question finds better accommodation.
• The new Council and administration are clearing the backlogs which they inherited from the previous administration. This is taking time, but progress is being made. JMPD have advertised for 1500 new JMPD officers, and they received about 60,000 applications. The City is bankrupt, and has a shortfall of hundreds of billions of rands. The fixing process will take time, and although they will not be able to fix everything overnight, we should be able to see substantial improvements in the next year or so.
• Water leaks persist in Newton Road cnr Houghton Drive, and in 5th Street cnr 4th Ave.
• The street lights in 5th St and 2nd Ave fail regularly. They are repaired, but then fail again shortly thereafter. This leaves cars and people vulnerable to thieves and hijackers. It was suggested that buildings which are affected by these issues should consider installing their own LED floodlights, connected to their own internal power sources, as many buildings have already done.
7. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
• Wayne and Clr Huggett are pursuing the various fibre-optic companies to properly reinstate the pavements and streets which they have dug up. They dig a new trench regularly, and are very slow in reinstating the roads and pavements. Riviera Road is particularly affected. Recently the workers were using jackhammers in the middle of the night.
• Potholes are a recurring problem. Please see http://www.jra.org.za/find-and-fix-mobile-app for details of the JRA “Pothole App”, or call 011 375 5555.
• We need many of the road markings to be painted again please, especially stop streets, no-parking zones and speed-humps.
• The Lhenveolan building in 1st Street has resumed the repainting of their exterior, and work is also continuing inside the building. They seem to have changed plan and are now using a neutral beige colour in place of the original fashionable burgundy red.
• Election posters should all have been taken down by now. The ANC posters are largely still in place. You cannot take them down yourselves, as that would be considered theft, but please call JMPD to report them, on 0860 562 874.
• Some posters advertising a protest march were illegally glued onto the sponsored bins in 3rd Street cnr 2nd Ave. The RCS cleaner has largely removed them, but blobs of dried glue and bits of paper remain.
• All buildings are urged to care for your own pavements, as that will instantly make our suburb a “garden suburb” and a much more attractive place to live. If we allow litter and weeds to accumulate, the general appearance of the area will deteriorate quickly, and this will severely affect our quality of life and our property values. We already have two street-sweeping projects in Killarney, sponsored by RCS Security and Vered Properties respectively. In addition many buildings already look after their own pavements magnificently. However it would help even more if every other building could join us in this effort as well.
• Please 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 new call centre hotline number – 080 872 3342. Please keep the reference numbers for follow-up.
10. FINANCE AND MEMBERSHIP
• The 2017 membership invoices have been sent out, and already 25 buildings have renewed their subscriptions for the 2017/18 year. Splice in Riviera has joined the NKRA for the first time – we extend a warm welcome to our neighbours at Splice!
• If your building would like to also become an NKRA member, please contact us.
• Killarney Court are looking for a new building manager – preferably a full-time person. If you know of a good building manager who is looking for a position, please let us know.
The meeting was closed, with thanks to the Killarney Mall for hosting us.
Our next meeting will be held on
WEDNESDAY 21 JUNE 2017 at 5pm
PLEASE PASS ON THESE MINUTES TO OTHER RESIDENTS IN YOUR BUILDINGS
JMPD call centre hotline number – 080 872 3342.
SAPS patrol van – 071 675 6001
If you get no response, please call the Hillbrow Joint Operations Command Centre
on 011 488 6712, or call 10111.