MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF THE 19th APRIL 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 19 APRIL 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); Vivian Cobbett (Biarritz); Trish Terry (Gleneagles); Shireen Desai (Chartwell); Jaco le Roux (Chartwell); Dave Jones (Chartwell); Hajee Hoosen (Sloane Square); Behram Camay (Brenthurst Court); Captain Moonsamy (SAPS); Dean Dada (RCS Security); Eleanor Huggett (Ward Councillor); George Kymdell (NAMA).
The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Paulo Joaquim (Sevenoaks); Dalien Rutenberg (Glenhof); Margaret Urban (Hanover Gate); Ruth Kuper (Gleneagles); David Kramer (Chartwell).
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 presented the crime statistics for the past four weeks: – 4 thefts of vehicles; 4 thefts out of vehicles; 3 shoplifting; 2 frauds; 4 assaults; 2 attempted car thefts; 2 robberies; 2 general thefts. Vehicle-related crimes are thus still our most serious concern.
• The noise and disturbance problems in 1st Street continue, particularly at the taxi rank.
• The Mall is continuing the process to establish a formal and controlled taxi facility on private Mall property, and hopefully this will alleviate much of the current problem in 1st Street, although probably not all of it.
• Wayne gave some background on this long-running taxi problem, for those attendees who have not been attending our meetings regularly.
• The taxis are a public transport necessity, serving hundreds of passengers every day, and they cannot be wished away. They have been operating in Killarney for years already, and they are currently causing a problem in 1st Street, which is actually much too narrow for a taxi facility.
• The Mall has existed since the 1960’s, but minibus taxis were not invented until much more recently, and the town planners of the time did not anticipate them.
• This illegal taxi facility has caused traffic congestion in 1st Street and Killarney Road. There is also a serious problem of parked taxis blocking private garages, and of passengers and drivers urinating in the doorways of neighbouring buildings. The taxis have also attracted illegal hawkers, and more recently drug dealers, to our area.
• As 1st Street is a public road, only the JMPD can exercise law enforcement here, and they are not doing their job. One of their excuses is that the taxis are a public transport necessity, and that there is no other place to accommodate them. The buildings in 1st Street hired a private sector security company to manage the problem, but a private sector security company is not legally allowed to impose control over citizens in a public street, so we are unable to manage the drinking and the drug-selling ourselves.
• The Mall’s private property is the only available space in Killarney for building a proper facility. If the facility is on private property, the Mall will be legally entitled to exercise control, unlike in the public street. The Mall is willing to finance the cost of the construction, and the cost of the sweepers and security guards. They are also prepared to build dedicated toilets on the site, to remove the problem of passengers and drivers urinating in doorways.
• The “most viable” site and design, as identified by the Mall’s engineers, is in the open-air parking area next to Pick ‘n Pay, with access from Killarney Road at the intersection of 3rd Street. The taxi associations are apparently happy with this particular proposal, and the Mall has now begun consultations with the two buildings which will be most affected, Brenthurst Court and Chartwell.
• Representatives from both Brenthurst Court and Chartwell were in attendance, and they expressed their concerns at length. These two buildings are opposed to the proposal “in the strongest possible terms”, on the grounds that it will impact on their quality of life and on their future property values.
• It was pointed out that the proposed taxi facility is intended to be a proper “taxi terminus”, with toilets and wash-bays and holding areas.
• The Chartwell and Brenthurst representatives expressed their extreme concern about the traffic congestion situation at the intersection of 3rd Street and Killarney Ave. At present this intersection has 2 stop streets with pedestrian flows, one exit for cars from the Mall, one entrance/exit for delivery trucks, and an entrance/exit to the Chartwell garage. If this draft proposal is implemented, this intersection will need to also accommodate the taxi flow in the same space as is currently used intermittently by the delivery trucks. One version of the draft plan shows a taxi entrance and exit as well as a truck entrance and exit all in the space currently occupied by the existing truck entrance and exit, which is impractical.
• The Chartwell and Brenthurst representatives also raised concerns about the probability that the existing noise levels will become even worse, and that the proximity of the taxis will attract hawkers. The Mall will not allow hawkers to proliferate on the Mall’s property, so it is feared that additional hawkers from 1st Street will set up in 3rd Street alongside the existing hawkers and car-washers.
• The Chartwell and Brenthurst representatives understand and sympathise with the untenable situation in 1st Street, however they are also adamant that this unacceptable situation should not merely be moved to another area with the same results. This problem should for once and all be resolved with the interest and satisfaction of all residents of Killarney in mind. They feel that the residents’ concerns should take priority over that of the taxis, and that the building of such a facility alongside Chartwell’s boundary is unacceptable.
• Chartwell’s chairman admitted that he has no alternative solution to offer, other than that the taxi facility should be located on the other side of the Mall property if possible.
• Everyone present agreed, by a show of hands, that nobody wants to have a taxi facility anywhere near their own home, and that a solution needs to be found which will solve the 1st Street problem without creating a 3rd Street problem in its place.
• The problem would be much reduced if only JMPD would enforce the by-laws against the hawkers and taxis as they are supposed to be doing. Councillor Eleanor Huggett was asked to take this up with the senior management of the Council to get Killarney-Riviera some better service delivery from JMPD.
• The initial consultation meeting between the Mall and the Chartwell and Brenthurst representatives was held at very short notice, due to the impending public holidays and people going on leave. The initial consultation meeting was intended only to get the process started, and further meetings will be held to thrash out the details and ensure a viable solution is achieved, before any final decisions are taken.
• The Mall’s technical team were not able to attend that initial consultation meeting either, and so several questions have not yet been answered. The Mall’s project manager is still on leave at present, but the Mall has taken note of the residents’ concerns, and another meeting will be held late in May to clarify all outstanding issues once the relevant technical people are available to participate.
• The future project meetings should include representatives from 1st Street as well, so that all aspects of the problem can be discussed and taken into account at a single combined forum. While the concerns of the people in 3rd Street are very understandable, the concerns of the people in 1st Street are equally valid.
• The NKRA has made the Mall well aware of the concerns of the residents re probable noise, traffic congestion, litter etc, but our options to solve this problem are limited, and if the taxis are unhappy with the final plan they will simply ignore everything and continue breaking the law as they have been doing up to now – to the ongoing detriment of the suburb.
• We hope that future meetings with the Mall’s project team will allow us to find a solution that does not cause a new problem for the buildings in 3rd Street.
6. FEEDBACK FROM COUNCILLORS
• The meeting welcomed and congratulated Councillor Eleanor Huggett, who was recently elected by a large majority as the new Ward Councillor for Ward 73, which includes the bulk of Killarney and Riviera. We look forward to a productive relationship with her going forward.
• Wayne has already met with Clr Huggett, and has given her a detailed briefing of all the major issues that we face in our area.
• Court action is apparently 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. 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. We ask the councillor to please report this urgently to the SAPS and the JRA and the JMPD.
7. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
• Wayne and Clr Huggett are pursuing the various fibre-optic companies to properly reinstate the pavements and streets that they have dug up.
• Clr Huggett reported that the holes dug to repair water pipes are taking a long time to reinstate, due to budget issues and the overlapping of jurisdictions of the various municipal departments. The Mayor is trying to merge some of these departments, to make service deliver smoother, but this will take time.
• Potholes are a recurring problem. Clr Huggett reported that the JRA “pothole app” is working well, and is getting things done. Please see http://www.jra.org.za/find-and-fix-mobile-app for details, and to download this app.
• The project to enhance the speed-humps in 4th Ave that guard the pedestrian crossing at 4th Street will now be revived by Clr Huggett, who will obtain for us the contact details of the relevant JRA officials. Clr Huggett will also take forward our petition to build a traffic circle in the 7th Street/Anerley Road intersection.
• New speed-humps can be built, but it is a long process, and JRA will not allow speed-humps to be built just anywhere. Also, we will have to bear the cost thereof ourselves, as the Council is prioritising available funds to repair existing infrastructure, and to catch up huge development back-logs in more needy areas, including township areas. The cost of new speed-humps will differ according to the width of the particular road in question, but it will probably cost us in the region of about R50,000 per speed-hump (as a rough estimate).
• We will be repainting the street names on the kerbs over the next month or two. Benson and Nolicent from the park have agreed to undertake the work in their off-duty hours. We will need to agree a fee with them for this project.
• The Lhenveolan building in 1st Street has delayed the repainting of their exterior, but work is continuing inside the building. Now that the rains seem to have finished, we hope that the painting of the exterior will resume soon.
• 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.
10. FINANCE AND MEMBERSHIP
• The 2017 membership invoices have been sent out, and already 22 buildings have renewed their subscriptions for the 2017/18 year.
• If your building would like to also become an NKRA member, please contact us.
• Katia and the Mall were thanked for the efforts they made to accommodate our meeting in the upstairs office at short notice. This was necessary due to on-going Mall business taking place in the boardroom which they usually let us use. Future meetings will probably be held in the 1st Floor boardroom again.
The meeting was closed, with thanks to the Killarney Mall for hosting us.
Our next meeting will be held on
WEDNESDAY 17 MAY 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.