MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF THE 19th FEBRUARY 2020
MINUTES FOR THE MONTHLY PUBLIC MEETING OF THE
NEW KILLARNEY-RIVIERA ASSOCIATION
HELD AT SHOP 56 OF THE KILLARNEY MALL
ON WEDNESDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2020 AT 17H00
PRESENT: Wayne Ford (Killarney Village); Charles Whyte (Beverley Heights); Margaret Urban (Hanover Gate); Mike Kalk (Brenthurst Court); Dean Dada (RCS Security); Vivienne Cobbett (Biarritz); Annica Marincowitz (Chartwell); George Kymdell (NAMA); Julie Wilson (Killarney Hills); Zeenat Ghoor (Killarney Hills); Ruth Kuper (Gleneagles); Eleanor Huggett (Ward Councillor); Colin Wasserfall (LHRA); Karuna Mohan (Killarney Hills); Clara Cruz Almeida (Interlaken); Shaik Osman (St Johns Wood); Shirley Moodley (St Johns Wood); Shuaib Ghoor (Greenhills); Soraiya Karrim (Dukes Court); Rael Solomon (Dukes Court); Nazia Karrim (Dukes Court); Sergeant NH Mdlolo (SAPS); Hussein Dudhia (Hampshire Mews).
Wayne welcomed everyone to the meeting.
2. APOLOGIES RECEIVED
Floh Thiele (La Camargue); Tony Mantle (Gleneagles); Colin Froneman (Chartwell); Tim Davies (Chartwell); Jaco le Roux (Chartwell); Adrienne Egbers (Cranwell Hall); 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
• Sergeant Mdlolo presented the crime statistics, which are as follows: Car-jacking 2; Armed robbery 1; Theft of vehicles 3; Theft out of vehicles 1; Assault 3; Common robbery 2; Theft general 7; Shoplifting 2; Fraud 2.
• Sergeant Mdlolo assured the meeting that the SAPS are still patrolling in Killarney, sometimes using marked police vehicles and sometimes using an unmarked vehicle.
• The car-jacking in particular has been quite serious. In the space of a ten day period we suffered a car being stolen in 2nd Street, a car hi-jacked in 1st Street outside Earls’ Court at gunpoint, a car hijacked in 1st Street outside Killarney Court, and an attempted theft of a car in 2nd Street – which was prevented by the RCS street guard.
• We also had an issue in 3rd Street where criminals were robbing pedestrians. In this case the Vision Tactical street guard pursued the criminals, and with the help of other guards all four of the criminals were arrested.
• One of the many problems with hijacking is that it happens so quickly. In both of the above hijacking incidents, the RCS street guard saw the crime in progress and called the armed response. The armed response car arrived quickly, but not fast enough to catch the criminals. The issue is technological – it takes time for the alarm to communicate from the panic button through the control room to the armed response car. In addition, when the crime takes place out on the street the responding car is not able to pin-point the exact scene based on the panic button, and must meet with the street guard first to get the details. What we need is a radio link direct from the street guard to the armed response car, but this is not yet possible. We are talking to Vision Tactical about finding a way to speed up this response time even further.
• It was suggested to install booms at all the vehicle exits of the suburb to prevent hijackers from getting away, and thus create a deterrent to hijacking. However there are many drawbacks to this idea, not least of which being that the municipality is very opposed to booms. Councillor Huggett was asked to follow up on this idea with the authorities.
• We are commencing with our new Safe Zone project, which will deploy one mobile guard in a tuk-tuk, for 10 hours per day, and for four days per week – Thursday to Sunday. The patrol area will encompass a circuit of all of 2nd Street and all of 3rd Street between 4th Ave and Killarney Ave.
• RCS Security have mounted a mobile camera on their tuk-tuk security vehicle, which will film its surrounds as the vehicle circulates, and hopefully record the evidence we need of the alcohol being sold and drunk on our streets. The guard will be linked up with the guards of participating buildings, and he will call armed response for support if needed.
• Four buildings have thus far signed up to help fund the Safe Zone project. These are Bretton Woods, Brenthurst Court, Chartwell and Park Avenue. If we can persuade additional buildings to participate, or even a large number of private households, then we can expand the project in terms of longer hours and/or more days.
• At the January meeting it was agreed that the NKRA will underwrite any funding shortfalls on the project which may occur from time to time. No negative responses to this proposal have been received from member buildings. A number of private households will be making donations to the NKRA to support this initiative.
• Mentone Court has agreed to host a new high-definition camera, to help us obtain video evidence of the lawlessness in 1st Street opposite the taxi rank. This is a huge step forward. However we will first need to find a way to link this camera to the control room at Daventry Court, or else a new control room will need to be set up at Mentone Court. Charles is working with the technical experts to find the best way forward.
• If we find a way to make this work, the NKRA will need to invest about R20,000 on this project. However having a mobile high-def camera in this block will greatly assist in fighting crime.
• The Vumacams were again suggested. They are very expensive, they require us to set up a control room to monitor the video feed and act on it, they are static cameras and they will not give us the detailed video evidence that we need to solve our particular problems. However they would add some value, so if we can’t find a better idea, and if we can raise the funding, we will definitely consider it. The monthly cost is about R4000 for each pole of four cameras, and we would need to pay for the control room and security staff ourselves as well.
• We are making slow progress in pinning down the Mall’s responsibility for creating a sustainable taxi facility on their own premises. However some of our residents who are architects have managed to obtain some documentation that impacts on this process. These documents will be collated and analysed, and further decisions will then be taken on the way forward.
• Loitering on a pavement is NOT illegal, but drinking alcohol on a pavement IS ILLEGAL. The problem is getting proof – when a marked police car comes around, the drinkers hide the alcohol until the police have left. Once we have clear video footage of the drinkers and their bottles, the photos will be circulated to the police, and to our mailing list. In terms of the labour law, an employee can be disciplined for breaking the law outside of the workplace, if it impacts on the essential relationship of trust.
• 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 on the street, 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 reported on a recent meeting between the taxi associations and the municipality, where the taxi associations were instructed to ensure good behaviour and hygiene at their illegal taxi rank while we wait for the creation of a legal taxi facility.
• Taxis are allowed to park in any street just like any other vehicle, provided they obey the rules of the road. This means the taxis are allowed to park in 1st Street, provided they park in a designated parking zone and don’t block the road or the driveways etc, but they are not allowed to park in Killarney Avenue, which is a no-parking zone. The taxi associations apparently agreed to comply with the laws going forward. We will monitor this process. If you notice a taxi breaking any rules of the road in Killarney, please try to get photographic evidence, and email it to Wayne.
• The new mayor of Johannesburg has appointed a new Mayoral Council. The ward councillor will provide us with the contact details for the new Members thereof.
• The councillor was asked to follow up with JRA to finalise the repair of the road-surface in Riviera Road outside the filling station, where it was excavated to fix a burst pipe. The rain is washing away the soil, creating a dangerous hole.
• The councillor again advised everyone to continue reporting issues on 011 375 5555, and to get reference numbers in every case,
7. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
• It was previously agreed to do a clean-up project on the northern pavement in 7th Street, which is a high-traffic pedestrian route bordering the motorway embankment. This area was overgrown with weeds, obstructed in places by branches from adjacent trees, smothered in litter and made unsafe by dumped rubble. RCS Security performed the clean-up service, the project has been completed as planned, and the meeting approved the invoice for payment.
• It was previously agreed that large pavement rubbish bins should be purchased for the streets closest to the Mall, where people are inclined to litter profusely. An initial budget of R10,000 was approved by the January meeting for this project, which is enough to buy six large concrete bins, including delivery. Mentone Court has agreed to have the bins on their pavement. No negative responses have been received from any member buildings since the last meeting, so this project is now approved, and we will place the order.
• All buildings are again asked to help with the litter problem, by each keeping your own pavements and gutters free of litter and weeds at all times.
• A town planner who lives in the area attended the meeting. He offered to draw up a draft plan for enhancing the pavements.
• 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 around month-end.
• We have an increasing need for security projects such as cameras and street guards, as well as for further pavement repairs and other such things. Our finances are as constrained as always, so we hope that most of the buildings in Killarney-Riviera will support us in 2020.
• If your building would like to join us, please contact Wayne on firstname.lastname@example.org
• A draft financial report was included with the agenda. We do have money in the account, but not enough to cover all of the intended projects for 2020.
• We have created a WhatsApp group for Killarney residents to communicate rapidly with each other on security issues. If you wish to be added to the group, please send us your cell-phone number. Please note that the group is for improving the suburb, not for politics or for promoting your business. People who break the rules will be de-linked.
• Colin Wasserfall of the Lower Houghton Residents Association attended the meeting. The LHRA and the Killarney Country Club are extending the boundary fence of the golf course to enclose the road reserve at the corner of Riviera Road and River Road opposite the Mall, to help the JMPD to manage the illegal activity that frequently occurs at that site. They are asking for financial assistance for this project. Please contact Wayne if you are willing and able to assist them.
The meeting was closed, with thanks to the Killarney Mall for hosting our meeting.
Our next public meeting will be held on
WEDNESDAY 18 MARCH 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