The NKRA is grateful for the support provided in the 4th Street park by our park sponsors RUSSELL FISHER PROPERTIES and VISION TACTICAL SECURITY.
MINUTES FOR THE MEETING OF THE 20th JANUARY 2016
MINUTES FOR THE MONTHLY PUBLIC MEETING OF THE
NEW KILLARNEY-RIVIERA ASSOCIATION
HELD AT THE MALL MANAGEMENT OFFICES (1ST FLOOR OFFICE TOWER)
ON WEDNESDAY 20 JANUARY 2016 AT 17H00
PRESENT: Wayne Ford (chairman); Estelle Jacobs; Peter Merzbacher; Katia Lodder; Dalien Rutenburg; Raphael Ndlovu; David Kramer; Mia Snyman; Ruth Kuper; Edna Peres; Charles Whyte; Paul Denham; Alexandra Leisegang; Captain Moonsamy (SAPS); Goolam Aboobaker; Margaret Urban; Trish Terry; Deon Pelser; Frank Kobrin; Audrey Kobrin; Jo Marais; Yoni Balkind; Dean Dada; Laurence Sachs; Lorenzo Nassimbeni; Lenti Morison.
The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting, and wished everyone a prosperous 2016.
George Kymdell; Hussein Dudhia; Mike Kalk; Rochester Shen; Harry Rutenburg; Kayte Denham
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 reported on the crime statistics: 4 theft of vehicles; 1 theft out of vehicles; 2 shoplifting; 1 malicious damage to property; 1 fraud; 1 common robbery. Car theft is thus still our major problem. The thefts were spread throughout the suburb.
• Captain Moonsamy emphasised that the SAPS personnel on the scene always take command of the situation – people are welcome to call him directly, but once a SAPS vehicle has responded he cannot over-rule the decisions of the personnel on the scene.
• There is still a pressing need for proper by-law enforcement. In particular the hawkers at the taxi rank are getting ever more problematic. Clr Snyman was asked to pursue the matter vigorously with JMPD.
• It has been suggested that we contract a CAP-type patrol, but this is unaffordable. It was then suggested that adjacent buildings could club together to share the cost of a guard who would be dedicated to their street or intersection, to provide some of the value of a CAP patrol at a fraction of the cost. Dean Dada of RCS Security stated that such a service would cost about R9000 per month for one night-guard for 12 hours. The guard would be backed up by an armed response service. If shared between 4 adjacent buildings, this would cost each building R2250 per month, which is surely affordable.
• We must bear in mind that private security guards cannot arrest people on the street, and they have no authority over members of the public on a public pavement. They therefore cannot remove hawkers or soccer players or loiterers. However they certainly can help with deterring car thefts, which is our main problem, and noticing which hawkers seem to be selling drugs etc for the police to follow up.
• We already have a project in progress between Mentone Court and Dukes Court to cover the block between them with cameras, so that we can note where the drug sellers hide their stock. Only if the police catch them in possession of drugs can they be arrested, so we need to get that evidence/information first.
• We need to accept that it is not illegal to sit on a public pavement or to talk to your friends – however loudly. We need to accept that the police cannot arrest a person for playing soccer in the street, even at 11pm. We need to accept that we have to share the streets with other residents, and that we cannot demand that they all go to sleep when we go to sleep.
• It is pointless to complain about things, and to demand that “something must be done”, but then to do nothing. An approach which has proved to be effective is to call the emergency hotline on 011 375 5911, to report a public disturbance. You MUST get a reference number. They then send JMPD to investigate, which takes a while, but they often do come. This doesn’t solve the problem permanently, but if you call often enough the disturbance might move elsewhere in future.
• There was a separate call for a neighbourhood watch system, where the residents take it upon themselves to patrol the streets at night with cell-phones and armed response backup. This system works well in some suburbs, but has not previously been successful in Killarney, due to total lack of support from residents. However it is much cheaper than a CAP service. If any residents are prepared to join a patrol for a few hours at night twice a month, please would you let us know?
• It was suggested that we hold a public meeting dedicated to this issue, and invite all trustees. This has been done before, with little success, but things are getting worse and we need to reconsider it. If you would be interested in this project, please let us know?
• The security company Vision Tactical has previously offered to assist the community by responding to reports of suspicious actions or persons. The public is welcome to contact their control centre at 084 222 2222 to report any suspicious activity, or any medical emergency.
• If you notice a suspicious activity anywhere in the area, please also call the police patrol van immediately, so that the perpetrators can be caught red-handed. 071 675 6001.
• The VUMA fibre-optic system can support cameras, but we will need to have very expensive cameras to be able to identify the criminals clearly enough to be valuable.
• The car-washers in 3rd Street cnr Killarney Road seem to have broken the water valve in the pavement again, to get access to free water. Water is again flowing from this breakage and running to waste.
6. FEEDBACK FROM COUNCILLORS
• Cllr Mia Snyman reported that she has logged a list of potholes and requested repairs for us, and was given references. Hopefully these will be resolved in the next few weeks.
• It was again emphasised that persons noticing such problems should call the municipal hotline right away (011 375 5555), and MUST get reference numbers. If we have a reference number then the councillor can follow it up with a lot of pressure, but if there is no reference number then your call technically never got logged at all.
• Telkom are now installing fibre-optic cables in our pavements as well, in parallel with the Vuma cables, and are making certain high-traffic pavements very unsafe in the process. Clr Snyman was asked please to follow this up with Telkom.
• Many pavements have become dangerously uneven, due to the many repairs and trenches and patches and general wear and tear. A major pavement resurfacing project is urgently needed in many of our streets – this will be added to the IDP proposal for our area.
• The councillor was asked to request JRA to restore the speed-humps in 4th Ave, between 4th Street and 5th Street, to their original size. These were built properly originally, but were then reduced in height to a non-standard size. This road has since become much busier, and it’s become quite dangerous to cross the road or to get a car in or out of a garage.
• It was noted that the traffic lights in Oxford Road at the pedestrian crossing outside the school have been moved to the intersection of 3rd Ave, between the school and the shul, to facilitate vehicles entering Oxford Road.
7. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
• The new jungle-gym for the children has been installed in the park. We have been authorised to use playground sand as a “safety mat” instead of concrete and rubber, which is much cheaper, as well as softer. It also allows us to use the area underneath the jungle-gym as a sand-pit for smaller children to play in. Laurence is busy getting quotes from suppliers.
• City Parks have now offered to donate some more playground equipment, provided that we pay for the installation. Our partnership approach with them is starting to bear fruit. ?
• Alexandra has secured a commitment from Kwik-Fit to donate many used tyres, which we can install as a border around the playground equipment for additional safety, and as an extra play-feature. Alex was thanked for these efforts.
• The Pam Golding Properties Pavement Pride Competition was postponed last year because of the PikiTup strike, but will be held now at the beginning of February. The revised details will be communicated in due course.
• The pavement bins often overflow. This is partly because many domestic helpers put kitchen trash in the pavement bins, but that cannot be avoided. The main cause of the problem is that the PikiTup cleaners don’t clean the bins out properly – they remove easy-to-carry bottles and packets, but do not touch the compacted rotting food scraps and building rubble etc. The bins were all cleaned out a few years ago, but some bins are once again full almost to the brim with compacted muck. It was resolved to undertake a clean-up project to empty every pavement bin in Killarney completely, so that their original capacity is restored and they don’t overflow so quickly anymore. If any building has a staff member willing to do the work for a small fee, please would you let us know? Paul Denham offered to seek sponsorship to help fund this project, but we will proceed meanwhile as soon as we can.
• A new Facebook page has been created, to facilitate communication between residents. It will be a “closed page”, so only registered users will be able to read the material. Residents can share any information relevant to the neighbourhood, e.g. safety issues, events, business opportunities etc. To join the group please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org including the name of the building in which you live. We will then add that email address to the group, and you will be able to interact freely from then on.
• It has been suggested, during the neighbourhood Think Tanks of 2014, that we should try to make the park in 4th Street one of Johannesburg’s acknowledged centres of Art and Culture. This will build on our suburb’s history as the location of the country’s first film studio, and the existing cultural base of our many heritage buildings. If successful this concept would boost the brand of our entire area, and would further improve the marketability and value of our properties as well as making the park an even more pleasant place to spend time. Several different ideas have been suggested, which require varying levels of investment from us.
• One idea was to make the new drinking fountain into a “functional artwork”. The drinking fountain is already operational, but we are waiting for the plaster to dry out properly before we go further. The proposed artwork will consist of a combination of mosaic and sandblasted ceramic techniques, portraying various depictions of some of the wild birds found in the Park – at this stage a grey lourie and a hadeda are being considered. Rough sketches are attached – the designs will be fine-tuned if we give the artist the green light. The cost of the construction of the drinking fountain was sponsored by Nomsa Nene Properties, but the additional cost of the art project will be about R5000, for the account of the NKRA. The artist is Johannesburg’s own Drew Lindsay – see these links for examples of Drew’s community-related work:
o http://www.theheritageportal.co.za/article/story-behind-monument-petrus-molefe and
o http://lizatlancaster.co.za/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Miners-mosaic-Andrew-Lindsay.jpg .
• A second idea is to paint a mural onto the existing ablution block in the north-eastern corner of the park – which is a vital but singularly unattractive building. We have received a proposal from the South African artist/ architect Lorenzo Nassimbeni, who has done various murals in other suburbs and cities (you can view his portfolio at www.lorenzonassimbeni.com. ) In essence the idea is for interested members of the community to photograph parts of buildings they love, and then Lorenzo will overlay the images to create a linear abstract image on each wall and the roof that represents aspects of Killarney-Riviera. The background would be white and the lines would probably be black. The community would also be invited to draw the artwork onto the facade. Please see the detailed proposal attached. The artist is willing to offer a massively discounted rate of R15,000 plus materials. Interested persons will fundraise separately to pay for some of it, but the NKRA will need to make up the difference. More information can be obtained from email@example.com , or at https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=killarney%20riviera%20residents
10. FINANCE AND MEMBERSHIP
• No new buildings have joined the NKRA since last month.
• Our finances are looking healthy because of the all the donations towards the playground, but once that has all been paid out we will be back to our usual parlous state. The invoices will be sent out soon to member buildings for the annual subscriptions. If your building would like to become a member of the association, please would you let us know?
• Killarney Mall is willing to help us with fundraising, by hosting stands and stalls in the expo spaces, and by liaising with their tenants on our behalf. Katia was thanked for this offer.
• Domestic garbage is still being placed in pavement bins, causing them to overflow. Please can residents explain to their employees the need for them to put the domestic garbage into your building’s internal bins?
• Beverley Heights is in the process of obtaining a heritage Blue Plaque. This will take a while, but an unveiling will held in due course.
The meeting was closed, with thanks to the Killarney Mall for the use of their boardroom.
Our next meeting will be held on
WEDNESDAY 17 February 2016 at 5pm
PLEASE PASS ON THESE MINUTES TO OTHER RESIDENTS IN YOUR BUILDINGS