The NKRA is grateful for the support provided in the 4th Street park by our park sponsors PAM GOLDING PROPERTIES and VISION TACTICAL SECURITY.

PGPPGP

NKRA Communique – December 2021

Hi everyone

The Covid-19 pandemic seems to be fading again, and hopefully the vaccinations are finally making an impact. Meanwhile, as we await the availability of the booster injections, we need to all continue to observe social distancing and to wear masks in public – including in the corridors and lifts of our residential buildings. As always, you can go to https://www.gov.za/covid-19/ for detailed information.

It has been a fairly quiet few weeks, with some good news and some bad news. On the upside, we thank the trustees of St John’s Wood, for the repair work they have done on their pavement in 4th Avenue. This area was left in a mess for many months by the municipality after they repaired a leaking gas pipe, and this contribution from St Johns Wood has added a lot of value.

On the downside, City Power have once again been busy digging fresh trenches on our pavements without repairing them afterwards. This includes digging up a few areas which the NKRA had recently repaired. We have reported these issues, and have asked the ward councillor to press the matter on our behalf. However we know from experience that City Power takes years to restore pavements, if they ever get around to it at all.

Also on the downside, some contractor (hired apparently by MTN) dug a huge trench all the way up Main Road and across Riviera Road into 4th Avenue. They backfilled it with sand and rubble, and then left the trench unfinished. The rain duly washed out the soil, and where the trench crosses Riviera Road this has created a dangerous obstacle to traffic, which spans the entire road and is impossible to avoid. Cars racing to beat the red light here might not see the trench in time, so please take care at this intersection.

We have reported this issue, and have asked the ward councillor to pursue the matter on our behalf as well. Meanwhile, if you have a dangerous area on your pavement or street frontage, please could you help your own residents – and everyone else – by filling it up as best you can with whatever soil or rubble you have to hand? It is very annoying that we pay rates and taxes and get so little in return, but our frustration and indignation will count for very little when somebody falls and injures themselves.

On the upside, one Saturday evening I found a Devon Place employee named Patrick busy filling in the trench across Riviera Road at the intersection with Main Road. He had swept soil and rubble back into the trench, and smoothed it over as best he could. The backfill was obviously washed out again within days, but at least for a while it was much safer than before. According to the Devon Place trustees, Patrick did this work on his own initiative, and on his day off. On behalf of the community we thank him for his efforts, and for his initiative.

Daventry Court are striving to get off the City Power grid, and to save huge amounts of money, as well as to avoid future billing crises and power outages as much as possible. They are installing a solar-electric system to heat water and produce electricity. The initial cost is substantial, but they anticipate recouping this investment through electricity cost savings over time. As we see Eskom asking for yet another 20% tariff increase, we can all appreciate how nice it would be to get off their grid. Daventry Court plans to be up and running by about the end of March.

For buildings looking for a more affordable alternative to make load-shedding and power outages less inconvenient and less dangerous, it is possible now to buy LED globes with built-in batteries, which will continue to operate for several hours after the power goes out. They are useful inside homes, but they are especially valuable in places like stairs and garages.

In between all the wonderful rain, we are enjoying a lot of hot and sunny weather. This is perfect for walks in our park, perhaps accompanied by children or dogs, or both. We have a large amount of grass for children and dogs to play on, and an ablution facility and a drinking fountain. We also have an excellent playground facility in the park, which includes a slide and climbing frame, as well as a large sand-pit for our smaller citizens. For purposes of hygiene, we once again ask all dog owners please to keep your pets away from the sand-pit.

The City of Johannesburg is in the process of electing Ward Committee members to assist the Ward Councillors in effectively achieving the objectives of Local Government. Ward Committees comprise of the Ward Councillor and ten members of the community. The nomination process will be open until 18 February 2022. Nomination forms are obtainable from the Ward Governance Offices, and can also be downloaded from www.joburg.org.za. You can also contact the ward councillor, Eleanor Huggett, on 071 785 8068. It is vital that we have committed people on this committee who can assist with service delivery. If you live in our ward and are willing to help our community, please volunteer urgently.

STATS SA will be conducting another population Census in February 2022. To avoid any Covid risk, three different methods will be used to collect census data, including online or via telephone. Citizens must register online, and select which method of interaction you prefer. You can register at https://getcounted.statssa.gov.za, or you can contact their call centre on 0800 110 248.

Unfortunately, the Mall has not yet delivered on their proposal to build an indoor taxi facility inside the former Toyota workshop space, and to relocate the illegal taxi rank in 1st Street off our streets. The proposal has apparently run into architectural problems, with the route of the proposed driveway apparently being obstructed by some of the pillars which hold up the roof. The Mall’s owners have invited us to research the problem and to make new suggestions – an invitation which we are certainly taking up.

Meanwhile, please continue to report illegal drinking parties to the police on every occasion, as well as any other “suspicious” behaviour. The police don’t always respond, but sometimes they do, so it’s worth calling them. Please call your security company, as well as the SAPS on 10111 (or 112 from your cell phone). You can also contact the Killarney SAPS sector manager (Sergeant Mdlolo) on 082 355 5646.

Late last year our NKRA security camera in 1st Street required repairs. To speed things up so as to get the camera back into operation over the crucial holiday period, our good neighbours at Daventry Court undertook the repair work, on the basis that the NKRA will reimburse the costs. The final cost of this work was R4,350, and it will be reimbursed to Daventry Court this week.

The invoices for the membership subscriptions for the 2022-2023 year will be sent out at the end of February. We would be very grateful for your support once again.

Best wishes to all, keep well, and keep safe.

Wayne Ford