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 – September 2021

Hi everyone

The Covid-19 pandemic seems to be subsiding in Gauteng. Restrictions are being relaxed now, but the curfew still applies from midnight, and the wearing of masks in public places is still mandatory. For safety sake we should all continue to observe social distancing, and to sanitise our hands. If we get complacent now, we risk another wave of infections, and an increase in restrictions. You can get full details at https://www.gov.za/covid-19/about/coronavirus-covid-19-alert-level-1

The next round of municipal elections will be held on 1 November 2021, which is almost upon us. If you live in Killarney south of the highway (i.e. up on the hill), then you are part of Ward 67,  and you are probably allocated to vote at the Education Campus of Wits University in St Andrews Road (the old Johannesburg College of Education). If you live in Killarney north of the highway, then you are part of Ward 73, and you are probably allocated to vote at the tennis courts of the Killarney Country Club. However there are some exceptions to this, for some reason, so please all check your details online, at https://www.elections.org.za/pw/, to see to which voting station you have been allocated. It is obviously too late to correct errors at this stage, but you will not be allowed to vote at all unless you are at a voting station which has your name on their voters’ roll.

As the year-end approaches, we are once again seeing an increase in crime – especially purse snatching and phone snatching, as well as pick-pocketing in the Mall. Please be extra careful with your possessions when you are out, especially on the pavements. We are probably also going to experience an increase in burglaries, when people start leaving upstairs windows open as the weather heats up, and there is always the risk of a smash-and-grab when you are sitting in traffic, whether at an intersection or if stuck in gridlock. These attacks on motorists even take place on the highway, when traffic is at a stand-still. Constant vigilance is our best defence.

If you do notice anything that looks like a crime in progress, please call your security company, as well as the SAPS on 10111 (or 112 from your cell phone). You can also call the Killarney SAPS sector manager (Sergeant Mdlolo) on 082 355 5646.

As the weather heats up, the pavement drinking parties will probably continue to grow in size and volume. Once again, please report these illegal parties to the police on every occasion. Drinking alcohol on a pavement is always illegal, and many of these drinkers are breaking Covid mask rules and curfews etc as well. The police don’t always respond, and when they do they often just warn the drinkers to disperse and then drive away, but sometimes they actually do take sterner action, so it’s worth calling them. It also adds to their sense of priority, so the more people who call each time, the better are our chances of getting some meaningful action on this serious problem.

Although the street drinking is separate from the taxi rank, having an illegal taxi rank in 1st Street obviously exacerbates the problem. The Mall is still working on finding a solution to the taxi issue which meets the needs of all stakeholders. They have identified a very suitable place on their own land for a taxi facility, inside the former Toyota workshop space. This is indoors, undercover and virtually soundproof to the outside. However this space is designed for vehicles to enter and exit via Riviera Road, and the taxis refuse to exit into Riviera Road. The Mall is therefore working with architects to find a way to connect the workshop area to the roads without using Riviera Road. This is obviously very difficult, but they assure me that they are doing their best. We are expecting feedback from their technical specialists in the next week or two.

If the taxis are not happy with the new location, they will simply stay where they are in 1st Street, and the police will probably continue to do nothing about it. If you put pressure on a taxi association, they react with confrontation, as the government has learned from recent incidents of shooting and burning. A sustainable solution therefore requires that all stakeholders must be satisfied, and achieving this requires a lot of time and patience. This problem has been eroding our suburb for years, so now that the Mall is exploring this option seriously, we are hoping to see some serious progress in the next few weeks.

However moving the taxi rank will not remove the hawkers, the street drinking or its attendant problems. The Mall will not allow the drinkers or the hawkers inside the Mall property, so they will probably continue to drink and party on our pavements. To solve the illegal drinking, we need functional law enforcement. I am hoping that after these 2021 elections, the new mayor of Johannesburg will no longer be dependent on the support of the EFF, and hopefully might then be prepared to take a stronger line on law enforcement against street drinking and hawking. However time alone will tell.

The NKRA has exhausted our funds for this year, and so our street cleaning project at the taxi area has been placed on hold for the time being. For a number of years, RCS Security has been providing Killarney with a street cleaner at no charge. Carlos primarily empties over-flowing pavement rubbish bins, and he also picks up larger items of litter on his rounds as well. However he does not sweep the streets. It has been suggested that an additional sweeper be hired to do specific cleaning projects around the suburb. Such a project will definitely add value, but we will need to raise extra funds to pay for it. If anybody is willing to contribute toward hiring a street sweeper, please would you let me know?

The Thabo Mbeki Foundation and the city have reportedly signed a three-year agreement to develop the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library in North Road in Riviera. The city of Johannesburg announced that the library would “contribute to the diversification of the city’s tourism and heritage offerings”, and that the library will become a tourist attraction. The architect, who is a Tanzanian-Ghanaian-British citizen, will apparently be employing historical building technology as was used by Africans centuries ago.

There is a vacant property in Riviera. It is in Oxford Road, in the block between Riviera Road and North Road, next to the Gautrain emergency exit building. It is bordered by The Riviera’s, Riviera Mansions and Martinhall Manor. This property has become home to some vagrants, and more are likely to join them. We have not been able to identify the owners of the land, but a FOR SALE sign recently went up, so we have managed to speak with the agent and inform them of the problem. They were not aware of the vagrants living on the land, and are now starting to take steps. Please would the neighbouring buildings keep an eye on developments, and let us know if there is any progress?

Meanwhile the land is for sale, and developing it would solve all our problems. The size of that stand is 2996sqm, and the asking price is negotiable from R11 million. Vacant land in a built-up area is always going to attract homeless people who are desperate for a place to stay, so if anybody knows a property developer who might be willing to buy that piece of land, please would you bring this opportunity to their attention? The agency selling this land is Frankie Bells, and if you are interested you can call Margi Khadhraoui, on 071 904 4177 or at 011 781 5247.

The City of Johannesburg, in partnership with with Discovery Insure and Dialdirect Insurance, has launched a new Pothole Patrol app and WhatsApp bot to facilitate the speedy reporting and thus the swift repair of potholes. The Joburg Roads Agency is making available its asphalt plant, while the private partners are using their own specialised repair equipment, as well as additional asphalt sourced from private suppliers where needed. The Pothole Patrol app is intended to provide real-time progress on the repair process. Any resident can download the Pothole Patrol app from either the Apple App Store or Google Play. Alternatively, you can WhatsApp the word ‘Hi’ to 084-768-4653 (084 POT HOLE) and follow the prompts. 

A lot of new dogs have come into Killarney recently, in part because of the lock-down. The municipal by-laws require that dogs in the park be on the leash at all times, and that dog owners clean up after their pets. Unfortunately some people simply have no shame or consideration, and they don’t clean up, leaving an increasing amount of unsanitary mess on the ground for other people to step in. Some dogs have even fouled the paving without their owners seeming to care. If you bring a dog to the park, please bring a plastic bag or two as well, and clean up after your dog. Signs have been put up around the park to this effect. Many thanks to Killarney Park body corporate for this valuable contribution.

It has been suggested that we should put containers of plastic bags in the park, to help people who forgot to bring their own. However that will not help much in cases where dog owners simply ignore the problem. We welcome all suggestions please.

If you are a dog owner, please always keep in mind that not everyone in Killarney likes having your dog jump up on them. Small children in particular can be frightened by this experience. It really doesn’t help to tell the terrified child that the dog barking in their face and jumping on them is “only playing”. Children have been nipped by dogs in the park before, and it leads to serious issues. In the worst case, the police might confiscate and destroy the dog. Please ensure that your own dog is always under control, and that playing with other dogs doesn’t overflow into jumping on children who don’t welcome the attention.

Now that it has started to rain, we are looking to improve the park flower beds, and in particular the pavements. The 4th Avenue pavement is very sunny, and would be a great place to plant seeds. We would welcome all donations of plants, and particularly seeds for sun-loving low maintenance flowering plants please.

Chartwell has planted a wonderful flower-bed on their 3rd Street pavement, at the corner of Second Avenue. This greatly improves the environment, and it will look even better once the sweet-peas start to flower. Many thanks to the people of Chartwell for this contribution.

32 buildings out of the 55 sectional title buildings in Killarney-Riviera are currently paid-up members of the NKRA – about 58% of the total. Many thanks indeed to all these buildings for your on-going support. The current list of the members for 2021 is as follows:

  1. Beverly Heights
  2. Biarritz
  3. Brenthurst Court
  4. Bretton Woods
  5. Canterbury Close
  6. Chartwell
  7. Chelston Hall
  8. Christina Court
  9. Cranwell Hall
  10. Daventry Court
  11. Devon Place
  12. Dumbarton Oaks
  13. Gleneagles
  14. Glenhof Gardens
  15. Hampshire Mews
  16. Hatherley Hall
  17. Hyde Court
  18. Interlaken
  19. Killarney Court & Gardens
  20. Killarney Hills
  21. Killarney Park
  22. Killarney Village
  23. Kingsborough
  24. La Camargue
  25. Mentone Court
  26. Monviso
  27. Portofino
  28. Rapallo
  29. Riviera Mansions
  30. Santa Margherita
  31. Sevenoaks
  32. The Rivieras

If your building does make a membership contribution, please ask your managing agent to include the reference number as well, so as to facilitate the allocation of the payment on our side.

Please would NKRA members give us feedback on the issues described above? We also welcome all suggestions from all residents, on all issues.

Keep well, and keep safe.

Wayne Ford