SUMMARY OF THE SPECIAL COMMUNITY MEETING HELD AT THE KILLARNEY MALL ON WEDNESDAY 15 MAY 2019 AT 18H00

SUMMARY OF THE SPECIAL COMMUNITY MEETING
HELD AT THE KILLARNEY MALL
ON WEDNESDAY 15 MAY 2019 AT 18H00

The community meeting was quite difficult, partly because the venue was inadequate, and partly because the CityProp representatives refused to give answers to our questions – instead they undertook to respond in writing at an un-specified future date.

A number of frustrations were vented at the meeting, and tough questions were asked. On the good side, the CityProp officials stated unequivocally that the taxi rank project has been placed on hold until proper consultation has been done, and all the legal procedures have been followed. That was a very valuable result.

The CityProp director said specifically that they had done nothing illegal, and that they had obtained Council permission to proceed with this construction work. However the JRA traffic engineers have confirmed repeatedly, including earlier that very afternoon, that no such wayleaves have been issued. When challenged by JMPD on the site, the sub-contractors were not able to produce wayleaves as required by law, and thus they were shut down by the JMPD. The CityProp project manager has previously confirmed that they did not have all the necessary wayleaves in place. CityProp may have some bits of paper from departments which are not authorised to issue wayleaves, but they do NOT have proper permission from the municipal traffic engineers. The councillor is now following this up officially, in terms of municipal laws and regulations, as it may indicate the existence of a much bigger problem inside JRA.

The “We Love Killarney” people admitted at the meeting that they had been aware of the taxi rank project in advance, but that they deliberately withheld this information from the community at the request of CityProp. If this is true, it proves that CityProp were deliberately keeping key stakeholders in the dark all along – specifically the affected buildings whom they knew would vociferously object. This revelation virtually ended the meeting, which had been pretty farcical up to that point anyway.

We do actually need a decent taxi rank for the many residents and workers of Killarney who don’t have their own cars, and the status quo is not sustainable. The Council will not allow CityProp to develop the Mall any further if they don’t build a taxi rank as well, so CityProp are now under a lot of pressure. The Council will eventually force a taxi rank to be built somewhere, but we need to ensure that it is built on the Mall premises, not on the pavements of residential buildings.

In terms of the sectional titles legislation, only duly elected trustees can enter into agreements on behalf of their buildings. This power cannot be delegated to any other association. It is thus essential that all residents be kept up to date with developments, and that the various boards of trustees be able to make informed decisions going forward. However it is impossible to have a full town-hall meeting every time we need to give feedback, and take fresh decisions.

It was thus agreed at the meeting to form a steering committee to facilitate the process of communicating with the Mall owners and the taxi associations on this issue. It is therefore requested that every building nominate a representative to sit on the steering committee – preferably a trustee, or else a person properly mandated by the trustees to fulfil this role.

If your building wishes to participate in this steering committee, please would you send us the name and contact details of your appointed representative? We will then call a meeting of mandated representatives to agree on procedures and to commence the process. Although buildings outside of 1st Street and Killarney Ave are less affected by the current taxi rank, the problems are spreading to other streets already, so the more buildings who participate the better. We would like to get started as soon as possible, so please could all boards act quickly?

Everyone can also send all your comments and suggestions directly to CityProp, at Killarney@cityprop.co.za

Thank you to all who attended the community meeting. It was very valuable for the Mall officials to see how the community feels about this project, in case they have been misled into believing that we support their proposal.