The NKRA is grateful for the support provided in the 4th Street park by our park sponsors RUSSELL FISHER PROPERTIES and VISION TACTICAL SECURITY.
NKRA Communique – March 2023
We held our March public meeting over the internet at 18h30 on Wednesday 15 March, and despite the load shedding, some useful discussions took place. The various points arising from the virtual meeting are included in this newsletter. Our next virtual public meeting will be held at 18h30 on Wednesday 19 April 2023. All owners and residents of Killarney and Riviera are welcome to participate. An agenda with a meeting link will be circulated closer to the meeting date.
It seems that the criminals have evolved a new scheme. Some buildings have recently had the experience where criminals have approached the guard on duty, telling him that a phone or iPad has been stolen from them, and that they have traced it to “this building”. They then demand that the guard let them in so that they can “search the apartments for their property”. Please would you all warn your guards to be aware of this latest ruse.
Fraudsters are currently sending out emails urging recipients to click on a link to view updates on investment and/or Life Insurance products. Once you do, you will be asked to input sensitive information and to accept an OTP on your phone or other verification device. They then use this information to access your accounts and commit frauds. We have also seen similar emails claiming to come from banks, SARS and the Post Office too. Please don’t even open these emails. Check the email address from which it came, and unless that is the regular email address of your bank or broker etc, then don’t even open that email.
Another cell phone has been snatched in 3rd Street near the Mall. All visitors and residents must please be continually warned not to display phones on the pavements.
The municipal parking area in 7th Street opposite Castlerosse has been used for years by illegal hawkers, and it has been suggested that we should consider creating a legal hawking area in this parking lot, heavily regulated and managed by the JMPD. We publicised this idea, but the vast majority of the responses from the community thus far have been opposed to the idea, mainly because of the perception that the hawkers will not bother to comply with any regulations or restrictions, and that the JMPD will not bother to enforce compliance.
No such idea can be formalised without the consent of the residents who live in the immediate vicinity of the area concerned. Killarney Wilds, which is directly opposite the trouble spot, has recently communicated that they are very opposed to any arrangement which would make these hawkers a permanent fixture on their doorstep.
Although reaching a win-win agreement with the hawkers does sound ideal in theory, it was noted that the hawkers currently have everything they want already, including minimal enforcement of laws and restrictions. They therefore have no incentive to accept any obligations or restrictions upon themselves for our convenience. It was also noted that hawkers have been removed from this site before by JMPD, only for different hawkers to instantly take their place. In addition there would be very little attraction for the residents to enter into an agreement with some specific individuals, if other illegal hawkers thereafter arrive and take advantage of the precedent, but make no commitment to adhere to any of those agreements and restrictions. Until JMPD resumes actually shutting down illegal hawking and enforcing the related by-laws, the residents will have no leverage to bargain with. It was therefore agreed that we will need to wait a bit longer before we can approach the hawkers to negotiate “legalising” their activities. Councillor Huggett will meanwhile continue to press JMPD to enforce the existing by-laws.
At the same time, some people have again broken through the JRA security fence at that car park, and are again camping and dumping on the embankment. Councillor Huggett again undertook to press JMPD and JRA to take action.
We have a lot of issues at present involving various repairs to water pipes and gas pipes where the streets and pavements have not thereafter been properly reinstated. Some of these holes are very dangerous, especially outside PPS at the traffic circle in Federation Road. Furthermore, a while ago the municipality dug up many of our pavements to replace a power cable, and they have not yet resurfaced any of those pavements either. In addition numerous new potholes have recently appeared in our roads.
The municipal inspector has visited our area to inspect our pavements and potholes, supported by the extensive list of issues which we gathered from our residents. He has logged all of our issues, and undertook to follow this up with the operational managers to ensure that action is taken. However they gave us no timeline on this, and we should assume that they will focus on repairing the main roads first, to the extent of their limited resources. Cllr Huggett has reported that the JRA road repair service seems to be improving of late, and she will try again to persuade them to attend to our roads – even if just the main roads. We have seen some action in Riviera Road at the Oxford Road intersection, but much more is required.
We will continue to pursue these repairs with our ward councillor. We also need to continually contact the Discovery Pothole Patrol, asking them to attend to the major safety issues in our various busy main roads. They have asked us to mark all areas requiring repairs on their App, and to screenshot all reference numbers and send this back to them on email. Please would you all help us in this project by sending a Whatsapp “Hi” to 084 -POTHOLE (084 768 4653), and then following the prompts.
In addition to the steps above, for a number of months we have been discussing undertaking another private repair project. We have publicised this idea repeatedly in our newsletters, and so far the responses have all been in favour of the NKRA undertaking this project, with nobody having spoken against it. There is a justifiable concern that the municipality might dig up the pavements again as soon as we are finished, but we have waited a long time for them to complete those repairs, and for a long time there has been no sign of any further progress.
We need to do this work when the weather is dry, but we cannot do it when it is too cold. In 2021 the NKRA spent R68,000 on repairing the various pavements and potholes around our area. This involved laying down four loads of asphalt-mix over four consecutive days. To avoid the rain we undertook this project in July, and in the week in question it was ridiculously cold. The asphalt comes hot from the factory, but it cools rapidly on the truck, and cool asphalt doesn’t stick properly to the road and will crumble easily thereafter. April-May is probably the ideal time – after the main rains, but before the main cold snaps. It would be quite risky to wait longer than May.
A truckload of hot asphalt-mix today costs R24,000 – including the labour and machinery – if we use an SMME. Spreading a full truckload will take the best part of a day. There will not be enough time to collect and use a second truckload on the same day, and we cannot let hot asphalt stand on the truck overnight as it will solidify. In addition, we cannot estimate how much asphalt we will require to fix the proposed list of issues, because every pothole is a different depth, and the trenches on the pavements also vary in depth. However from our past experience, we will probably need at least three truckloads.
A resident has meanwhile also contacted the Discovery Pothole patrol to see if they would be more willing to help us if we pay them. They said they will fix the main roads for free, and that they will help us in the secondary roads at a cost of around R700-800 per square metre. This price is much more expensive than what the SMME has quoted us.
We did not undertake any major projects in 2022, and so we have accumulated R73,000 up to the end of February 2023. In addition, at the time of writing, 27 buildings have already made their current-year contributions (49% of all the sectional title buildings in the area), for which we are very grateful indeed. Our current cash balance is now R116,000, although we obviously should not spend all of our funds on this single project.
Fixing a busy road is dangerous due to the heavy traffic, and we cannot block off a main road, so we will need to wait for the municipal contractors to take action on these particular issues. We can only act on the pavements, and on the less-busy side-streets. This would therefore exclude from our project the issues in Riviera Road, Killarney Avenue, 4th Avenue and 7th Street, as well as the area around the PPS building in Anerley Road and Federation Road.
The March public meeting therefore agreed that the NKRA should address the potholes in the quieter roads of 1st Street, 2nd Street and 3rd Street, as well as in 2nd Ave. We will also patch the pavements that were dug up but not repaired in 2nd Avenue, in 1st Street, in 3rd Street, and in 8th Street corner Newtown Road. The idea is to make the pavements safe to walk on, not to make them smooth like new, as this would be unaffordable. If there are other potholes in side roads that need urgent attention, please let us know ASAP.
It is therefore hereby proposed that we should proceed to acquire a maximum of three truckloads of hot asphalt-mix, at a cost of R72,000, and to repair as much of the potholes and pavements as we can with that quantity of material. If we find that we can do everything with two truckloads, then we will stop at that point (although this is probably a bit unlikely). A final decision will only be made at the April public meeting, on 19 April, but we will need to act quickly thereafter to avoid being caught by a cold snap. If you cannot attend the April meeting, please would you share your inputs on this proposal by email?
We are also looking only at patching tar surfaces for now, and we will look at areas paved with bricks and paving stones as a separate project. Meanwhile, we thank buildings like Gleneagles, Killarney Court and Whitehall Court, who have taken steps in the past few weeks to fix potholes and pavements around their buildings.
An urgent intervention is also required for the overgrown pavements on the motorway side of 7th Street, as the pavement is now completely blocked by vegetation and rubbish. We are continuing to pursue the matter with City Parks and JRA, but if this doesn’t work then we will need to hire a service provider. We have obtained a quote of R8,250 – which includes removing three skips full of waste. Again, Cllr Huggett suggested that we allow her a few weeks to see if the JRA could be persuaded to actually do their job. The final decision will be taken at the April public meeting of the NKRA. If you cannot attend the April meeting, please would you share your inputs on this proposal by email.
For all municipal service delivery issues, including potholes, pavements, Pikitup, electricity and water issues, you can contact the municipal Call Centre on 0860 562 874 to have your concerns forwarded to the relevant operational departments. Please would everybody keep on reporting these issues, and always ask them for a reference number. Please also take photographs of the potholes and/or damaged pavements etc where you can, because the municipality seems to respond slightly faster when we include photos to support our complaints.
While we wait for service delivery from the municipality, we continue to ask all buildings please to help us by cleaning up litter and weeds on your adjacent pavements and gutters. Litter and weeds create a general impression of neglect, especially among potential new investors.
James Delany of Monviso in 10th Street is continuing his great work in The Wilds. This work benefits all of us, because uplifting The Wilds not only beautifies the area, but it also improves the security of the area as well. Most recently, James and his team have upgraded the 10th Street gate into The Wilds by adding a new pedestrian gate, stone bench, plants and mosaic. The security guards at buildings on 9th and 10th Street have keys. You can assist The Friends of The Wilds Foundation with skills, labour or cash contributions. If you are willing to make any contribution to this valuable work, please contact James Delaney at email@example.com.
The owners of the Killarney Mall have confirmed that they will be building a taxi facility on their premises, but that the project will take more than a year to complete. This gives us a rough target date around March 2024, although no specific timelines have been agreed upon. Councillor Huggett will continue to communicate with the management of the Mall, in order to stay up to date on progress. Meanwhile, the Mall is currently sending one of their cleaning staff to help clean the pavements at the illegal taxi rank. They are also investigating sponsoring some permanent outdoor gym equipment in the park.
The membership invoices for the 2023 financial year were sent out at the beginning of March. So far 27 buildings out of the 55 sectional title buildings in Killarney-Riviera have paid their NKRA membership subscriptions for the year ahead – this is about 49% of the total. The current list of the members for 2023 so far is as follows:
- Berkeley Square
- Beverley Heights
- Bretton Woods
- Canterbury Close
- Christina Court
- Devon Place
- Dumbarton Oaks
- Earls Court
- Hampshire Mews
- Killarney Court & Gardens
- Killarney Hills
- Killarney Village
- Killarney Wilds
- Mentone Court
- Park Avenue
- Riviera Mansions
- Riviera Villas
- The Rivieras
Many thanks indeed to all these buildings for your on-going support. Thank you also to the various people who make personal donations as well.
Please would the NKRA members provide feedback on the various issues described above? We are happy to receive photos of any interesting things around our area, which we might include in future newsletters. We also welcome all suggestions from all residents, on all issues.
Our next virtual meeting will be held at 18h30 on Wednesday 19 April 2023.
Greetings to all, keep well, and keep safe.