The Emmarentia Post, No 11, 5 October 2020
Come to the ERA AGM
Worried about the possible dangers of having an indoor AGM, given the rise in Covid-19 cases, we canvassed our paid-up members to find out what they would prefer. The vast majority were in favour of a virtual AGM. We will go ahead with the AGM on the same date and the same time as advertised – 14 October 2020 at 18h30 for 19h00.
Currently we have 10 portfolios, Chairperson, Vice chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Communication, Green spaces and events, Infrastructure, Newsletter, Security, Town planning, building plans, heritage. We also have Exco members who give general support to the team. Two sub-committees deal with the environment and history.
The Secretary portfolio is currently vacant.
Sadly Anne Askew, who has held the Green Spaces and Events portfolio for many, many years has said she will tender her resignation at the upcoming AGM.
Anne has provided wise counsel and has diligently served the ERA and Emmarentia community for more than 20 years.
During her time she has served as an Exco member, a chairperson and for many years has headed up the Green Spaces portfolio. Never shying away from hard work, her style of being forthright but gentle, will be sorely missed.
ERA and the wider community, wish her a restful break.
Why you don’t want to miss the AGM—ERA Chair, Ayanda Mjekula
Join us as we share with you our strategic plans to invigorate ERA and make sure that it is relevant and responsive to residents’ concerns.
We know that security and safety are a major concern to every resident. ERA believes that safety starts with knowing each other. So come and contribute to our plans for events to ‘Get to know you’ or suggest any activity that may enhance this goal.
Displaced or homeless people and vagrants are an on-going threat to our safety. Come and understand what we are doing and can do to limit pervasive risk.
Come and understand how you can join our fight to prevent arbitrary or illegal installation of cellphone masts in your streets… even in your front-yard. Together we can put a stop to this decimation of house values.
Have you seen the incipient densification within our precinct? Join our efforts to limit this phenomenon to what is legal.
Are you fed up with poorly controlled events happening in Emmarentia? Come give us your thoughts as to how we can collectively develop plans to exercise maximum control.
The infrastructure around us is ageing and crumbling. Unless we show a united front we will fail to prevail on the COJ to pay urgent attention to what have been too frequent breakdowns.
We need your input and involvement so we can represent you better.
Read the minutes from the last AGM here:
What is the role of ERA?
In the February 2020 newsletter we reported on ERA Exco’s strategy session early this year that grappled with this question. With the AGM coming up, we thought it’s worth repeating this story.
We don’t want to ‘be sleepy and unrecognisable’, nor ‘wishy-washy and reactive’ current ERA chair, Ayanda Mjekula urged the committee. ‘We’ve got to be visible’.
The other key question Exco members asked themselves was: What do you as residents need from ERA? These are the ideas we came up with.
You want to:
· feel secure;
· be kept informed of what is going on in the suburb;
· see the value of your property maintained;
· ensure that planning and building regulations are followed;
· feel you are part of a community;
· feel ERA is doing all in its power to make local government account, particularly around infrastructure/services.
Councillor David Hensman believes that knowing your neighbour and through that creating social cohesion is a good deterrent against crime and is something that RAs should focus on.
RAs, he says, ‘should be communicating realism’ to residents on what the City can do with its limited budget.
Our ward has a low unemployment rate (4% in 2016) but neighbouring wards with suburbs like Bosmont, Westbury and Riverlea, have unemployment rates of more than 40% and likely to be higher now because of Covid-19.
RAs should get residents involved in ‘adopting a park, joining the Emmarentia/Greenside community patrollers, volunteering for the Parkview victim support group or joining street whatsapp groups’ he says.
Felicity Gratz-Lawlor, the Let’s Work team initiator and coordinator, is also on the Ward committee and is visibly active on whatsapp groups helping resolve residents’ electricity, water and streetlight problems. With Felicity there, is there still a role for RAs?
‘Yes’ she says. RAs must assist by ‘putting pressure on the City to get things done’. The City, she believes ‘is more interested in residents than ward councillors’. It can ignore the ward councillor but it can’t ignore a RA that has the backing of residents.
But there’s the difficulty. As ERA we try to represent residents the best we can. But the Exco is less than 10 people. Most of us have full-time jobs. Only a few residents attend ERA public meetings, only about 10% of residents have signed up as members. It is difficult for us to know what you want.
Come to the ERA AGM. All are welcome—you don’t have to be a home owner, you just have to live in the suburb and you can join at the door. If you’re not sure if you want to join, just come and listen and have your say and help us develop a plan around what still needs to be done.
And if you can’t make it, e-mail us with your ideas on firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens when an Egyptian goose couple take over your owl box, produce goslings and start eyeing your swimming pool as their own water space?
You put a desperate plea for help on one of Emmarentia’s very resourceful WhatsApp groups and on WhatsApp advice you gather your own family together, shepherd the goose family out your gate and down the road to the dam.
“My kids had so much fun,” was the resident’s response and the gosling parents wisely guided their offspring to the protected area of the dam.
Let’s Work and Angi’s Dance Studio do us proud
On Heritage Day Let’s Work and Angi’s Dance Studio joined hands to produce a very slick Jerusalema.
The professional performance was a result of hours of practising. The Let’s Work team had been polishing their moves every morning and one day were joined by Pikitup workers.
Likewise Angi trained young dancers from her studio and also spent some time guiding not such young residents from Rose Village through the steps.
On Heritage Day the dance began at Emmarentia Park and then moved to Rose Village where young and old danced happily and then braaied.
Huge thanks go to Let’s Work, Angi’s Dance Studio and Eugene from City Parks who provided the sound system. We will put up the link to the video on our website once it’s live.
The many facets of Let’s Work’s work
Every day of the week the Let’s Work Team are busy.
With their blue Let’s Work jackets on you’ll find them clearing storm water gutters, cleaning the spruit, sorting food to take to those in need, cleaning the green spaces of rubbish, cutting fire-breaks to protect the trees from fire, removing the numerous ‘penis enlargement’ stickers, and many other activities that keep our suburb (and Ward) clean.
For many of the workers, it’s a temporary job, some their first job, that gives them very basic skills and makes them more likely to find another job. Many move on to other jobs.
But ‘man shall not live by bread alone’ and the NPO desperately needs money to continue doing the sterling work that it does and to provide jobs to those that have nothing. It also needs soup containers like old yoghurt tubs so it can continue providing soup to the needy.
Building/renovations/heritage—follow the procedures
- No building noise on Sundays and public holidays:
Just a reminder to all residents that if you’re trying to get your renovations/alterations finished by the December holidays, there are certain rules that must be followed. Check the full details here:
Just to summarise:
- No using of machines/tools like angle grinders, jackhammers, etc that make a noise:
* on a public holiday or Sunday
* before 6:00 or after 17:00 on any Saturday
* before 6:00 or after 18:00 on Monday-Friday
If you believe that a builder or your neighbour is contravening these regulations, first speak to them. If you don’t get a positive response, call JMPD (011 375 5911) or SAPS Parkview (071 675 606/3)
· If you think your neighbour is not following the building plans that you signed off on before building was started, contact the building inspector, Faried Watson—083 450 2914—email@example.com—please cc to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can follow up.
· Get a wayleave if you want to store sand/bricks on your pavement and a skip for your rubble.
Failure to have either of these in place will result in a fine from JMPD.
You must also leave a clear pathway for pedestrians.
· And remember that all renovations, alterations, demolitions need approval from
* The Louw Geldenhuys family AND
* From Heritage Authorities (PHRA-G) if your house is older than 60 years,
before the City will approve your plans.
ERA acts on behalf of both these entities. Contact Gemey Abrahams, ERA’s town planning expert on: 082 459 5266 or email@example.com for:
* Any clarity on the new Land Use Scheme
* Any building, plans, heritage or town planning queries, AND
* The PHRA-G application forms and the PHRA-G Guidance Note.
For more details check out:
Crime and Security issues continue to bug us all
There are two crimes vying for top place:
* Theft of cellphones from restaurants, out of pockets, from pedestrians. Modus operandi is the same: a car (mostly Toyota Conquest) cruises past you, one person hops out the vehicle, steals the cellphone and then quickly jumps back in the car which speeds away. CAP is also reporting the theft of watches/fitbits off people’s arms while jogging, sitting.
* Theft of wheelie bins. This is becoming a regular occurrence when the bin is put out for collecting. If yours is stolen—Phone 011 375 5555.
According to crime reports, residents have lost their alertness:
- Empty vehicles are left idling
- Gates are left unlocked
- Alarms are left unarmed
· Residents are going away and not instituting property security protocols with the staff on the property resulting in thieves masquerading as service providers being allowed on to the property.
And be vigilant—home invasions are back.
A special plea to residents: be courteous to SAPS members, they are taking risks to protect us, they need our support.
Results of Parkview CPF survey
· More than 56% are satisfied with SAPS’s response after opening a case
· 15% of crime victims received victim support (Remember to phone
073 280 4453 to get help. See here https://era.org.za/parkview-victim-support-unit-to-the-rescue/ for more details on what Parkview Victim Support offers)
· 49% are generally satisfied with SAPS’s service
· 86% feel unsafe walking alone at night
· 35% feel unsafe walking alone during the day.
So far we haven’t experienced land invasion as in some other suburbs, but there are increasing numbers of people who are erecting shelters or sleeping overnight in the suburb. The Let’s Work team try to discourage this. Donate to Let’s Work so they can continue to patrol the spruit.
You can also report all incidents of land invasion, including shacks, tents and shelters in open spaces, to JMPD’s new 24/7 hotline: 0800 120 555.
WOZA is back
Local resident and creator of the WOZA app, Paul Nogueira hasn’t been slumbering in lockdown. He’s created a revised WOZA app – The WOZA/ Buy Local Initiative – and it’s free. You just have to agree to receive ONE whatsapp per week that promotes local businesses.
The popular shake-to-activate is still there and you can choose to connect it to your security company, and/or SAPS and important family numbers.
Not only does it keep you safe but a new button on the app connects users to the buy-local online market and Services Directory, which helps small business owners, including home-based businesses, to recover from … 2020!
If you want to register your home business go here: http://www.buy-local.co.za/register.php
Or better still, download the WOZA app and do it there:
Create your own services directory with references from the community for plumbers, electricians, handyman services – all behind one button on the Woza app.
Any questions, ask Paul – 0824993552.
BEWARE: Illegal to cut down pavement trees
City Parks has announced “zero tolerance for illegal removal or cutting of [pavement] trees”. A resident recently had a R188 000 fine added to their rates bill for cutting down seven trees.
According to Margaret Arnolds, MMC for Community Development, the fine is based on the replacement cost for the tree which is in turn influenced by its age, size, species, availability, location, historical significance and current market prices.
If you need pavement trees to be cut/trimmed, call City Parks on 011 375 5555.
DOs and DON’Ts around water
Living in this country we increasingly have to be level/stage literate. There’s an app to help us understand Eskom’s stages. Covid Level 1 is now happily with us as long as we keep washing hands, wearing masks and all those things..
Now Joburg Water has reminded us all of Level 1 water restrictions. By mid-September the level of the Vaal Dam had dropped to 36% compared with 57.6% last year during the same period.
The following restrictions apply:
- No watering of gardens between 6am – 6pm (from 1 Sept to 31 March)
- No washing of paved areas and driveways using hose pipes.
If you have a borehole, please put a notice on your wall.
If you see any burst pipes, leaking water meters, open hydrants or sewerage leaks,
Phone: 011 375 5555/086 056 2874
SMS: 076 333 5052; e-mail:
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If you are not yet a member of ERA, just a reminder to join. Subscriptions for 2020/2021 are: R350 per annum per household (R200 for over 65s); R950 for businesses. Pay to: Emmarentia Residents Association, Nedbank; A/c: 1975051173; Branch Code: 198765.
E-mail POP to:
firstname.lastname@example.org with your surname and telephone number as your reference together with your completed membership form. Download a membership form below –