Emmarentia Residents Association info@era.org.za (000) 111-1111

Emmarentia Post, No 2, June 2023

NO WATER… again!

We thought nothing could be worse than having no power for days on end… But then —our taps ran dry, it was October 2022 all over again.

In May we sent CoJ entities a list of questions, many of them sent by yourselves. We invited them to a meeting on May 16 to give us their answers. We wanted to know from Joburg Water:

* What is your plan to prevent future supply issues?

* What quality management practices are in place, especially with the near emptying of reservoirs with the current water issues?

Joburg Water—no show

Joburg Water didn’t come to our meeting, nor did they answer these questions. When our taps ran dry again in June, we again received no details of what Joburg Water was doing to resolve the situation. Instead each day we were told— “Hursthill 2 reservoir critically low to empty. Please use water sparingly”

ERA demands answers

In frustration, ERA wrote to the City Manager demanding that Joburg Water be brought to account and that residents be regularly updated about the water situation each time there is a problem. (see https://era.org.za/2023/06/19/era-demands-answers-from-joburg-water/

At the same time, our councillor Nicolene Jonker and Greenside councillor, Bridget Steer, were putting all the pressure they could on Joburg Water. Finally the councillors reported that Rand Water was going to increase its daily water supply to into the Hursthill 2 reservoir to allow it to stabilise.

And even more exciting, the planned 2-day maintenance by Rand Water was postponed to allow for water supply to normalise.

Our excitement was short-lived. On June 20, we lost water again. This time Rand Water was to blame… But at least we got some answers.

Keep reporting water outages to customer@jwater.co.za and forward these references to info@era.org.za so we can gather full details of outages and demand more answers.

Thank you!

A huge thank you to the mosque and  numerous residents who have shared their borehole water with us all so generously. We are all deeply grateful. Life would be so much more difficult without you.

City Power braves residents’ anger

Despite a chilly night, a few intrepid residents braved the cold to attend the Marks Park Town Hall meeting organised by Cllr Nicolene Jonker and ERA on May 16.

We had sent JRA, Joburg Water, City Parks, City Power, CRUM and JMPD a whole set of questions submitted by many of you.

On the night JRA, Joburg Water, City Parks, JMPD all sent their apologies. The only entity that was present was City Power with 5 representatives including Jakes Mbatha (City Power team leader for Ward 88, now promoted) and Siphiwe Maphumulo, HursthillDepot Manager, as well as representatives from stakeholder management. City Parks submitted their answers after their meeting. We have heard nothing from the other entities.

“It’s not a good night to be here,” said Mbatha, “especially with all the outages but we couldn’t not show our faces to residents.” He stressed that the long outages that Emmarentia residents sometimes experience are not confined to our suburb. Many other suburbs also go without electricity for days and most trips take place after load shedding.

“Our systems are not designed for load shedding with the system being switched on and off regularly,” said Jakes. “The ones that are most often damaged are the MV cables and finding these faults and then repairing them takes a long time.” He explained that there is protocol that has to be followed, the cables are picked up, tested and only then can they be taken to the place where they are needed.

Although there is large-scale vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructure across the City, he said that Emmarentia was not too badly affected yet. However early in June, the Niger Road mini-sub was vandalised during load shedding and affected residents were out of power over the long week-end. We’ll continue to talk with Councillor Nicolene Jonker and City Power to see how to counter these.

Questions that were put to City Power

City Power’s reporting system is very poor. I was without power for 5 days. I reported but got no feedback for a long time. When the system said ‘people on site’, there was no-one on site.

Mbatha: If the system says ‘on-site’ or ‘repaired’ and you are still without power, please report to Councillor Nicolene and to City Power. Often contractors report ‘complete’ and they are paid but sometimes the work is not complete. Residents need to help by reporting these.

Councillor Jonker: DO NOT pay contractors when they tell you they can’t fix whatever is wrong because City Power “has no money”.

I know people get desperate, once residents paid R5000 for a new cable. The next time the contractors will wait a bit longer because they know that they can get money directly from residents. Let’s get that out of the system.

Mbatha: Contractors should be competent and be in a position to do quality work, [they must] do the job right the first time. We’ve had issues with our contractors where they produced shoddy work and we are dealing with those. The training for the new City Power employees is ongoing.

Is City Power understaffed?

It is fully staffed – new operators are being trained.

For years there have been complaints lodged with City Power regarding Limpopo Road. There are large fluctuations in voltage resulting in damage to sensitive electronics. Residents have reported that the problem has been diagnosed as likely overloading due to an additional street being connected to their feed because of theft or damage and City Power claiming no budget to fix the problem.

They are sharing a feeder with John MacKenzie. There is no funding to fix. Will be looked into to try avoid       outages. Ideally it should have its own feed. Teams should monitor load drawn from that feed.

The Roosevelt substation is clearly in need of some upgrades – it frequently trips for extended periods, especially following the extensive 4-hour loadshedding slots. Does City Power have any planned upgrades for the substation to handle load spikes? 

Maintenance was done on the substation but that isn’t where the problem is. Trips are caused by cable faults (partic-ularly MV cables—outside of the sub-station) – they can’t handle sudden inflow of current after load-shedding. It is a long process to dispatch a team to find the fault. 

Are there options around businesses holding off on drawing current for a while after loadshedding – e.g. keep using their generators?

City Power is engaging with businesses to try and find solutions and agreement in this regard.

I keep trying to get the footpath lights over the dam repaired or globes replaced as they haven’t been working again for months and months. City Power says it is City Parks’ responsibility and vice versa. Who is responsible, and when will these lights be replaced? Can residents buy street lights and have City power install?

Nicolene to engage planning to see what can be done.

What is City Power doing to secure electrical infrastructure from vandalism and theft?

ERA to follow up with City Power and Nicolene.

REPORT CABLE THEFT: 083 579 4497

When should we log a fault with City Power?

The system at Roosevelt substation was designed so that red lights would flash if any areas did not come back after load shedding.

However, this system is no longer working. If your power doesn’t come back after load shedding, log as soon as possible so that they become aware of which houses, roads and areas are out. Contact City Power on:

*  Joburg Connect on 0860 562 874 or 0860-JOBURG, option 2, OR

*  City power call centre: 011 4907484 OR


Choose from the following options:

  • Dangerous situation
  • Power Outage
  • Street Lights
  • Smart Meter (Not Billing-related)
  • Meter Fault (Not Billing-related)
  • Power Quality Issue
  • substation grass cutting / Vegetation Clearing


Once you have logged the problem, you should receive a SMS with a reference number and a blue link. Send this reference number to Cllr Nicolene Jonker directly on 063 479 4234 so that she can escalate. Use the format below:

  • ▶Your Name:
  • ▶Your Number:
  • ▶The Address where the fault is:
  • ▶Date:
  • ▶Time:
  • ▶Ref nr:
  • ▶Short description:

Click on the blue link in the SMS and it will give you updates. Within 3 hours you should start to get SMS saying one of the following:

  • allocated; accepted;
  • on site; RIP (repairs in process)
  • If it tells you ‘closed’ and you still don’t have power, log again and escalate again to Nicolene once you have the new reference number.

Big thank you

A huge thank you to Nicolene for escalating and following up. If anyone would like to help her coordinate this huge task, please contact us on  info@era.org.za or Nicolene direct.

 City Parks gives answers

On May 16, ERA and Councillor Nicolene Jonker called a Town Hall meeting to ask City of Joburg entities to answer questions that residents had sent to us. City Parks sent its apologies but subsequently sent its answers in. See below:

Does the current (2022-23) Capital Budget provide for the planned upgrading/repair of the two upper dams in Emmarentia Parks? Yes

When is the planned upgrade due to start? Implementation will start as soon as the contractor is appointed, and the project will be for 5 months.

When are the renovations to the coffee shop in the Botanic Gardens going to be finished?

CID indicated the project will be completed by Mid June 2023.

When is the lease for the coffee shop going to be advertised? What steps are being taken to ensure that a lessee is found within a reasonable time?

Jhb Property Company was requested, when renovations commenced, to advertise – it is a Commercial Lease.



Every building/alteration/extension must be signed off by City Planning and ERA. If you think your neighbour is putting up a building illegally, report to City Planning: 011 761 0372/ Faried Watson—083 450 2914


2) A person intending to slaughter an animal in any place other than in a recognised abattoir must:

  • a)  notify the council in writing, 14 days prior to the event
  • b)   Slaughter the animal  in a position where the slaughtering cannot be observed by any person on neighbouring premises or any member of the public
  • c)  Use the meat derived from the slaughtered animal solely for the purposes of the religious or ceremonial feast
  • d)  Handle the meat in a hygienic manner at all times
  • e)  Dispose of any portions of the animal which are not used or consumed, in a manner which will not become a public health hazard or public health nuisance; and
  • f)  Not keep such animal prior to slaughtering for a period in excess of 24 hours.

Pensioner rebates—see if you qualify

 These pensioner rebates will apply for the new financial year from July 1.  Important points:

Pensioners—60-69 years, you must own and occupy the property

These criteria apply

  • Market threshold—R1,5m
  • Income criteria – if your gross monthly income is:
  1. less than R11 904 – you will get a 100% rates rebate up to R1,5m. You will pay rates on the value above R1,5m.
  2. more than R11 904 but less than R20 404 = 50% rebate up to R1,5m, normal rates on the value above R1,5m. 
  3. If you receive a National Security Grant you will qualify for a 100% rebate subject to the market value threshold and conditions.

Download the form here: https://tinyurl.com/ar6zwd42
Take with you:

  • last 3-months bank statements,
  • certified proof of monthly income or certified copy of SASSA card and
  • certified copy of your ID
  • recent income tax assessment issued by the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Pensioners – 70 years and older; you must own and occupy the property

100% rebate on properties valued up to R2m, irrespective of income. You will pay rates on the value above R2m.

You need to:

1. fill in the form—find it here: https://tinyurl.com/2fuu4bek

2. Attach a certified copy of your ID

You must take completed forms to your nearest CoJ customer service centre. (You cannot e-mail them) Make sure you get a reference number from the official who takes in your application. (Apply once every 5 years)


…Only 1 day of Liefde by die Dam

A big thanks to all of you that took the time to respond to our request for your views on events at Marks Park and Botanic Gardens and more specifically what you thought of Liefde by die Dam performing for two days running. (Note: Liefde by die Dam will only perform on 5 August.)

There was a wide range of views: some were very against events while the majority were in favour, believing they “add value to our suburb by showing many people outside how wonderful our natural assets are. There is also lots of money spent by the attendees at the local shops.”

Adhere to conditions

Almost all that responded agreed that event organisers and attendees must do their part and adhere to rules regarding noise levels, parking, post-event clearing etc. Please help us police this by informing us of any contravention of these agreements.

Many residents said they would be more amenable to events if they were to see some benefits being fed back to the suburb e.g. fixing up potholes, repairing the east bank of the dam etc.

We will try our utmost to ensure that this happens.

Upcoming Events

8 July      Jeremy Loops, On the Lawn (Marks Park)

18 July    International Mandela Day – unconfirmed (Botanic Gardens)

5 Aug     Liefde by die Dam concert (Botanic Gardens)

9 Aug     Women’s Day road race (Marks Park)

12 Aug    Women’s Tribute concert (Botanic Gardens)

26-27 Aug Parklife (Marks Park)

2-3 Sept  Linden Market, Joburg Botanic Gardens

1 Oct      Spar Ladies Race (Marks Park (10 000 runners)

25-26 Nov        Linden Market, Joburg Botanic Gardens

2-3 Dec  On the Lawn (Marks Park)

(Note: Walk the Talk will take place at Cradle of Humankind, Aug 2023)

Proposed road closure—what do you say?

Security has become an overriding concern across the city and Emmarentia is no exception.

ERA EXCO members were invited to a discussion with the Security Committee of the Masjid-ur-Rahmah mosque on the corner of Barry Hertzog and Ingalele Roads. The committee emphasised its interest in collaborating with the ERA on an ongoing basis and within municipal by-laws. The mosque has invested substantially in its buildings with solar panels, inverters, sound equipment, school equipment etc. and is concerned at the risk these face with the current crime levels.

Nightly boom closure

The Mosque proposes an after-hours nightly road closure with a boom after the late evening prayer until 5am the next morning, and have already approached the JRA and Councillor Nicolene Jonker in this regard. The envisaged road closure is intended to enhance the safety and security of the mosque and its resources, many of which are offered to the general public as a community service: free filtered borehole water to residents, special needs classes, supplying a borehole to the old age home in Emmarentia, free parking for public events, cyclists etc.

The proposed road closure will affect the top section of Ingalele Road between Barry Hertzog and Komatie Road (the mosque owns the properties within these boundaries on both sides of Ingalele). Pedestrians will have 24-hour access.

Any organisation requesting a road closure has to comply with the procedures and these require affected parties to give their views.

ERA is always keen to see that the need for security is balanced with the need for freedom of movement of citizens and that, should the closure be agreed to, that the mosque will ensure that the conditions of the closure are adhered to.

Send us your views

Please let us know your views by 14 July so we can share them with the relevant authorities – info@era.org.za

Crime on the up

“Do all you can to avoid becoming victims of crime,” was the key message from Lt Col Gaffoor and Lt Col Mok-wena from SAPS Parkview when they met with ERA Exco members recently.

They recommend that residents:

  • vet all staff and others either working at or entering your property,
  • keep cars inside the property as much as possible or employ car guards if this isn’t
  • be wise when you walk in public spaces eg Botanic Gardens – avoid taking expensive cellphones and wearing expensive watches
  • report each and every crime incident to SAPS – this helps SAPS monitor where the hotspots are so that they can increase patrols
  • beware of houses being renovated – there is a tendency for these houses to be stripped while being renovated – ensure properties are properly secured while being renovated.


The two police officers spoke of the huge prevalence of fraud in the area, particularly online and on whatsapp groups. They told of a resident in the precinct who had paid R250 000 online to bring a pure bred dog into the country only to find that it was a scam.

They also warned that most whatsapp groups are not secure: criminals can easily join them. Once on the group, they find out more info about people on the group with a view to engaging in something illegal later on; others join and then post items for sale e.g. furniture, solar panels etc.. Huge sums of money are paid but nothing is delivered and there is no trail to find the people that have taken your money. (This happened on one of the Whatsapp groups in Emmarentia!)

CAP’s tips for avoiding becoming a victim


Meanwhile, Parkview CPF chairperson, Geraldine Connel, warns that there is an increasing number of vagrants in our precinct which corresponds with ongoing operations by Hillbrow SAPS to rid that precinct of crime. Unfortunately “this correlates with an increase in crime in our area; the elderly who live alone are particularly at risk,” she says.

She appeals to residents “not to feed the vagrants but rather direct them to the NGOs and churches with care programmes.”

Similarly, the number of unofficial car guards at the shops in and around Greenhill Road have also increased after the coordinated attempt by some shop keepers to formalise them failed.

We’ve received several reports of some ‘çar guards’ hurling abuse when money is not forthcoming or of car owners being pestered for food or money. 

We strongly urge you to channel your funds to charitable organisations who will distribute your contributions accordingly to those who warrant it.

Hot spots

SAPS warns that the Checkers parking lot is seeing theft and attempted theft of motor vehicles. Just recently a resident had his cellphone snatched out of his hand as he was walking into Checkers. The thief then leapt into a getaway car before the cellphone owner could do anything.

How you can help

Gaffoor, asks all residents whose security cameras may have footage of suspects or crimes to please share it with her on:

082 371 9123.

Want to open a case with SAPS? Call SAPS PARKVIEW—071 675 6065 (or 10111) and ask them to come to your home.

Sign up to become a community patroller

There are many community patrollers linked to the Community Police Forum (CPF) in the Emmarentia/Greenside area. They are always looking for more volunteers. ERA asked a community patroller to tell us why he joined.

How long have you been a community patroller?

I joined two years ago.

Why did you join?

I joined to reduce crime and to create a sense of security in the community.

What is the job of a community patroller?

We act as the eyes and ears of the police and security companies. We identify and report suspicious activities. By being visible we send a message to criminals that the residents in the area do not tolerate crime.

What crimes have you prevented since you joined them?

I’ve helped to find illegal substances and apprehended people with illegal substances.

I’ve assisted the police and home affairs with checking the documents of migrants. I’ve helped with stop and search operations with the police and I’ve helped with traffic control at accident sites/events in the area.

How safe is it to become a community patroller? I have a young family I am trying to protect. Will I put my life and their lives in danger if I join?

We work in conjunction with the police and are there only to support and assist SAPS. When suspicious activity is identified, we report it first and only confront it when the police or security company arrives. It is therefore very safe.

How do I join?

You need to get fingerprinted and get checked out on the system to see if you have a criminal record.

To find out more, contact the Community Police Forum on chair@parkviewcpf.co.za

Join ERA to help us do more for the community of Emmarentia. Contact us on info@era.org.za

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