Come to ERA’s AGM and hear about these issues and give us your views:
INCREASE IN COJ TARIFFS EFFECTIVE 1 July 2022:Water 9,75% (average); Electricity 7.47%; Refuse 5%; Property Rates 4,85%. Do we just accept annual increases like this with stoic resignation?
MOU with CITY POWER: City Power wants us to sign a MOU with them to protect its infrastructure – at our expense! Should we sign it?
HOMELESSNESS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS for our neighbourhood and surrounds: What are the solutions?
CRIME & SECURITY:Hear about new, inclusive and co-operative initiatives to fight crime. How you can get involved.
ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY THE CHARACTER OF EMMARENTIA: Telkom wants to erect a 20m 5g mast in a resident’s front garden.
ALBERT’S FARM HOMELESS: The Friends of Alberts Farm and JOSH are working with government (local, provincial and national) to come up with a long-term solution for the ‘homeless’ living in the park. Come and hear what they’re doing and put your questions to them.
THE CITY HAS APPROVED THE MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT OPPOSITE DOPPIO ZERO FOR 89 FLATS PLUS SHOPS/OFFICES/DAY CLINIC: What to expect next?
Residents will remember that the proposed mixed use development site on the seven properties in the island of land bordered by Barry Hertzog, Gleneagles and Linden Roads, gained planning approval from the municipality. The developer is now seeking Provincial Heritage approval to demolish these 7 houses. Any residents wishing to object or comment may do so. You have until 15 August 2022 to object.
Provincial Heritage Resources Authority Gauteng, Private Bag X33, Johannesburg, 2000 or e-mail to:
FROM October 2021, vigilant residents on Komatie Road began to document and complain to Checkers of sewerage leakages emanating from its loading zone. The sewerage would wash down Komatie Road, onto The Braids and into the stormwater drain leading to Emmarentia Dam, leaving a terrible stink.
Early this year the number of leakages intensified. ERA and residents were rightly alarmed of the dangers of raw sewerage contaminating Checkers’ food as it was being offloaded as well as the risk of people coming into contact with it along its path to the dam. Dam users themselves, like canoeists and fishermen also risked being harmed.
On March 11, three Komatie Road residents met with the acting branch manager and gave Checkers 7 days to sort out its mess. On March 14, after confirming with the three residents, ERA wrote to Checkers reiterating the Komatie residents’ demands and demanding to know what plans Checkers had to resolve the problem. ERA also copied in both the department of health and Councillor Jonker. The department of health confirmed that they would monitor the situation.
When there was no response from Checkers, Komatie resident, Glynis Cohen, who is also a lawyer, offered to act pro bono on behalf of ERA and submit to Checkers a formal Letter of demand.
Only then did Checkers act. Work was planned for the Easter weekend but because of heavy rain, it was done subsequently. So far there have been no further leakages, but Checkers be warned – ERA with residents are keeping a watchful eye on the situation.
Meanwhile, branch manager, Justice Hlela, reports that complaints ERA took up with Checkers in February this year about the blocking of Komatie Road by huge delivery trucks, could soon be a thing of the past. Checkers will extend the loading area into the existing parking area. “We just received a quotation for the wall and to extend the gate….. by next week or so the contractor will start with their work,” says Hlela.
Come and meet ERA
At the end of February, some of ERA’s Exco members sat outside Eastern Temptations (thank you to Uncle Solly for giving us the space !) to answer questions about ERA and encourage more residents to join.
We were planning another meeting outside Checkers on 4 June. Unfortunately, our busy Exco members are no longer able to be there but we will have another one soon. You can e-mail us on email@example.com – tell us what we should be doing for the suburb; ask us why you should join ERA. Let’s see how we can work together more effectively.
Dam upgrades imminent?
Many CoJ projects were delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. One such project is the remediation of two earthen wall dams (known as the Van Riebeeck dams) in the dog-walking section of the Jhb botanical gardens which should have been carried out in 2021.
It’s hoped that work on these two dams will start soon. Extensive work will be carried out including removing the invasive alien plants like water lilies, reeds, water hyacinth, pickerel weed and yellow flag irises.
Both dam walls will be raised a little. The outflow of the top dam will be moved to the western side to allow for aquatic animals like frogs to move more easily between the two dams. The eastern outflow of the top dam will be blocked off.
The reeds that have undermined the outflow of the middle dam will be removed and the outflow renovated.
A new bridge across the outflow and wetland on the eastern side of the middle dam will be built.
Contractors will have to cordon off huge sections of the park during the construction process and it won’t be possible to access all areas that we are used to using. We will give more details as and when we know.
Hope for the Botanical Gardens fountain
You might have noticed a big trench and construction work around the middle dam in the dog-walking section of the park. Last year thieves vandalised the pump, dug a huge trench from the water pump on the middle dam up to the reservoir and stole the cables.
After receiving an insurance payout, the Botanical Gardens is now doing its best to prevent a repeat.
“We boxed the new cable in concrete to prevent theft again,” says Botanical Gardens manager, Sandra Viljoen. A box has been built “around the sump to secure the pump – you will need a crane to lift the concrete lid to get to the pump!”
Once the plastic pipes that were damaged are fixed as well as two leaks, then the reservoir will be filled and the water features will work again.
Emmarentia dam – then and now
The photo below was taken in the 1960s when there would have been a big sign saying ‘Whites only’. Happily now it’s open to everyone to enjoy.
The photo below is a recent photo taken by Westdene resident and regular visitor to the dam, Mooniba Bhyat. Thank you.
Birding in Emmarentia!
Did you know that there is an active online birdwatching community in our hood? Did you know that they routinely record more than 50 species a month and have since inception recorded over 100 species. They also share relevant local bird-related pictures and stories. If you want to join e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
ERA increases cost for building plans
endorsement and heritage letters
ERA undertakes two important functions for residents wanting to upgrade their homes. All properties in Emmarentia have conditions in their title deeds that require your building plans to first be endorsed by the original township owner, the Lourens Geldenhuys Family.
ERA acts on their behalf for your convenience. The City of Johannesburg will not approve your building plans without this endorsement.
The second function ERA performs is to facilitate the approval of your building plans with the Provincial Heritage Resources Agency (PHRAG) if your house if over 60 years’ old (most properties in Emmarentia fall into this category now). By providing you with a letter outlining the history of your home and providing a recommendation to the PHRAG, the process is more streamlined. The new fee for this letter has now also been linked to membership where an ERA member will get R300 off the new fees. Go to the link given above to see these fees.
ERA urges all residents to contact ERA before finalising your building plans as we also give advice on the process and can help iron out problems early, saving you time and money and ensuring compliance.
Please contact ERA portfolio head of building, planning and heritage for your plans or heritage letters – Gemey Abrahams: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 082 459 5266
Interesting Heritage Fact
Through owners having to get heritage approval, the early history of Emmarentia is revealing itself.
Just this week we found a house built in 1937 which must be one of the very oldest in Emmarentia, because the township was only proclaimed in 1937. The house is on Barry Hertzog Avenue which was then called Main Rustenburg Road. The house had modernist influences and one of the renovations was done by a well-known architectural firm from the 1930s.
Planning regulations require that what is built on the ground matches what is on the approved plans. If you intend selling your property, you cannot do so without approved plans. This can delay your sale if your plans are not up to date. Your buyers will not be able to secure a mortgage for the property without approved plans.
When purchasing a property in Emmarentia please ask the Estate Agent to show you approved plans of the house (and check that they match what is on the ground) before purchasing.
Our February newsletter gave a short briefing on the laws that govern working from home. ERA’s Gemey Abrahams has now put together a comprehensive document outlining the laws that apply and what you must do to remain compliant.
New councillor Nicolene Jonker is being run off her feet as loadshedding continues to ravage old infrastructure. She appeals to affected individuals to report their outage first on citypower.mobiIf there is no response after 3 hours, escalate to her with your name; address; date logged; time logged; ref no; short description and photo if possible.
Meanwhile ERA attended a meeting hosted by Cllr Jonker together with City Power. City Power spoke of vandals interfering with infrastructure during load shedding without risk of being electrocuted and of ongoing theft and destruction of infrastructure.
Please contact City Power’s dedicated control room to report any irregular events (e.g. tampering, theft, vandalism etc.) at TSS (Transformer Substations) and MSS (Mini-Substations). Phone 011 490 7911/7900/7553; follow up on WhatsApp 083 579 4497.
Contacts for Councillor Nicolene Jonker: Cell: 063 479 4234
“Crime in the precinct is dropping,” says Parkview CPF chairperson, Geraldine Connell. This is because of “the passionate and hands-on leadership of Visible Policing Commander Lt-Col Mokwena and Captain Augustus,” she says.
At the recent Parkview CPF meeting on May 11, representatives from the Liquor Forum, several security companies and Residents’ Associations all applauded their efforts. CPF meetings with stakeholders will now take place weekly after an instruction from the Gauteng Provincial Commissioner.
The May meeting sought “to identify and address crime in the precinct and to get feedback from community leaders on how to curb crime in it,” says Connell.
Operational Commander Captain Augustus encouraged all informal patroller groups to sign up as patrollers under the officially endorsed “Community in Blue” CPF patroller scheme. Anyone wanting to join, register by using the following link: https://form.typeform.com/to/Urb6TAtz
Meanwhile the CPF held a fingerprinting and training session for patrollers at SAPS on Saturday May 14 and will schedule more of these as more patrollers join the CPF patrollers. E-mail email@example.com to join or find out more.
PLEASE NOTE: The landline telephones at many SAPS stations are still down due to the negotiation of a new contract. In the meantime, call the Relief Commander on: 071 675 6065 or 10111 – a reference number is given and vehicles are dispatched to where they are needed.
The Emmarentia Post is published 5-6 times a year by the Emmarentia Residents Association. It is published online on ERA’s website, on Emmarentia WhatsApp groups and printed and distributed to every household and business in Emmarentia. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to advertise or sponsor the printed newsletter.
The City of Johannesburg uses a Spatial Development Frameworks (SDF) to guide future development and investment in the City.
In terms of legislation it is updated every five years.
The SDF is part of the City’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and is the spatial representation of development, future development and investment.
The City prepared the SDF 2040 in 2016 and later, in 2019 it added two further policies – the Nodal Review Policy and the Inclusionary Housing Policy as annexures to the SDF, after they were approved separately. Part of this new update will be to integrate these policies, according to the City planners.
The City is now due to update the SDF as five years have passed since 2016.
They have been consulting with residents and stakeholders, such as Residents’ Association, professional bodies, private sector through virtual meetings and have called for inputs and comments on this SDF update. They have prepared a Draft 2021/22 SDF for all stakeholders to comment on and the final date for submitting inputs has now been extended to the 11 May 2022.
This is an important spatial planning policy that affects our suburb, as witnessed with the approval of the mixed use development on the corner of Barry Hertzog Avenue/Gleneagles/Linden Roads. ERA has prepared a draft submission and has been part of a wider initiative with neighbouring Residents’ Associations to provide inputs on this Draft SDF.
We would appreciate any comment or feedback on it or if you would like any points edited or added before we submit to the City on the 11 May 2022 please do let us know. We can also provide the City’s SDF Statement and invitation to a Region B presentation on the SDF, scheduled for the 4 May between 9h30 and 11h30, if you would like to attend and pose any questions to the City Planners or just have your say – you will find the link to that meeting in the SDF statement attachment
Please submit any comments back to ERA email@example.com by MONDAY 9 MAY 2022. Also if you intend making your own submission to the City, please also copy ERA with your submission.
It is ERA’s mission to inform residents, have an active and empowered citizenry and to be transparent with information. ERA believes that engaging in these important policies and plans is critical to the future of Emmarentia and in all of our best interests . This SDF has the potential to impact significantly on Emmarentia and neighbouring suburbs by weakening local planning (e.g. our Precinct Plan has been set aside and no longer guides development) and imposing generic, denser, taller and mixed use development guidelines across our suburb (and many others) through the Nodal Review Policy.
Please also consider joining ERA and if you have a particular interest in planning, development and building or heritage please get involved as we welcome your expertise and contribution.
Emmarentia’s whatsapp groups are a good indication of residents’ sentiment. We know your deep frustration at all the infrastructure failures.
It’s easy for us to throw up our hands and give up. But other posts on our Whatsapp groups show that residents care deeply about our suburb and its inhabitants and want to resolve its problems.
There’s the Happy Feet example in this newsletter, the rallying by neighbours when a crisis hits a household, concern over the dams in the park and the Go2 initiative during Covid.
On Saturday February 26, ERA Exco members will be outside Checkers and Eastern Temptations from 10am to 1pm. Come and find out more about ERA, who we are and what we are trying to do. You’ll see there are not many of us; we desperately need your help. Come and chat to us. We hope you’ll find a way to join us. We know your help will make ERA more effective.
Mixed use development given go ahead
...But not quite as the developer wanted
WAY back in 2014, ERA became aware of a proposed 5-storey mixed use development (supermarket, shops, restaurants, office, banking and apartments) on seven sites in the triangle bordered by Barry Hertzog Ave, Gleneagles and Linden Roads.
Residents were alarmed. They felt the development was “not in keeping with the area,” says ERA’s town planning expert, Gemey Abrahams. They believed it was too high, too intense and would create traffic and service problems and the 5000m2 of non-residential use would negatively impact the existing shops in Greenside and Emmarentia. Moreover, it did not comply with Emmarentia’s Precinct Plan. All residents wanted to see medium-density residential development on the site.
Notwithstanding our concerns, the developer submitted a rezoning application in 2015. ERA and Greenside Residents Association (GRA) then called a further public meeting which resulted in 2479 people objecting to the proposed development.
After years of silence, the City gave notice that it would begin the Tribunal process to hear both sides in November 2020. ERA and GRA again called a public meeting where residents decided to engage specialist lawyers to represent their views. It was important to note that City Planning policies had changed in this time to support mixed use development and our Precinct Plan was deemed to be no longer applicable.
After an unprecedented eight separate days of hearings and almost eight years later, the Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) has now approved the application in terms of Section 21 of the Municipal Planning Bylaws but not quite as the developer wanted.
What was approved
· Business 2 zoning with conditions to allow for offices and/or a medical day clinic
· Height of 5 storeys with 4 storeys adjacent to Erf 1132 (Emmarentia Palms townhouses), with floor height restrictions
· Planning rights for 55% coverage and 1,35 Floor Area Ratio;
· Maximum of 89 residential units and must include Inclusionary Housing: 20% of the total residential floor area must be made up of units that are 50% of the average size of the market units in the same development, with a maximum of 150m2 and a minimum of 18m2 per inclusionary housing unit. At least 30% of the total units in the development must be for inclusionary housing;
· Other conditions include: deliveries via the basement; visually permeablewalls around the development; pedestrian and vehicular access separate and water-permeable paving for the open parking; one tree per 3 parking bays.
What ERA and GRA won for residents
· The development will not be as high as originally proposed. (4-storeys next to Emmarentia Palms). The height of the 5-storeys must not exceed 21m and the height of the 4-storeys to not exceed 17m (similar to 3-storeys)
· The commercial component will be restricted to the ground floor.
· A private open space strip along the boundary with Emmarentia Palms 15m wide and 1 500m2 in area (effectively creating a 15m building line along this boundary).
· The building will be set back from Emmarentia Palms and land used as a park strip.
· The residential component must provide a range of housing accommodation; 30% must be affordable housing.
· The non-residential and residential rights are linked so the developer cannot develop only the shops and not the residential component.
· A new traffic study must be done, if the JRA requires it, so that more accurate traffic information is available.
· Deliveries to be underground at one entrance, not alongside the townhouses.
· Heritage authorisation shall be obtained prior to the submission of the Site Development Plan.
Importance of objecting
If ERA and GRA hadn’t engaged lawyers (at great expense) and other experts (some of whom gave their time freely) there is no doubt that the developer would have got exactly what he wanted.
Big thanks go to ERA’s Gemey Abrahams for leading the process for ERA and GRA and to ERA chair Ayanda Mjekula and GRA chair for providing ongoing support.
Tell us what to do
Abrahams urges residents to debate these questions:
· Should we appeal the Tribunal ruling? This would mean engaging lawyers again (probably in the order of R50 000) and is dependent on getting further donations from residents. The appeal must also be submitted within 28 days of the decision
· Should we rather fund-raise to prepare an updated Precinct Plan that “will mitigate the indiscriminate provisions of the General Urban Zone in our area,” says Abrahams. To do this, “ERA will need funding and volunteers from the community,” says Abrahams.
Let us know urgently what you think and if you are prepared to help. Send ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
Checkers and SAPS undertake to resolve problems in Emmarentia
Mazoe residents, ERA and Lets Work met in February with Checkers and SAPS and CPF Parkview to discuss the increasing number of vagrants on the corner of Komatie and Mazoe Roads, drinking in public on Luzi Lane, numerous cases of thefts of cellphones (both in and out of the store) and cars from the parking lot, the congestion caused by trucks at Checkers’ loading bay on Komatie Road and putrid waste-water released into Komatie Road.
Mazoe resident Hisham Bhamjee reported that one of the problems was that residents gave money or food to the beggars (in one instance R6000) and that this just fed their drug habits and encouraged them to return.
There were instances (also reported by shopkeepers) where those that had received the food or were hoping to receive it, (in one instance a mother with her small child next to her) were seen shooting themselves up with drugs.
Checkers branch manager, Justice Hlela, said many of the vagrants were aggressive and armed with knives and this made it difficult for Checkers to police them. In the past some had climbed over the wall and burnt their generator and bins.
Bhamjee and ERA plead with residents to rather redirect your money towards established charities that are doing good.
Checkers undertook to:
· Continue not to give out expired food to beggars
· put speedhumps and cameras at the entrances and exits to the parking lot
· approach the landlord to give some of the parking space to extend the loading bay so that the long delivery trucks can fit inside the loading bay, the gate locked and Komatie Road kept clear
· put barbed wire on the inside of the loading bay and cameras around the building
· Checkers will re-open its canteen now that Covid had subsided so that staff can eat their lunch inside the shop and not on the pavement.
Branch manager Justice Hlela reported that the sewerage problem is “90 per cent” complete. Old pipes had been replaced with new ones and the waste-water had been redirected into the sewer line. ERA will continue to monitor.
Checkers will keep ERA informed of time-lines on undertakings.
SAPS undertook to:
· Do a weekly arrest of those drinking in public
· Investigate the drug dealing/drug usage reports
· CPF to monitor SAPS.
Is your home business operating within the law?
Covid-19 has impacted many economically and made our homes a work site as well. But are you operating within the by-laws?
This article spells out town-planning by-laws set out in the Land Use Scheme for a property zoned Residential 1 (most houses in Emmarentia) but remember there may be other health and safety, heritage, building by-laws that also apply.
Conditions that apply
If you want to operate a business from home:
· YOU MUST permanently reside at the property,
· YOU CAN use up to 25% or a maximum of 50m2 of the area of your house for this purpose
· YOU MAY EMPLOY not more than 2 other persons (not members of the household who permanently live there)
· YOU are responsible for maintenance of the entire property.
The business MUST NOT:
· cause noise, smell, dust, pollution, parking, loading and off-loading and extra traffic and the assembly of workers which may impact on neighbours.
The business CANNOT:
· interfere with the amenities of the neighbourhood
· negatively impact the infrastructure services greater than that required for domestic, home use.
· store anything the Council considers unsightly or undesirable or that is a risk to the safety and security of residents.
YOU MAY NOT use your dwelling house/unit for these types of businesses:
· a public garage, motor sales, motor workshop, heavy mechanical repairs (e.g. grinding, welding, sanding, etc.), car wash, industrial / commercial purposes, noxious industries, scrap yard, spray painting, panel beating, shop (retail outlet), spaza / house shop, tavern / shebeen, restaurant, coffee shop, tea garden, place of amusement, place of instruction, institution, guest house, bed and breakfast, boarding house, commune, hotel, funeral parlour, undertaker, pet salon or any such other uses as the Council may determine.
Parkview CPF chair, Geraldine Connell, reports that it has restarted the broader community meetings where SAPS is also present. These take place on Zoom every second month.
She urges residents to take part in their regular virtual meetings that will take place every two months at 18h00. Find out when, including the Zoom link here
Connell reports that the CPF has been extremely active in 2022.
· The CPF now has a much better idea of the reported crime in the precinct, the workings of SAPS and the relationship with SAPS staff is also improving after SAPS stations were instructed to allow CPF EXCO members to attend their Station Crime Combatting Forum meetings which take place three times a week.
· The vetted and trained CPF Patrollers have begun patrolling the precinct. More training and finger-printing opportunities for the other patrollers to happen soon.
· The social crime prevention sub-forum is extremely active together with Sergeant Phoko and the Victim Support Unit. There will be monthly awareness-raising events at shopping centres and in the parks, four more Tea with Retirees events, as well as monthly school visits.
· The CPF is pursuing its intention to have a town hall meeting with the City of Johannesburg officials about the burgeoning number of illegal occupants in open spaces. All affected and interested parties will be invited to attend this meeting.
The requests that the CPF emailed to the Councillors of the Wards within the Parkview precinct were responded to by the new MMC: Community Development – Ronald Harris. He facilitated contact with the Region B Director – Mohau Ntheli – whose office has agreed to arrange the meeting.
Details will be supplied to ERA as soon as they are known.
For the past two years, members of the Happy Feet Running Club in Emmarentia have vowed to keep “Emmarentia bridge as beautiful as Sea Point,” says Ahmed, one of the members.
With money collected from members they pay a team to regularly clean up.
Contact 076 44 11 873 to find out more or to join the club.
Thanks to Let’s Work
Keep donating to Let’s Work so the team can continue to cut and clear mini sub stations, clean verges and the many other projects that they do to benefit Emmarentia and Ward 88.
Gleneagles mini-sub – before and after its makeover
BE WARNED: No cutting of trees on pavement
A resident was just fined R155 000 for cutting down four trees on their pavement. If you want your pavement trees trimmed, make sure you contact City Parks (see above) and if no response, escalate to Councillor Jonker.
Recognise these plants?
Be careful—you could be harbouring an invasive alien plant (IAP) like the Bugweed (can grow into a tall tree) and Lantana (also has orange flowers) in your garden or on your pavement. Producing prolific berries which birds love, they soon spread, crowding out local species.
Check here to find a full list of IAPs including ones you must remove from your garden.
Covid-19 fear recedes
We were heartened by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement in his February 10 SONA speech that government intends ending the national state of disaster soon.
In the meantime he urged everyone to get vaccinated. Booster shots are now available: Pfizer—6 months after your last shot; J&J—2 months after your last shot.
Get one at Parkhurst Clinic, Charlotte Maxeke Hospital and Hillbrow Clinic for free or visit one of the many private vaccination sites.
How to deal with Omicron
For useful advice from Joburg GP, Dr Sheri Fanaroff on living with Omicron, isolation (including for those that are asymptomatic), quarantine – when you can send your child back to school – masks; sanitising and distancing; social interactions; school and work; vaccines; new variants and other useful advice click here:
This is an old photograph taken by photographer Ken Bath when he lived in Emmarentia. See here for more.
Taken from the family’s back fence in Rustenburg Road (now Barry Hertzog) looking to Northcliff Hill.
Emmarentia is still to be built. The old Louw Geldenhuys farm dam and one of the farmhouses visible close by.
The City of Johannesburg has sent out notices calling for participation in the 2022 budget and community-based Planning (CBP) through their outreach sessions in a virtual session on 21 February at 17h00 for our ward (and combined with several other wards). The purpose of these sessions is to get inputs from residents on the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) (on which the City’s budget is formulated) and to identify community-based projects in our suburb.
ERA has consistently engaged residents each year to compile a submission for the IDP and we are again calling on our residents to identify potential capital (not maintenance and repair items) projects that will improve our suburb and which are needed.
ERA submitted a comprehensive IDP input last year and we have also been monitoring whether the City and its Departments and Entities have done any of the projects we submitted. Below you will see that we have had a measure of success, underscoring the importance of the City-driven process in keeping our suburb desirable and well-maintained.
For us all to participate in this process and for our voices to be heard, ERA would like to hold a Virtual meeting on 16 February 2022 at 18h00 where we can have an open discussion and get inputs from residents on priority capital projects for Emmarentia. If you’d like to attend, please e-mail email@example.com to get the link.
Our understanding is that any larger, multi-million rand capital projects are best noted for the IDP. Smaller, community-based projects in the suburb can be submitted as part of the community-based planning input: issues like broken kerbs, pavements, failed reinstatements (where Joburg Water has fixed a water leak in the road but the tar has not been replaced), roads which need resurfacing, broken stormwater drains fall into the CBP category.
Should you rather wish to e-mail your ideas directly to the City, please feel free to do so but please copy ERA on firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can be aware of all projects recommended and include them in one consolidated document.
Please do not hesitate to contact ERA should you require further information. Also forward this to your neighbours and encourage them to attend. Please join ERA – we are here to serve you!
Hope to see you on 16 February.
Table of some items submitted by ERA in 2021 for the IDP and progress
ERA 2021 IDP item
Progress by the City
1. Joburg Water: Replacement of main pipeline on Hill/Kei/Komatie roads
Not effected. But City has undertaken to replace another major pipeline that brings water to Emmarentia
2. City Power: Urgent replacement of mini-sub on Hill Road, corner Mazoe
This was completed
3. City Parks: Replacement of sections of perimeter fence – Melville Koppies central and West
4. Removal of disused public toilet on Barry Hertzog Ave/Greenhill Road
POSSIBLE NEW PROJECTS FOR 2022
JRA: Traffic calming on Orange and Hill Roads to reduce speed of cars and make safer for cars and pedestrians. At the very least, mirrors should be installed on some corners to enable better visibility.
Currently cars race down Orange Road and Hill Road. If you are driving from Troon towards Hill and Orange Roads it is impossible to see cars travelling on Hill and Orange. A pedestrian has been killed walking on Hill Road. Many cars have gone straight into the palisade fence of the park at the end of Orange Road as a result of travelling too fast
The Emmarentia Residents’ Association (ERA) and the Greenside Residents’ Association (GRA), along with many other interested parties and an unprecedented 2 479 residents objected to this development application back in November 2015. The site comprises the block of remaining erven behind the Sunny Shell and Emmarentia Palms bordered by Barry Hertzog Avenue, Gleneagles and Linden Roads. The application was for a mixed-use development that would include a grocery chain store, other shops and restaurants and a medical day clinic and offices with 89 residential flats above it, extending up to 5 storeys in part.
As ERA and GRA, we put up a strong objection to the development because of the thousands of objections from our residents and beyond. Residents felt that the development was not in keeping with our area due to the height and intensity of development, that there was no need for other shops which would cause the Greenside and Emmarentia local business nodes to deteriorate, that the traffic would be negatively impacted and that services would be under more strain than they already are. Objectors were not against development and wanted to see medium density residential development of the site.
ERA and GRA had to use experienced lawyers and experts to make these and other technical and legal arguments at great financial (and volunteer time) cost to our organisations and we had very valid, well-reasoned and substantiated arguments. The proceedings of the Tribunal began in November 2020 and several sittings were held until September 2021, indicating the complexity and the strength of our arguments. We faced adversity but did not waiver in our commitment to put across the views of the community at every turn.
ERA and GRA made some important “wins” despite the decision that will allow a mixed-use development and we can advise that the rights approved do restrict the height – the part that will be 5 storeys will effectively reach the height of 4 storeys and similarly the part that will be 4 storeys will be the same as 3 storeys. A small open space will be provided between the development and the neighbouring townhouses, limiting the impact. In addition, the rights apply only if mixed-uses are developed, so the developer cannot develop only the shops and not the residential component. Also, the non-residential part of the development can also only be developed on the ground floor (they had applied for it on two storeys). Other conditions such as no liquor sales and a requirement for a new traffic study if required by JRA (we effectively proved that their traffic studies were unreliable), were also included.
Quite significantly and at our insistence, the MPT has also imposed conditions relating to what is called ‘Inclusionary Housing’ (a new 2019 City Policy) and the developer must provide 30% of the maximum 89 approved units to be flats that are smaller and affordable to lower-income families. The developer had argued that this inclusionary policy does not apply to this development and that they are not required to provide such, so this may prove a blow to them, while providing Emmarentia with a more integrated residential development.
ERA and GRA are disappointed that the MPT did not decide to limit the development to residential development only because we know this is what residents wanted and it is what we argued vehemently for. However, in 2019, the City approved a new policy called the Nodal Review Policy which promotes mixed use development in many parts of our suburbs and across Johannesburg generally. This development application was held back until this policy was approved by the City, because it did not originally comply with the Emmarentia-Greenside Precinct Plan and in fact, was not supported by the City Planning Department at that time. The Nodal Review Policy set aside our Precinct Plan, paving the way for developments such as this to be supported by the City Planning Department and the MPT.
The development approval process is complex and it does allow objectors to lodge an Appeal to the decision within 28 days. The Appeal Tribunal is in fact the MMCs (politicians) of the municipality, advised by officials who also may sit on the MPT. ERA and GRA will consider our options, risks and costs of an appeal, but should any residents wish to appeal the decision, please advise ERA and GRA.
ERA and GRA wish residents to know that they can be proud of the strong fight that these organisations put up on your behalf and under difficult conditions, of the unprecedented time and expertise that the members volunteered on this matter (spanning several years) and we wish to thank all residents who also contributed time, expertise and donations to this very important development objection.
ERA and GRA still have outstanding bills for lawyers’ fees and welcome any donations towards this, in appreciation of the valiant fight for our communities. Donations can be sent to:
ERA:Emmarentia Residents Association, Nedbank: A/c: 1975051173 Branch Code: 198765 – Rosebank E-mail POP to: email@example.com Payment reference: “Tribunal” (and surname)
Read the Tribunal’s full decision here: (please note – we have excluded the bulk of the contents of page 1 as well as all the contents of pages 2-8 since they contained a list of all the e-mail addresses of the more than 2000 objectors who objected to the development. ERA didn’t feel it was right to put all this information on our website without contacting each of those to whom the e-mail was addressed. Hence you will only see pages 9-12.)
The Official Publication of the Emmarentia Residents’ Association
Newsletter No 4, October 2021
As we hit almost 600 days of Covid-19 lockdown, things are starting to feel a little more normal. Kids are back at school and writing exams (a special shout out to all those writing matric); many of us have got used to virtual meetings to run our lives and we’re finding that new shopping apps that appeared during the pandemic are relieving us of having to visit the shops every day. And takeaways are just an Uber Eats, MrD or numerous other apps away. Please remember to continue supporting our restaurants. They rely on us to keep them going.
And be Covid-safe – we don’t want the 4th wave to engulf us all and stop us having December holidays.
If you haven’t been vaccinated – do it – and your kids aged 12 years and over can also get it done. Parkhurst clinic provides free Covid testing and vaccinations; there are numerous private vaccination sites close by like Milpark, Dischem Victory Park, the drive through at the Houghton Masjid.
Make your mark on November 1 – X
On Wednesday October 20, ERA set up a zoom meeting and invited all 24 candidates standing in Ward 88 to come and tell residents why we should vote for them and to encourage an accountability ethos from the soon-to-be-elected councillor. ERA’s chairperson, Ayanda Mjekula, made it clear that ERA is here to provide a link between residents and the newly elected councillor.
Six candidates accepted the invitation. Five of the candidates live in and are standing only in Ward 88:
David Kruger, ActionSA
Mattheus Moichela, ANC
Nicolene Jonker, DA
Nomsa Mathunjwa, EFF
Michael O’Donovan, Independent
The sixth candidate who attended, Raynauld Russon, from Shosholoza Progressive Party, doesn’t live in Ward 88 but “has interests” in it. He himself is standing in 98 other wards as a ward candidate.
If you want to listen to what they had to say, you can check it out on You Tube: https://youtu.be/jsbelTEiDNU[The meeting starts at 27:35 – listen from there]
17 of the other candidates are standing in multiple wards.
Remember that you have two votes on 1 November – one for the ward candidate (click here to see who is standing in Ward 88) and one for the party (Click here to download the list of the more than 50 parties standing in Johannesburg).
Half of the city’s councillors are ward councillors, the other half are those elected by proportional representation. Every vote counts. For example, if you vote for the EFF in Ward 88 and that person is not elected, your vote will also be added to all the votes that the EFF gets from the proportional representation vote.
Tribunal hearings over – judgment imminent
The Tribunal process around the proposed 5-storey mixed-use development of shops, offices and flats on the seven plots on the area bounded by Gleneagles, Barry Hertzog and Linden Roads had its final sitting on September 20.
In terms of the law, the City had until October 20 to give its judgment. We expect the judgment any day now and will inform residents and objectors as soon as we receive it.
The exercise has proved very costly for ERA and GRA. We once again appeal to Emmarentia residents to either donate to ERA for the costs of the Tribunal, or, if you are not already an ERA member, to join us.
Special discounts available for a 2-year membership: R500 for 2021/22 and 2022/23. Rates for pensioners (R200 per annum) and businesses (R950 per annum) remain unchanged.
Emmarentia Residents Association, Nedbank; A/c: 1975051173; Branch Code: 198765. E-mail POP to:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Reference: surname and telephone number) together with your completed membership form. Download a membership form here:
(If you are donating for the Tribunal costs, please change your reference to Tribunal)
Proposed Greenside/Parkview development on the cards
While ERA fights the above development, another developer has put in a proposal for a 5 to 6-storey, 61 dwelling units, residential and retail development in Greenside Extension 7 (Erven 1334 – 1338) on the edge of Parkview golf course, on the corner of Gleneagles and Tyrone.
ERA has registered as an Interested and Affected Party (IAP) for the environmental assessment process and had also previously objected to the planning application for the same development.
Manager of the Proteas Bowling Club on Orange Road, Max Haessler, reports that while Covid-19 has been a difficult time for them, things are starting to normalise with their kitchen now open and the bowls league restarting. He would “love residents to join the club. Our team was in the finals last year, but they lost in the final,” says Haessler. The team plays in different leagues with the Saturday league starting again in January 2022. They also sometimes hold social bowls on a Sunday. Contact email@example.com or phone him on 083 307 7602.
Haessler has also undertaken to inform ERA when events are planned so that we can inform residents. “Often we are accused of making a noise when in fact it’s another club in Marks Park,” he says.
Worrying increase in numbers of people sleeping rough
Like many residents, ERA has become increasingly concerned about the increasing numbers of people sleeping rough on the spruit, across from the Pirates garden-waste dump and in numerous other areas. It was also disturbed by the illegal way in which the City attempted to remove people living in Alberts Farm.
Worried by these developments, ERA joined with numerous CPFs and residents’ associations in the adjacent areas and sent a letter on October 15 to the councillors of these wards and copied to the mayor and numerous other city officials. The letter pointed out that “some of these unlawful occupants are waste-picker entrepreneurs” who are “sourcing and separating the recyclable waste and delivering it to centres where it can be processed in an environmentally sustainable manner. They should be receiving payments for their trolley loads that amount to a living age, be allocated a space to sort the waste and dispose of what is not recyclable and be given an acceptable solution to their accommodation needs.”
Since this was not happening, the letter requested the councillors to urgently “request the CoJ once again, to appoint one or more mediators to facilitate meetings so that we can resolve disputes and find solutions for dealing with the issues relating to the unlawful occupants in the public open spaces.”
No response has yet been received from the councillors.
Thieves target copper cables during load-shedding
Please keep your eyes and ears sharply tuned during load-shedding. Now that all the copper cables in the upper lines have been replaced with aluminium, cable thieves are targeting the copper cables attached to the bottom of electricity poles. They know when load-shedding is going to happen and can easily plan which cables they are going to steal without fear of electrocution. This happened recently on Linden Road and The Braids. If you see or hear anything suspicious call it in immediately: CAP 082 366 1852 (or your security company); SAPS PARKVIEW – 071 675 6062/ 071 675 6063.
New guard hut in Botanic Gardens welcomed
After regular muggings of cyclists and walkers in the dog-walking, south-west section of the Botanic Gardens (corner Judith Road and Beyers Naude), a guard hut has now been installed at the hot spot and shift changes happen at the hut so that the area is guarded from 6am to 6pm when the park is open. But keep vigilant and try and walk together with others in open spaces.
Parkview CPF patrollers almost readyto patrol
Now that the new patrollers for Parkview CPF have been vetted by SAPS, they will undergo training on November 13, reports CPF chair, Geraldine Connell.
The CPF will pay for a video of the training so that as other patrollers are vetted by SAPS, additional training sessions can be held.
The first patrollers will start their patrols on 15 November, just as the crime picks up towards Christmas.
If you’re worried about the crumbling infrastructure in our suburb, join the ERA infrastructure WhatsApp group set up by ERA where you can raise your concerns: whatsapp Nina Zylstra 083 564 4435 to request to join.
Join a WhatsApp group in Emmarentia – https://era.org.za/join-a-whatsapp-group-in-your-street/ – they are founts of knowledge on: strange noises at any hour of the day or night; the latest in the antics of criminals and how to secure yourselves; first-hand references for plumbers, tilers, painters, electricians; Covid testing and vaccination sites and everything in between.
“My name is Norman and I came from Soweto. Eleven years ago I had to leave my wife and daughter to try and find work. I picked Emmarentia.”
Many people, like Norman, leave their homes and families to try and find work in the cities and suburbs. It didn’t work out for Norman and it doesn’t work for most. He tried his hand as a car guard, but competition was fierce. Having resorted to begging, Norman was too embarrassed to return home, let alone contact his wife and family. He slept in Emmarentia Botanical Gardens at night, where hiding from security guards he and his friend could not make fires. Instead they relied on alcohol to help sleep on cold nights. He acknowledges that most of the money he made begging was spent on alcohol.
“There were a lot of fights… other homeless people came to steal what I have.”
Norman now advises. “Do not give beggars money. I used that money for alcohol and the others use it for drugs. There are better ways to help.”
About 16 months ago, after the first Covid lockdown, Norman volunteered to join *Let’s Work*. Let’s Work provided him with the income and structure he needed to get off the streets. Today his life is not unsure. He can pay rent and his wife and daughter have joined him in Zandspruit where they enjoy life as a family. His nine-year old daughter now attends school. Through the Windsor Homeless Shelter Norman completed a Certificate of Competence in Basic electrical, plumbing and First Aid. Norman now provides for his family, is sober, works at Let’s Work 6 days a week and has become more employable. He is not merely getting on his feet, he is now excelling as a father and husband._
“If it was not for the residents and Let’s Work, I would still be living on the street, without my family.”
Donate to Let’s Work FNB cheque account, Let’s Work NPO#201-696; A/c 628 0129 9472 Your reference – your suburb (or whichever Let’s Work project you want to donate to)
Six of the 24 candidates (ANC, ACTIONSA, DA, EFF, Independent, Shosholoza Progressive Party) standing in Ward 88 for the Local Government Elections on 1 November 2021 attended a Zoom meeting for residents organised by ERA on October 20 2021. (click here to see a list of all the candidates)
Candidates each had seven minutes to talk about themselves and why residents should vote for them. Thereafter residents got a chance to put questions to the candidates.
You can see what happened and listen to what was said in the meeting on the You Tube link below: