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

Tribunal Hearing – 12 March 2021 – and an appeal for donations

Dear Residents

The Tribunal Hearing for the 5 storey, mixed-use development on Gleneagles /Barry Hertzog will continue on Friday 12 March 2021. 

Venue:                 Metro Centre, Ground Floor, Council Chamber Wing, Braamfontein

Time:                    9.30am – 5.00pm

ERA and GRA are fiercely contesting the application for this development on behalf of the more than 2400 residents who objected to this development.  We have been battling this issue since 2014 when an attempt was made to change our Precinct Plan to suit the development and then in 2015 when the development application was submitted. It is now before a Municipal Planning Tribunal for a decision. Please see an extract of the notice below and know that you are most welcome to attend in person.  Already some have committed to be there to make a personal representation at the hearing, in addition to ours and we thank you for that. We have been assured that the venue will be safe and sanitised. We thank you for your ongoing support and be assured that ERA and GRA is doing its very best to represent your views on this development. 

We also would like to urge all residents who have not yet contributed to the costs involved in employing experts and lawyers to assist us in dealing with this very serious issue, to please make a donation, however small. 

The funds will be ring-fenced exclusively to defray costs associated with this action.
 
Please deposit whatever you are able to contribute (every rand will make a difference) to either the ERA or GRA accounts with Tribunal as your reference and please email us to let us know you have made this payment. Thanks in advance for your willingness to fight for what is best for our suburbs.

Regards
Ayanda Mjekula (Chair ERA) and Judith Ancer (Chair GRA)

Emmarentia residents:
ERA account: Emmarentia Residents Association

Nedbank: A/c: 1975051173 

Branch Code: 198765 – Rosebank
E-mail POP to: treasurer@era.org.za

Payment reference: “Tribunal” (and surname)

Greenside residents:

GRA Bank account :
Account Name: Greenside Residents Association
Bank: Standard Bank
Savings Account: 007032137
Branch: Rosebank / 004205
Payment Reference: tribunal (and surname)
Please email info@gra.org.za to let us know you have made payment

For more information about the background to this issue see: https://era.org.za/proposed-mixed-use-development-to-go-to-tribunal/ and

https://era.org.za/tribunal-on-mixed-use-development-to-resume-january-2021/

Have your say on what the City must spend money on!

Dear Residents

A friendly reminder to please send us your CBP/IDP submissions by the 1st of March 2021 so we can submit on your behalf. Please see more information below: 

What Capital Expenditure projects do you want the City to focus on in Emmarentia? The City defines these
projects as:

• Sewer & water pipe replacements
• Storm water upgrades
• Road resurfacing
• Traffic calming
• New traffic lights
• Fencing of any parks and storm water drains
• Upgrading of sub-stations

Please specify which roads/part of road/sub-station etc in Emmarentia in case we need to have a phased or prioritized approach.

Email us on info@era.org.za by 1 March 2021 or here is a link to make an online submission as well: https://share.hsforms.com/1-W81Bz_gS6yf20an7wB-uQ469tl

https://era.org.za/2021/02/08/city-of-joburg-invites-residents-to-community-based-planning-outreach-sessions-20-february-2021/

You can also email your submissions to: cbpinputs@joburg.org.za

There is an Online Community Based Planning Session taking place on the 3rd March and includes our ward. This an opportunity for residents to take part in a planning session on requesting Capital Expenditure projects, as well as seeing what is planned in the 2021/22 Financial Year.

Here is the information on the session should you wish to attend:

Online Community Based Planning Session to be held on Wed 3 March at 5pm
This is for the following wards in Region B: 87, 88, 90, 98, 99, 102, 104 & 117
Click this link to attend the meeting on Wed 3 March: https://bit.ly/36SejzS

NOTE: There is another session for Wards 68, 69, 70, 82, 86 & 89 on Sat 27 Feb at 9am. You are welcome to attend it, but the focus will be on these wards. Click here to attend this meeting: https://bit.ly/2LyoylE

Join a City of Joburg Community Based Planning outreach session – 3 March 2021

This is our Ward’s chance to take part in a planning session on requesting Capital Expenditure projects and to see what’s planned in the 2021/22 Financial Year. You can join Ward 88’s meeting online on 3 March at 17h00. (Wards 87, 90, 98, 99, 102, 104 & 117 who are also part of Region B will also attend)

Things that fall under Capital Expenditure include:

  • Sewer & water pipe replacements
  • Storm water upgrades
  • Road resurfacing
  • Traffic calming
  • New traffic lights
  • Fencing of any parks and storm water drains
  • Upgrading of sub-stations

So if you want to get a project on the budget radar, this is the meeting you MUST attend.

Click this link to attend the meeting on Wed 3 March: https://bit.ly/36SejzS

Once you click this link, you will see three options:

  • Download the Windows app
  • Continue on this browser
  • Open your teams app

If you don’t have Microsoft Teams and you don’t want to download the app, click on “Continue on this browser” to enter the meeting.

The agenda of the meeting is as follows:

Agenda

1. OpeningChairperson of S79 Comittee
2. WelcomeWard Councillor
3. Virtual Engagement GuidelinesAdministrator
4. PresentationMMC
5. Community speaksStakeholders
6. Vote of ThanksCouncillor
7. Closure

If you can’t make the meeting:

The City has produced a video which gives you a bit of background about the CBP process. Find the link here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FD-WO3KWnk1lKXKISrLLCVqNQ6hCrvFG/view?usp=drivesdk

NOTE: There is another session for Wards 68, 69, 70, 82, 86 & 89 on Sat 27 Feb at 9am. You are welcome to attend it, but the focus will be on these wards. Click here to attend this meeting: https://bit.ly/2LyoylE

ERA mourns the passing of Cassim Boorany

ERA is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Cassim Boorany. Cassim had been on the executive of ERA since 2015 after he had been brought in as an IT expert to help assess all the proposals ERA received from potential fibre service providers. After Vumatel was appointed, he then assisted with the tough job of trying to get residents to give their support to the initiative.

He held the dual portfolios of IT and deputy chairperson and in these roles showed his strong commitment to the community.

“He was a pillar of support in the heated discussions around the proposed development on the corner of Gleneagles Road and Barry Hertzog Avenue,” remembers Geraldine Connell, a past chairperson of ERA.

With his IT know-how, he helped coordinate the huge number of objections (more than 2400) to the Gleneagles/Barry Hertzog development that then had to be submitted to the City. (ERA is still fighting this case at the City’s Tribunal hearing)

Cas often worked behind the scenes – the new website is thanks to him. He worked on the complicated aspects – the set up, the design, the look-and-feel, so that as IT ‘non-experts’, we could take it over and just add new bits to it. Likewise the mailchimp system where we have a database of residents and objectors that we can easily communicate with, is also due to him.

When Covid lockdown hit us all, he organised an on-line AGM so that the AGM could go ahead as required by the Constitution.

He was always the one we turned to when we received an e-mail in IT gobbledygook which he then interpreted for us and advised us on what to do.

Nothing was too difficult for Cas. He always had exciting ideas about how to solve a myriad of problems. Sometimes the solution that he was going to provide could take a long time. This was because his commitments and interests extended across a wide field. For the past 10 years Cas had been involved in workplace investigations, forensic analysis of computers, smartphones and tablets. He was also an arbitrator and mediator and had chaired many disciplinary enquiries and in other situations, represented parties in disciplinary enquiries. Despite all this work he was also studying for an LLB. Little wonder that it could take a while for him to deliver what ERA wanted at no cost to the organisation.

Even though he had resigned towards the end of 2020, he had just recently shared all the IT passwords that ERA would need with us and had assured us that he would always be there when we needed. Such a gesture indicates his generosity of spirit.

Cas was a principled person and had strong views on things and how things should be done. He was not afraid to call us out when he thought we were not taking all issues into account and he always offered additional insight that we often didn’t have. The drafting of a Code of Conduct for Exco members is also thanks to him.

ERA is the poorer for his passing. We will miss him in so many ways. ERA extends our deepest sympathy to his wife and family.  

27 January 2021

Tribunal hearing of 22 January 2021 postponed

The Tribunal hearing to hear argument for and against the proposed mixed use development bounded by Barry Hertzog, Gleneagles and Linden Roads was postponed after one of the City’s planning staff that was to attend the hearing tested positive.

The next sitting of the Tribunal will take place on 12 March 2021.

For more details about the background to the development see here: https://era.org.za/tribunal-on-mixed-use-development-to-resume-january-2021/

Reminder: Residents and objectors can attend Tribunal hearing on 22 January 2021

Dear Residents and Objectors

We would like to remind all objectors and concerned residents that they can attend the hearing which will take place at the Metro Centre – the room is on the Ground Floor of the Council Chamber Wing and we must be there at 9h30 (you must allow yourself at least 30 minutes to get to the meeting room).  We have been assured that the room will have been sanitised and that doors will be open for air circulation.   We expect it could continue for the full day.  (For more details about the background to the development see here: https://era.org.za/tribunal-on-mixed-use-development-to-resume-january-2021/

Be assured that the ERA and GRA is aware of all the objections you raised and we have been and will continue to do our level best to act in your best interests and those of our beloved suburbs.

Please do not hesitate to contact info@era.org.za or info@gra.org.za should you require any additional information

On behalf of ERA and GRA

Resident in Linden Road applies to develop 9 dwelling units

Dear Residents

We would like to inform you that there has been an application for the removal of restrictive conditions and amendment of land use scheme (rezoning) for ERF NO: 1093 – 20 Linden Road Emmarentia.

The applicants are looking to develop 9 dwelling units on this property and are therefore applying for a Residential 2 zoning.

The site is a relatively large one for Emmarentia (approximately 2 500m2) and is located in an area that is designated for medium density residential development in our Precinct Plan and in the Nodal Review Policy.  The rights they are applying for are within the density requirements of the policies.  The owner has indicated that they may retain the existing house and add additional townhouses on the property, not going higher than two storeys. 

ERA has a preliminary view that the application is acceptable for our suburb and will add new residential opportunities for the area.

If you would like to object or make a representation with regard to this application, please do so as soon as possible as the cut-off date is the 3rd February 2021 (28 days from the date on which the application notice was first displayed).

These must be submitted to the owner/agent and the registration section of the department of development planning at the above address or posted to PO Box 30733, Braamfontein, 2017, or a facsimile sent to (011) 339 4000, or an email sent to benp@joburg.org.za no later than 3 February 2021 (28 days from the date on which the application notice was first displayed).  The email for the applicant is nodetownplanning@hotmail.com and please also send a copy of your submission to ERA.

You can contact ERA for more information. Below you will find the applicant’s motivation report, the City’s response as well as other pertinent documents. If you have any questions regarding this application please e-mail info@era.org.za.

Motivating-Memorandum

SCOJ_METRO_201119145224669

site-plan_town-planning-appl4506

title-deeds

20-Linden-rdprovincial-gazette-for-gauteng-1-of-06-january-2021-vol-27_20210106-GAU-00001-00041-1

The Emmarentia Post, No 12, 11 December 2020

Message from ERA

It’s been a stressful and unusual year for us all. If Covid-19 trends in the Eastern and Western Cape are anything to go by, this pandemic is waking up again and wreaking havoc… Enough said.

Strength to us all through the festive season to continue doing all those things that we all know we must do to keep safe even if we’re just so, so tired of doing them.

To those of you in the frontline fighting the pandemic, thank you for your dedication and selfless work in 2020. Strength and good health to you all to continue doing as you’ve been doing in the New Year.

And to all of us—may 2021 bring us extra energy to face the challenges that the new year will bring us.

****

Tribunal hears residents’ concerns

 On November 11, five years after almost 2500 people objected to a proposed development in Emmarentia, on the land bounded by Barry Hertzog Avenue, Gleneagles and Linden Roads, the City of Joburg called a Tribunal to hear the two sides of the story.

Despite the inclement weather, residents from Emmarentia and Greenside came in their numbers to the site inspection. They listened to what the developer’s lawyers had to say and then they pointed out specific problems with the new build. Linden, Victory Park, Parkview and Parktown North residents also showed their support.

One resident who lives in the townhouses adjacent to Sunny Shell took us upstairs to the view from his balcony. Now a sun-drenched haven in winter, with views to Northcliff, he’s faced with the prospect of a 5 storey-block that will block both of these.

Others pointed out the busy roads on all three sides of the development and the excessive height (5 storeys) that would tower over all neighbouring properties.

ERA’s town planner, Gemey Abrahams, points out how the proposed 5-storey building will tower over surrounding properties

Increased traffic will put extra strain on the road infrastructure while numerous concrete parking bays and less ground cover will compound existing stormwater drainage problems.   

All residents bemoaned the regular unplanned power outages in the two suburbs. They expressed concern that the proposed development with offices, restaurants and possibly a day hospital with several storeys of apartments comprising 89 flats would put too much strain on the infrastructure which would not cope.

At the Tribunal

After the site inspection, the Tribunal hearing continued in Braamfontein.

ERA and Greenside Residents Association (GRA) were well prepared in large part due to generous donations from residents that enabled ERA to employ specialist lawyers and specialists in infrastructure, road traffic, electricity and retail/market analysis to counter the developer’s arguments. A special thanks to those residents who gave their time and expertise to help us.

At any hearing the objectors get an opportunity to raise points of legal procedure called points in limine, relating to the processes followed. The Tribunal decides on these first, before hearing the merits (or the substance) of the application.

“We raised several important points in limine,” says Gemey Abrahams, ERA’s town planning expert who has been driving this issue. “We argued that the application is void, ab initio (it is stillborn) and should not proceed, that five years have lapsed making it outdated and that not all affected parties would have had the opportunity to participate over that period.”

The Tribunal was adjourned just after 3pm to deliberate on the points in limine. “We are still awaiting their decision,” says Gemey.

“If we are successful with the points in limine arguments, then the hearing on the merits will not continue and the developer will need to make a fresh application. If the hearing continues to hear the merits of the case, it will resume on 22 January 2021.”

Thank you

Thank you to all those generous residents that donated to ERA and GRA to fight this battle. So far Emmarentia residents have donated just more than R45 000 while Greenside has donated R35 000.

These donations were almost enough to cover the lawyers’ and the specialist experts’ costs of R80 000. If the City goes ahead with the Tribunal in January, we expect to incur about another R80 000 in lawyers’ fees and specialist fees. We appeal to residents to help us cover these costs. (see page 4 for banking details)

“The GRA is grateful to be working alongside our neighbours in Emmarentia,” says Judith Ancer, chairperson of GRA. “We want to make our significant and ongoing concerns heard about the nature and scale of the proposed development. We see it as the duty of GRA to maintain the primary residential character and amenity of our suburb, to protect residents and existing businesses from encroachment by predatory commercial developments, unsustainable demands on infrastructure, increase in traffic and degradation of the natural environment.”

“We are actively objecting to the development on behalf of the residents and will continue to do so over the Festive Season so as not to lose momentum,” says Gemey.

 Reminder—Donate to take on the developer:

If you want to donate to ERA so we can take on the developer pay to: Emmarentia Residents Association, Nedbank; A/c: 1975051173; Branch Code: 198765.

E-mail POP to:

treasurer@era.org.za“Tribunal” and your surname as reference please.

STOP PRESS ON THE TRIBUNAL

Since this newsletter went to print, the CoJ has given its judgement on the points in limine that ERA and GRA had raised on behalf of objectors at the Tribunal that met on 11 November. Gemey Abrahams, ERA’s town planner explains the implications of this judgement:

The hearing began with the objectors presenting legal and procedural reasons for the application to not proceed.  These are called points in limine.

The tribunal heard the counter-argument on the points in limine from the applicant and by that time it was mid-afternoon.  The Tribunal requested an adjournment to consider both sides of the argument and arrive at a decision on these points in limine. 

None of the fuller arguments around the merits of the development had at that stage been heard.  (A tribunal hearing always has the two parts to it where first the procedural points are argued to establish whether the application is legally competent to proceed, followed by the fuller, substantive issues arguments).

We have now received the written decision from the Chairperson of the tribunal on these legal, procedural points which you can find on https://era.org.za/tribunal-on-mixed-use-development-to-resume-january-2021/

The implications and outcomes of this decision is that we will continue the tribunal hearing on the 22 January 2020 to hear the full, merit-based (e.g. the suitability of the development) arguments. All of us have waited five years to present these arguments to the applicant and the tribunal! (You can also find the Notice of the hearing on 22 January 2021 here https://era.org.za/tribunal-on-mixed-use-development-to-resume-january-2021/

You are welcome as objectors, to attend this continuance of the hearing and we are very appreciative of all the efforts of residents who have objected, given of their time and expertise, made donations and supported this long struggle against the development.  We assure you that we are taking the concerns of residents into consideration in the arguments ahead.

*****

Support local

Two people who are no strangers to Emmarentia are seamstress Ethel Mothapo and cobbler Elvis Chabalala. Many of you will know them from Happy Harry’s Dry Cleaners in Greenhill Road where they worked for more than 20 years. Lockdown ended their jobs. 

However, they didn’t give up. They were used to Emmarentia. It had become their work space; they knew their customers and they had more than 25 years of experience in their respective skills (Elvis first learnt his skill fixing leather horse straps in Krugersdorp 50 years ago).

Ethel knew all the landlords of the business premises in Emmarentia and she and Elvis managed to secure a work space of their own. Find Dolphin Dry Cleaners in Luzi Lane, just around the corner from the Cheese Basket in    Komatie Road. They also do dry cleaning.

They feature on the WOZA App in the ‘Buy Local’ section and have Felicity Gratz-Lawlor’s support and numerous other residents. Call them on 083 670 4489 and get a quote today. Their service is professional and competitive.

*****

BRIEFS

  • Speed hump on Olifants Road creates division

Although a handful of residents have complained to ERA about the “speed hump” on Olifants Road, others like cyclists and pedestrians have welcomed it.

Jozi Trails, a cycling club that patrols the spruit to keep it safe, approached JRA to install it to protect cyclists, walkers, dog walkers and runners crossing the road to enter the Botanical Gardens.

According to JRA, it is not a speed hump but a “raised pedestrian crossing”. As such it doesn’t have to comply with speed hump regulations.

ERA forwarded residents’ concerns to the councillor. If you’re still unhappy with the pedestrian crossing, please send us your proposals on what should be done to info@era.org.za

Remember: the South African rules of the road say “the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to yield to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a pedestrian crossing, when the pedestrian is upon that half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is travelling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.”

CRIME

  • Cellphone snatching continues

Out of back pockets, off restaurant tables, out of your hands, the cellphone snatchers are still at it. They’re fast and often work with a getaway car. It means that often they’re long gone when you register your phone has gone.

Moreover, Geraldine Connell, chair of the Parkview CPF, warns that those “stealing the phones … use the apps on the phone to access the victims’ bank accounts and in some cases have emptied those bank accounts.”

Remember, as soon as your cell phone is stolen, block access to all your bank accounts and report the theft to SAPS.

  • Attacks in the park

There were a number of attacks in the park in Emmarentia during November, especially in the southwestern end bordered by Judith and Beyers Naude in the forested section.

City Parks has stationed a security vehicle in the area until about 5.30pm and is closing all gates at 6pm to discourage people from walking after the security has left. Please be careful.

If you get locked out of the park after 6pm, exit the park through the Olifants Road or Rose Garden exits.

*****

Sprucing up the east bank of the dam

  • Please donate gum poles

Recently there has been some concern over fishermen and others driving over the pavement onto the east bank of the dam where they park their vehicles, put up tents and sometimes remain there over the weekend. This is damaging the grass, raising noise levels and exuberance.

With the festive season almost upon us, ERA is requesting donations for gum poles so that the Let’s Work team can cement erect treated gum pole bollards into the ground. These will be installed from the canoe club up to the Louw Geldenhuys entrance to the park.

Felicity estimates that it will cost about R15 000 for the gum poles and cement. R150 will buy one pole. We will mention the names of all sponsors, should they choose, in this newsletter and on our website.

Donate to Let’s Work to get it happening —see story at the end for banking details. (Reference: gum poles)

Just a reminder that fishermen need a licence to fish at the dam. You can buy a licence at the post office.

We appeal to all using the dam during the festive season to try and keep the noise levels down. People live right next to the dam and their rights need to be respected as well.

If behaviour at the dam becomes unruly or there is too much noise, please call:

JMPD—011 375 5911

*****

Telkom Mast on Marico Road

The case is still pending after an out of court settlement could not be reached.

*****

Who to call?

Remember:

· any bylaw infringement phone JMPD—011 375 5911

· Any attack/crime incident phone SAPS—011 067 6038

CITY OF JOBURG NEWS

 · Report illegal land use zoning etc

Report illegal land use zoning contraventions, additions, alterations, building development, building-signage, outdoor advertising related issues to

complaintsple@joburg.org.za

Or send to Felicity, When you report you must include your:

  • Name and Surname
  • Contact details
  • E-mail address
  • Street Address
  • Suburb
  • Erven/ Stand number
  • Nature of Complaint reported: please be as detailed as possible.

Attach Annexure if necessary

Please copy info@era.org.za so that we are also aware of the problem.

· Report power outages

Please report any electricity outages as soon as you can. The faster we report and the more reports City Power gets, the easier it is for them to isolate which area is the problem and to send a technician. Download the MyCity Power mobile app for free from Google Play Store or Apple iStore.

· Report illegal electricity connections

If you suspect that someone may be connecting their electricity illegally, please e-mail Malcolm de Lange at City Power on mdelange@citypower.co.za Please include the street address as well as the nearest corner and if possible a photo. Please copy info@era.org.za 

Remember, connecting illegally puts the rest of the grid under pressure and can lead to our old infrastructure like the mini sub-stations (TSS) blowing up.

· BEWARE – electricity and water disconnections

Felicity Gratz-Lawlor advises that City Power/Joburg Water do not call ahead to tell you they are coming to disconnect due to non-payment. They are *supposed* to give you a pre-termination letter (but this doesn’t always happen).

If someone does call and claim you owe money and they are going to disconnect you – please send their number to Felicity Gratz-Lawlor (Ward 88’s ward committee representative in charge of infrastructure) on 082 568 1783.

Felicity speaks of a case where a Mr Smith called a resident threatening disconnection but when Felicity called the number it most definitely was not Mr Smith from City Power. “They were obviously hoping the resident would pay them not to disconnect,” she warns.

· JRA

Potholes growing by the day

On November 3 2020 JRA announced a 6-week catch-up plan to deal with a backlog of 48 000 potholes. This was before massive downpours added to that huge number. And this number excludes the reinstatements (repairs that Joburg Water has done on roads or on pavements that JRA then needs to cover with bitumen) and the clearing of stormwater kerb inlets that weren’t attended to during lockdown.

Although the catch-up plan was meant to start in Regions A, B (Emmarentia falls in Region B) and E, we’re still waiting for them to fix the reinstatements on Komatie near the mosque, on Umtata and others.

Please report new potholes and  other defects by emailing:   hotline@jra.org.za

Damage or injury caused by poorly maintained road infrastructure

If you have been injured in an accident or your car has been damaged and you believe these are linked to JRA’s road infrastructure, download the claim form from JRA here https://www.jra.org.za/documents/Public_Liability_Claim_2020.pdf and e-mail to claims@jra.org.za

· Joburg Water

In terms of the service delivery agreement signed with the City of Joburg, Joburg Water is meant to fix water leaks within 48 hours of it being reported.

Please keep reporting leaks, burst pipes, sewerage leaks by sending an email to: customer@jwater.co.za 

Specify clearly where the leak is—the street address, nearest corner and the suburb. They will send you a reference number. If it’s still not fixed after 2 days, please forward details to:

info@ward88.co.za and copy info@era.org.za

· Libraries still closed for lending

According to Joburg libraries’ Facebook page, “the City of Johannesburg public libraries remained closed in line with health and safety protocols.”

You can return your books from Monday to Friday between 9:00 and 12:00 and 13:00 and 16:00 but you can’t take any new ones out.

· Pikitup’s new Call Centre

Operating between 8am to 4.30pm, you can get them on 010 055 5590. Phone them for Skip + household bins, bin replacement, bulk waste (eg your old mattress, stove so it doesn’t end up in the park—it’s a free service, don’t pay the driver!) illegal dumping etc.

Pikitup will remove your bulk waste from your home for free: old mattresses, old stoves, fridges etc. Don’t put it on your pavement – it will just end up in the park and the Let’s Work team will then have to remove it

****

A Plea to dog-walkers

 With sponsorship from Tyson Properties and the sanction of City Parks, ERA has managed to get a board erected at the Orange Road entrance to the park.

Huge thanks go to Tyson Properties for organising it and getting it installed. Now please can dog-walkers do what is requested of them?

If any businesses would like to sponsor dog poop bags please e-mail info@era.org.za

****

“House of Horrors” exposed in Emmarentia

Hidden behind high walls and tall trees, inspectors from SPCA and SAPS Parkview recently raided a house in Emmarentia where a member of the public had reported that animals were being kept in cages under inhumane conditions.

More than 150 exotic animals were discovered ranging from chinchillas, hamsters, rats, mice, guinea pigs to parrots, a red-eared slider and a boa constrictor.

According to the SPCA, “dozens of chinchillas were seen stacked on top of each other in utter darkness and the stench of ammonia, nearly knocked both inspectors off their feet.”

Some of the neglected and petrified animals were in such bad condition that they had to be euthanased.

A special thanks to the whistleblower for saving so many animals. Criminal charges are being investigated.

A SAPS employee examines the many containers

****

Keep supporting Let’s Work

Whether it’s cleaning our  parks, cutting weeds and grass from the TSS’s (mini sub-stations) or removing rubble, the Let’s Work Team continues to do sterling work to keep our suburbs clean. They rely on your generous donations to keep doing their job. See box below for bank details and to donate money for the Gum Pole fence on the dam.

Want to receive this newsletter direct to your e-mail? – click herehttps://era.org.za/subscribe/

If you are not yet a member of ERA, but want 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: treasurer@era.org.za   

(Reference: surname and telephone number) together with your completed membership form. Download a membership form https://era.org.za/join-era/  

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.

Please e-mail info@era.org.za for the link or look on our website – www.era.org.za We look forward to seeing you all there virtually.   

Portfolios

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.

Thank you

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.

Other views

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.

Challenges

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 info@era.org.za

Pool invasion!

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—fariedw@joburg.org.za—please cc to info@era.org.za 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 info@era.org.za 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

 Top crimes

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.

Wake up!

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.

Land invasion

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:

http://onelink.to/6aetwe

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.

COJ News

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:         

customerserviceemails@jwater.co.za  

If you want to receive this newsletter direct to your e-mail – click here:  

     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:

treasurer@era.org.za with your surname and telephone number as your reference together with your completed membership form. Download a membership form below –

ERA AGM – 14 October 2020, Virtual AGM, 18h30 for 19h00

Due to concerns over Covid-19, we have decided to make this a virtual AGM. Please e-mail info@era.org.za if you would like the link. We will also put up the link closer to the time.

The AGM was meant to be held in March 2020 but was postponed due to Covid-19. This postponed AGM will take place now and will report on the period from 1 April 2019 until end September 2020.  The minutes of the March 2019 AGM will be tabled for adoption. You can find them here: https://era.org.za/draft-era-agm-minutes-march-26-2019/

All residents are welcome to attend. If there is voting (which is unlikely), only those who are members can vote. If you are not yet a member you can join at the door, or see here on how to join: https://era.org.za/join-era/

We always welcome new members and have vacancies in some portfolios (see the current portfolios here: https://era.org.za/era-exco/  We are always looking for volunteers as we also have ad hoc sub-committees that you can get involved in or if there is a burning issue that you feel strongly about, you can help create a new sub-committee.

For more info e-mail info@era.org.za