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

The Emmarentia Post

The Official Publication of the Emmarentia Residents’ Association

Newsletter No 4, October 2021

Dear residents

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.

Stay safe

ERA

Elections

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.

Planning/building

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.

Banking details:

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 here:

https://era.org.za/join-era/

(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.

Other news

Get fit – join the Proteas bowling club

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 haessler.max@gmail.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.

CRIME

  • 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 ready to 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 would like to volunteer or find out more, contact Geraldine Connell chair@parkviewcpf.co.za

Be an active resident:

Update from Let’s Work

A Let’s Work employee expresses his gratitude

“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)

PLEASE CONTACT FELICITY TO GET INVOLVED: 082 568 1783 / felicity@letswork.org.za

Listen to ERA elections meeting

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:

You Tube video of the ERA Elections meeting with candidates standing in Ward 88 for the November Local Government Elections

2021 Local government elections info session with candidates, 20 October 2021

ERA invites all residents to join an online info session on 20 October 2021 from 18h30 – 20h00 with all ward candidates who are standing in Ward 88 in the upcoming elections on November 1. We will give them an opportunity to introduce themselves and ask each of them to tell us:
*       what they stand for, which ward and suburb they live in
*       how and what they plan to deliver to residents
*       what makes them qualified for the role
*       why residents should vote for them.

This is the format for the evening. Six candidates of the 24 that are standing in Ward 88 confirmed their attendance. These are:

  1. David Kruger, ACTION SA
  2. Mokgoka Mattheus Moichela, ANC
  3. Nicolene Jonker, DA
  4. Nomsa Mathunjwa, EFF
  5. Michael O’Donovan, Independent
  6. Raynauld Russon, Shosholoza Progressive Party
Only the candidates shaded in green confirmed their attendance. Those in yellow were not able to be contacted using the contact details in the IEC list.

Format of the meeting:

  1. Welcome to all candidates and residents and opening of the meeting by ERA chairperson Ayanda Mjekula
  2. Vaunn Kelly,  an Emmarentia resident, will moderate and explain the procedure for the meeting to all that are present:
    1. Vaunn will do a random draw to determine the order of candidates
    2. Each candidate will be given 7 minutes to speak and answer these questions (Candidates will be muted once they go beyond their 7 minutes):
      1. what they stand for, which ward and suburb they live in
      2. how and what they plan to deliver to residents
      3. what makes them qualified for the role
      4. why residents should vote for them.
    3. Those residents attending the Zoom will be asked to write relevant questions for candidates in the chatbox.
    4. Vaunn will try to ensure as far as possible that all candidates get a chance to answer questions
    5. The meeting will close at 20h00

Note: The link for the zoom meeting is https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87372050287?pwd=Y1B6THlQTlRtdmtpSU94U0F1a2RrQT09

The zoom link has been shared with other suburbs in Ward 88. The zoom meeting can only take 100 links; if we go beyond that we will try and spillover into YouTube. The meeting will be recorded so that people who are interested can watch it afterwards.

We are doing this so we can get to know our candidates better and to encourage accountability from the eventual elected Councillor.

Any questions, contact info@era.org.za 

FatMovie Night 22 and 23 October 2021 – Undertaking made to ERA by the organisers

Details
Date:
22 and 23 October 2021

Times: 18:00 – 22:00

Attendees: Estimated 150-250 people per night. Limited to 300 people (excluding Staff).

Location: Emmarentia Primary School

Description

The Movie Night Fundraiser is an event in which movies will be screened outdoors for attendees. The Movie Night supports an organisation called Project O which offers free tuition to the kids of Orlando High School in Orlando, Soweto. The Movie Night will be hosted by FATMediaZA in collaboration with Project O. Last year the money we raised contributed to the Matric Class of 2021’s stationery needs.

The event will adhere to COVID-19 protocols with attendees being screened and sanitised before entering the premises of Emmarentia Primary School.


Noise Pollution Measures

Due to the nature of the event, it is impossible to guarantee an evening without any movie related noise.  However, we do intend to implement measures to try to keep the noise at a minimal level using the following points:

Actionable Points:

  1. Residents surrounding the venue’s area will be notified with a written notice to inform them of the potential noise concerns within 2 weeks prior to the event. This will include contact details of the relevant organisers’ to contact if any complaints or grievances do arise.
  2. No music (apart from movie related music once the movies commence) will be played before or after the times of the event.
  3. Crowds will be dispersed immediately following the conclusions of both evenings to ensure no loitering or related noise.
  4. The volume of the movie itself will be kept at the lowest level necessary to ensure an acceptable viewing experience.

Details of the event:

  1. Set up to commence between 15:00 and 16:00.
  2. Parking will be limited to streets surrounding the school, with security guards on each corner.
  3. The event will officially open between 17:30 and 18:00 but screening will only start between 18:15 and 18:30.
  4. Clean-up will commence immediately after the evening’s conclusion, and potentially on the Sunday afternoon. This should have no associated noise concerns.
  5. Medical and security services will be on hand to ensure a safe viewing experience for all attendees.

Community involvement and acceptance is at the pinnacle of FATMediaZA’s priorities for this year’s Movie Night. We understand our reputation was tarnished due to last year’s misunderstanding, we assure you that this year we will try to do our best to keep the community members of Emmarentia happy and hope that we can create an evening filled with fun for all.

If you want to find out more or have any complaints on the night please contact:

Tameem Hassem – 084 831 0232

Faraaz Ismail – 076 532 9749

Erin Gradidge – 073 936 7509

The Emmarentia Post, No 3, September 2021

The Official Publication of the Emmarentia Residents’ Association

Dear residents

The Covid-19 epidemic has shaken the foundations of our lives. Many of us have lost loved ones, many of our businesses have suffered as we are buffeted by the pandemic. Students and schoolkids have had to get used to bouts of virtual teaching/tutoring. Many of us with jobs have delighted in the opportunity to work from home but have missed the camaraderie of the office. ‘Social distancing’ has become a normal word for all ages, mask-wearing and spraying of hands is second nature to young and old.

In mid-July, the unrest that hit parts of Gauteng and KZN further unsettled us. It has caused us all to take stock of our lives, how we live and how our lives affect others. Latest unemployment figures show that unemployment is at its highest level ever and with few prospects of many youngsters ever finding jobs. The economy is buckling under pressure.

In these unpredictable times, we can do a number of things to root ourselves and steady the uncertainties in our lives:

* Get vaccinated – Parkhurst clinic provides free Covid testing and vaccinations; there are numerous private vaccination sites close by like Milpark, Dischem Victory Park, Mays Chemist, the drive through at the Houghton Masjid.

* Join the Emmarentia Residents Assocation (ERA) https://era.org.za/join-era/ – feel part of a wider community

* Sign up for our e-newsletter https://era.org.za/subscribe/ to keep abreast of what’s happening

* 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 Emmarentiahttps://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.

* Be aware of anything suspicious and phone it in (see CRIME section below)

TRIBUNAL – One last session?

We had hoped that the August Tribunal hearing on the mixed-use development on the properties on the land bounded by Gleneagles, Barry Hertzog and Linden Roads would be the final hearing. However it was not to be. The half a day allocated proved to be too little.

We hope that the continuation date of 20 September will hear the final arguments from both sides so that the City can then make a decision.

Every extra day of hearings means extra charges for ERA and GRA to make our voices heard. 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.

Banking details:

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 here:

https://era.org.za/join-era/

(If you are donating for the Tribunal costs, please change your reference to Tribunal)  

[Erratum – We erroneously posted on our website https://era.org.za/2021/08/17/continuation-of-tribunal-on-mixed-use-development-25-august-2021/ that there had been over 4000 objections to the mixed use development. This should have said 2479 objections. (We have corrected the website story)]

CRIME – Call it in!

The brazen assassination of whistle-blower Babita Deokaranin broad daylight just after she’d dropped off her teenage daughter has horrified us all. Deokaran had reported fraudulent Covid-19 contracts in the Gauteng health department where she was the acting chief financial officer.

Just four days later police arrested seven suspects who have now appeared in court. The police couldn’t have done it without her proactive neighbours. One neighbour reported they had seen the same BMW taking photos of Deokaran’s house on three separate occasions before she was killed. The neighbour took photos of the suspicious vehicle. This ‘vital piece of information enabled investigators to trace the vehicle to a former SANDF member residing in the Pretoria area’, reported the Daily Maverick on August 31.

We can do the same in our neighbourhood. Call in any suspicious activity: CAP 082 366 1852 (or your security company); SAPS PARKVIEW – 071 675 6062/ 071 675 6063.

  • Uptick of some crimes:

Watch out for:

  • theft of gate motors
  • an automatic gate was lifted and the group of men who’d arrived in a charcoal blue hatchback attempted to break-into a house,
  • a security gate was broken with a pick and residents were held up at gunpoint; thieves demanded jewellery and cash.
  • muggings of cyclists and walkers in green spaces continue with the major hot spot being the southwestern corner of the Botanic Gardens at the corner of Judith and Beyers Naude. Most common time is first thing in the morning after the park is open and late afternoon when the park is about to close. And more worrying, more of these attacks are being carried out by men armed with knives and guns.

On September 8, Geraldine Connell chairperson of the Parkview CPF met again with Botanic Gardens to try and plan what to do after the most recent attack. The difficulty is that the shift changes happen at 6am, exactly when the attacks happen. Mabotwane will try and place a vehicle there overnight and the shift change will take place there at a guard hut.

Geraldine will also discuss the situation with SAPS to find out when their members can patrol and organise other interventions.

If you’re a walker, leave all valuables at home, be vigilant, don’t walk alone and remember the park is open 6am – 6pm.

Theft of infrastructure continues to plague us with copper cables stolen from the Telkom box corner Barry Hertzog/The Braids which affected 400 Telkom telephone lines and internet across Emmarentia and Greenside. On 7 September, Open Serve technicians who have been there almost every day trying to restore lines since August 24, reported that of the 156 telephone lines that were down, 56 were still to be reconnected.  

The Botanic Gardens also suffered when cables from the sub-station that supplies the park were stolen, the pump house that operates the rose garden fountain was vandalized and all the cables and switches stolen.

  • Parkview CPF beefs up its patrollers

The July unrest that hit KZN and Gauteng in July resulted in more Emmarentia residents volunteering to join the Parkview CPF. However the vetting process can take long so when there were rumours of further unrest on 23 August 2021, ‘the CPF decided to be proactive to speed up the vetting,’ says CPF chairperson, Geraldine Connell.

A communication channel was opened with representatives of businesses in each suburb of the precinct so that a speedy message could be sent to all in case businesses needed to take swift action. A fast-tracked criminal check was done on the ID numbers of those citizens who had registered their interest in becoming patrollers, in the event that they needed to be deployed urgently.  Another communication channel was set up using the Telegram app for anyone who wanted to be notified of unrest via the CPF from SAPS. Fortunately there was no need to take any action.

Because there were many more volunteers who signed up to join the patrollers, two additional days have been booked with SAPS for taking fingerprints: Saturday 4th and 11th September. After the fingerprints have been sent to the Local Crime Record Centre, they will be sent to Provincial SAPS for final clearance. After this, the CPF will be scheduling patrols of the area which should help SAPS keep crime down by having additional eyes and ears on the ground.

If you would like to find out more, contact Geraldine Connell chair@parkviewcpf.co.za

  • Do you live near a vacant property?

CAP is asking for help to map all vacant properties and building sites in the suburb. According to CAP, ‘Criminals use vacant properties within our suburbs to their advantage, which means that sometimes they are hiding in plain sight.’

Please help by letting CAP know who these properties belong to and where they are. CAP needs consent to search these sites. If they know who the owner is they can verify with them who should be found in these spaces. Email info@capcommunity.co.za   

Failing service delivery

A friend who lives in Westdene said the other day: ‘If we have a day when we have water, electricity and wi-fi, it’s time to celebrate.’ Sadly Emmarentia is becoming this way too.

New mayor Jolidee Matongo has promised “accelerated service delivery”. “Street lights must work, burst sewers fixed and overgrown grass cut. As politicians, ours is to have oversight over things we said must be done,” the mayor has told his team.

He also said, “I don’t want to hear depot people saying they don’t have material. Budget has been allocated. It must be spent. Materials must be bought and made available at the stores.”

He’s saying what we want to hear – it’s time to test if his promises are real.

The ward committee is requesting residents who have previously sent in requests for service to Joburg Water, JRA, City Power or tree trimming but which have never been attended to, to please send details to info@ward88.co.za OR add them to this google sheet: https://forms.gle/9pU4SkityVyNEL9U7

 Details should include:

  • a very brief description of the issue
  • the complaint reference number
  • the location address/location
  • and the date of the complaint

The ward committee will then ensure that the relevant parties receive the complaint and cannot claim ignorance of the issue (and be reminded of their promise).

And keep reporting – no-one knows there is a problem unless you report it.

Check here: https://era.org.za/leaking-tap-loud-neighbours-sewerage-leaking-find-all-those-important-numbers-here/ to get the contacts for ‘Who to phone for pesky problems’  – from leaking water pipes, to illegal dumping, builders making noise on Sundays, etc. etc.

City News – Briefs

  • Portal to assist businesses affected by looting and vandalism

The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) portal to assist businesses that were affected by the looting and vandalism is now operational. Businesses needs to submit their request for funding. It can be accessed on smme.gep.co.za

  • City extends debt rehabilitation programme to 31 December 2021

Send an email to debtrehab@joburg.org.za or visit www.joburg.org.za to access application forms/apply online. You can also visit any of City of Joburg Revenue Customer Services Centres.

  • Local government elections – Ward 88 councillor

Councillor Hensman has already indicated that he will not stand again as our councillor. Candidate lists will be made public in the next two weeks.

The Constitutional Court ruled that local government elections must take place between October 27 and November 1 2021. Election date has now been set for 1 November 2021. If you’re a first time voter or have moved house since you last voted, you can register at your nearest voting station on registration date or online on https://registertovote.elections.org.za/Welcome

Voting usually takes place at Emmarentia Primary School.  Make sure you’re there to make your mark.

Court orders evicting parties to allow homeless back into Alberts Farm

A recent court judgment over the eviction of four homeless people from Alberts Farm conservancy who have for years called it their home, has found in favour of the four.

The Ward 88 Committee is warning that this judgment has ‘far broader ramifications for potentially hundreds of people who sleep in parks and open spaces in Johannesburg because they are homeless or because it places them closer to economic opportunity as reclaimers, car guards or from piece jobs.’

The court declared the eviction ‘unlawful and unconstitutional’ and ordered the evicting parties to ‘return the Applicants’ possessions, including makeshift tents and building materials, wood, clothing, shoes, food, mobile phones, and waste for recycling, and any other items which were removed, as soon as possible’.

Should they be unable to return these possessions, the court ordered that the respondents — among them the City of Johannesburg Municipality, Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo, Chief of Police of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police, Pikitup, SCP Security and Friends of Alberts Farm Conservancy — are to “provide building materials, and blankets, bedding, and mattresses… as soon as possible, but by no later than Saturday, 21 August 2021” which would enable the construction of “at least equivalent temporary habitable dwellings to those that were destroyed and/or removed at the site in the Alberts Farm Conservancy at which their previous shelters were demolished”.

Moreover, the court ordered that the homeless people be allowed “full and unimpeded access to their temporary habitable dwellings and possessions, with immediate effect, by granting 24-hour access to, at least, one of the six gates of the Alberts Farm Conservancy, which gate or gates should be the closest gate or gates to their temporary habitable dwellings.”

The court also directed the parties “to meaningfully engage with each other to ensure that an equitable relationship and dignified relationship can be developed between the parties”.

If you are concerned by this judgment and the implications that it has on green spaces, please log a complaint or get hold of one of these people, or send to all of them.

Bishop Ngobeli – bngobeli@jhbcityparks.com – Responsible for Public Open Space and protected areas reporting to Marks Sethaelo.

Matome Baholo – mbaholo@jhbcityparks.com – Head  of Park Wardens, reporting to David Maluleke.

David Maluleke – dmaluleke@jhbcityparks.com – Head of department reporting to Marks Sethaelo.

Marks Sethaelo – msethaelo@jhbcityparks.com – Chief Operations Officer reporting to Bryne Maduka.

Bryne Maduka – bmaduka@jhbcityparks.com – Managing Director Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo

MMC  Margaret Arnolds – MargaretA@joburg.org.za

Mayor Jolidee Matongo – JolideeM@joburg.org.za

Deon Mynhardt – DeonM@joburg.org.za – Citizen Relations Officer

Mohau Ntheli – MohauN@joburg.org.za – Regional Director

Read the full Alberts Farm judgment here

Victory Road bowling club site becoming another Alberts Farm?

Meanwhile on the eastern side of Emmarentia, residents of Greenside and Parkhurst are growing increasingly alarmed at the inaction of the City on the number of homeless people that have moved into the derelict Victory Road bowling club and adjacent field.

The Greenside Residents Association has asked JMPD and environmental health to investigate the regular burning of plastic/ rubber/ noxious fumes coming from both the old bowling club and Wastepreneurs (whose ongoing illegal presence at Pirates creates ongoing problems).

The field adjacent to the bowling club has vagrants building shacks on it; as soon as these are removed new ones pop up, this has been a cycle for years. The concern of residents of the area is that this will snowball into the development of a full-on settlement of vagrants in the area. 

The properties are owned by the Johannesburg Property Company i.e. it is municipal land. There is a tender out for the bowling club but none has been awarded. Warning notices were served on the occupants in April however, no eviction happened since it appears that JPC failed to appoint approved legal counsel so there could be no issuing of the eviction notices or court orders.

According to councillor for the area, Tim Truluck, permission has been granted for City Parks to take over the old football field as a solarisation site for removed shothole borer infected trees. However, no date has been set down for this to happen. They will then remove the vagrants on that section.

In the meantime, Truluck suggests that residents keep logging complaints with JMPD on 0113755911 – get a ref # – so that there is a record of your complaint. Do this at least once a week. They will organise an occasional raid with SAPS. And if nothing is done or has been done, e-mail your reference to info@ward88.co.za with all the details of the service failure.

And now for some good news!

  • Saving a cat and its kittens

When a cat got stranded in a grid after it had climbed in there to have kittens, Greenside community patroller Bianca and SCP managed to remove the grid and save the cat and kittens.

  • Listen out for the ‘rain bird’

If you’re lucky you might get the rain bird or the Burchell’s Coucal visiting your garden. Normally it sticks to the wooded sections of the park and the river course but at this time of year, it’s often seen in people’s gardens, advertising itself with its distinctive bubbling call. See it and listen out for its call here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D22EwszPjE

Let’s Work’s plans for September 2021

  • Let’s Braai – help us make Heritage Day about community

Much of the work being done by Let’s Work might fly under the radar. With Heritage Day just around the corner, however, the team is heading out in full force to celebrate “National Braai Day” along with some of the less fortunate, as well as those still out patrolling our suburbs despite it being a public holiday.

Some of Let’s Work’s recent – and ongoing – initiatives include helping the homeless get back on their feet through paid work in and around the Parks area, where some can now even afford a roof over their heads.

Over the past few months, “My Covid Meals” facilitated the delivery of meals to residents who have been more severely affected by the virus and, thus, unable to cook for themselves. Daily meals are being sent out a week in advance. While things are slowing down on this front, Let’s Work’s Felicity Lawlor says the initiative is still very much available to those in need.

  • Heritage Day: In and around Emmarentia

In previous years for Heritage Day, Let’s Work organised a potjie competition at Gem Homes for Senior Citizens in Roosevelt Park, for example. This year, Lawlor says it’s about bringing the spirit of our cultural heritage to some of our senior citizens and our committed SAPS members.

“We’re currently organising supplies for Heritage Day braais at a number of locations in the Ward 88 area and need the support of the community to make this happen,” she adds.

Some of the braai locations that have been identified so far include the Windsor Homeless Shelter, Montgomery Haven, Eventide Salvation Army and Parkview SAPS.

Let’s Work can only support these community members through contributions from residents. While boerewors is being supplied by Let’s Work, there is still a need for bread-rolls, salads, cooldrinks and charcoal.

Residents can get involved by assisting with cooking. All ingredients will be supplied to those wanting to fire up the braai themselves. Alternatively, bread-rolls, salad and cooldrinks can be dropped off with Felicity. Let’s Work will ensure delivery to the various venues.

Any volunteers able to facilitate a braai for Parkview Police Station to support our dedicated SAPS officers working on the 24th of this month can get in touch with Felicity on the contact details below.
Learners are also encouraged to get in touch if they can assist in any way. These opportunities always contribute towards their needed community hours.

  • Drop off toilet rolls at Emmarentia Eventide

Please help Emmarentia Eventide residents by dropping off a few toilet rolls.

PLEASE CONTACT FELICITY TO GET INVOLVED: 082 568 1783; felicity@letswork.org.za

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)

[Please note: To save money and to be environmentally aware we are not printing this newsletter]

Continuation of Tribunal on mixed use development – 25 August 2021

Hopefully 25 August 2021 will be the last day of Tribunal hearings to hear evidence from both the developer and objectors on the merits and demerits of the proposed development on the triangle of land bounded by Barry Hertzog, Gleneagles and Linden Roads in Emmarentia.

The matter went to Tribunal after the City received 2479 objections to the proposed 5-storey mixed use development on Erven 1098-1106 bounded by Barry Hertzog, Gleneagles and Linden Roads in Emmarentia. 

ERA and GRA have been engaged in the Tribunal process since November 2020 and to date we have had four full days of hearings. The Applicant (the developer) has presented their expert evidence (e.g. Traffic studies) and ERA and GRA and individual residents in the suburb have taken to the stand to make their case. The hearings were done in person and there were many delays due to Covid-19. Final inputs from both sides will be made on 25 August at a virtual meeting.

ERA and GRA would like to thank all residents who have objected to this development and made donations towards the costs. We never anticipated that there would be so many days of hearings and this has stretched our resources beyond what we could reasonably have budgeted. We welcome any further donations, please (see banking details below). We have a strong case and are fighting this on behalf of each one of you who are concerned about this large 5-storey development and possibly feel disempowered to take on developer giants for the good of our suburbs. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and we eagerly await the conclusion of this seven-year long matter that we have been fighting for you.

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

Please forward donations to:

ERA: Emmarentia Residents Association (for Emmarentia residents)
Nedbank: A/c: 1975051173
Branch Code: 198765 – Rosebank
E-mail POP to: treasurer@era.org.za
Payment reference: “Tribunal” (and surname)

OR

GRA: Greenside Residents Association (for Greenside residents)
GRA Bank account :
Account Name: Greenside Residents Association
Bank: Standard Bank
Savings Account: 007032137
Branch: Rosebank / 004205
Payment Reference: tribunal (and surname)
E-mail POP to: info@gra.org.za 

Come and watch, ‘Audrey, more than an icon’, Wednesday 25 August 2021

The Historic Documentary Film Society will host the movie in tribute to the legendary Audrey Hepburn in this 60th Anniversary year since the release of her classic movie ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’.

AUDREY MORE THAN AN ICON

Wednesday, August 25th

09:30/10:00

Ditsong Museum of Military History, Saxonwold. 

Secure Parking, Seating Limited (Level 3 Restriction) 

Bookings/INFO 0826033214

Nominal Charge to cover expenses (includes lavish tea). 

There are better ways to remember a loved one

Visitors to Johannesburg Botanic Gardens were shocked to find that someone had stripped away the bark of an old cork oak tree and inserted a memorial plaque into the exposed trunk. (see the photo below for what was done)

Park officials condemned the action saying that its bare bark now exposed the tree to disease and parasites. It appealed to those wanting to remember loved ones to rather plant a tree or donate a bench in their memory. (see the post below)

If you want to find out how you can plant a tree or donate a bench, contact Sandra Viljoen at the Botanic Gardens by e-mailing her on: sviljoen@jhbcityparks.com

Your help needed – complete survey on e-waste

ERA has received a request from a UJ student for residents to take part in a survey on e-waste. Please see the request below.

Dear Residents

Please see request for survey responses regarding e-waste in Johannesburg:

Good day, I am currently busy with my Honours degree in environmental management at the University of Johannesburg. My research is based on e-waste in the CoJ. I need around 500 responses for data quality so I would really appreciate it if you could just spend a few minutes completing my questionnaire IF YOU LIVE IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF THE CITY OF JOHANNESBURG (e.g. Randburg), not to be mistaken with the overall concept of Joburg. It’s simple but detailed as this type of research is severely lacking in South Africa. This is the link. If you wish to share it with local friends and family also living in the CoJ I would truly appreciate it.

Here is the link:

https://ewaste-survey.questionpro.com