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:
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 email@example.com
Be an active resident:
- 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 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.
- 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.
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 / firstname.lastname@example.org