Last week I was able to recover the Ward 90 database (for email recipients of newsletters and updates) from my predecessor in this position. I will be adding to this list over time, and will use it to communicate more regularly. I have until now relied on Resident Associations to distribute information and I will continue to use them.
So, here goes with an update on various events
City Power Matters
Vagrants, Parks, and Open spaces
Transport and Eco-Mobility Festival
Upcoming Local Government Elections
1. City Power Matters
City Power is probably the arm of the City that is having the most difficulties at present. Other than the normal issues theft is rampant - even poles are being stolen (near Lenasia) for scrap metal. There is also admitted poor management of contractors, who do not always have the technical skills required.
Smart meters are being installed. You do not have a choice as to whether to accept a smart meter. But you must make sure that you are satisfied with the credentials of the installer, plus:
keep a record of the final readings of your old meter - best done by photograph so that you have proof.
Plus serial number. You will need these numbers if there is a subsequent billing dispute.
Make sure that the installers synchronize the hand held device with the new meter.
The City will be able to use these smart meters to "ask" you to reduce usage at times of load-shedding, or face cut-off - so called load-limiting. It strikes me that smart meter households will be more at risk of being cut-off as this request can come even when load-shedding is not scheduled for your area. And when it is, you will be shed regardless of any attempts to reduce your usage as the whole area will be cut - you cannot be excluded. So, more information as we see how this starts to work in practice.
Further, as you will have observed, contractors are erecting mini cel-masts (replace street-poles usually) for Vodacom/MTN/Cell C to help eradicate dead spots in the suburbs. This is a requirement of the regulator, Icasa, and has been authorized by City Power who have to provide the energy supply. In some cases these installations are also being used as beachheads for fibre to the home lines. Residents cannot prevent this programme, but there is some flexibility around the actual placement of the poles. So, affected residents must be consulted by the contractors to see what accommodation can be made .
2. Vagrants, Parks, and Open Spaces
As we can all observe, the number vagrants in parks and open spaces is increasing. Security companies, at the behest of Resident Associations, work with the JMPD and SAPS to conduct raids. This brings temporary relief but is not solving the problem. Those without legitimate RSA residence documentation can be rounded up and deported, but others have protection in the law if their shelters have been erected for more than 48 hours. It then takes a detailed process to evict - including the need to offer alternative accommodation. This leads to a whole lot of hand-wringing and not much action.
However, there is a way forward for the George Lea Park where the south-west corner has been commandeered by the waste reclaimers. The Sandton Sports Club, who recently signed a ten year lease on the property, have been given permission to incorporate this "wet-land" area into the lease - with certain environmental conditions attached. Once all legal matters are complete the City and SSC will co-ordinate the simultaneous clearing of the area and erection of a security fence.
There is no immediate answer to on the Spruit. I realize that this is not a satisfactory situation. Basically, many more homeless shelters are required so that alternative accommodation can be provided.
Adjudication of the tenders for the use of a number of sports and recreation facilities in the City, inclusive of the Dunkeld Bowls Club, is still ongoing. The deadline was moved from the end of August to the end of November. No reasons were provided.
3. Transport and Eco-Mobility Festival
Dangerous minibus taxi behavior and general disregard for the rules of the road is worsening. I am in contact with the JMPD and will continue to pressurize them to intervene at bad intersections.
You will have heard some news about the upcoming Eco-Mobility Festival to be held in parts of the Sandton CBD over October. The objective of this exercise to highlight the elephant in the room for Johannesburg - increasing traffic congestion. The festival hopes to demonstrate alternative forms of transport and to make access easier for public transport for the period, as well as to allow for more multi-purpose street usage. They do apparently want to use George Lea Park South for taxis over the period. There is opposition from residents to this proposal so I am not sure as to what the outcome will be. Those wanting to find out more should go to the website - www.ecomobilityfestival.org
4. Upcoming Local Government Elections
The next local government elections will be held next year - probably in May - but they have to be held before end October. Remember that you can only vote at the polling station at which you are registered for local elections. In Ward 90 this is one of:
George Lea Sports Club
Hyde Park High School
Craighall Primary School
Rosebank (Dunkeld West) Bowling Club
You may still vote at another station if you are registered there, but your vote will then count for that Ward. So if you need to register or want to change your current registration to a new one the IEC will be holding registration weekends on the first weekend of February and March next year. More information will follow in future missives.
|BEAGLE CONTROL ROOM: 011 678 1972 www.beaglewatch.co.za|
|HGC Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Flying Squad: 10 111|
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|Pollution: 011 226 8328 WisemanN@joburg.org.za|
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