Skeemsaam Initiative for Hurlingham Park


The agreed primary problems

  1. An influx of people moving into Hurlingham Park following the closure of George Lea Park
  2. Litter, refuse, pollution as a result
  3. Numerous by-law transgressions
  4. The water is becoming polluted
  5. People fear for their safety
  6. The mess is unsightly and a very poor example of a World Class African City at the very entrance to Sandton
  7. Problem exacerbated by people offering food and water

The second level of problems

  1. The city has been raiding the recyclers on a twice monthly basis and more recently on a weekly basis for a number of months. The recyclers leave for a few hours and are soon back
  2. There is no holistic solution to the problem that we can offer as residents. The issues are macro issues that require a City –wide approach
  3. Even if the City does succeed in removing the current occupiers,   they will be replaced by the next number waiting to find  a place to live

 What we know about the current residents of Hurlingham Park

  1. They are a group of 13 recyclers that work (and now live) in the area
  2. There are a few nyoepe users living under road in the drains
  3. There is a new group of 3 to 4 people who have moved in further to the south of the park
  4. The recyclers work long hours. They do not wish to leave their waste ('gold') unattended as this is their day's work that will be stolen if taken away
  5. There is a trust deficit between the residents and the recyclers

The proposal

The SkeemSaam proposal is to work together with the people living in the park to achieve a common good.

This starts with firstly identifying who they are, and then holding them accountable.

As such the proposal is to identify and fingerprint (already done with names, ID's and where available numbers) the 13 recyclers and "adopt" them as part of the suburb, so to speak. They in turn are responsible for the following:

  1. Only sorting in designated areas
  2. Retaining the areas clean, neat and tidy at all times
  3. Ensuring not one extra person joins them
  4. Taking responsibility for keeping new comers away from the park
  5. Providing security with information regarding the drug dealers
  6. They prevent dumping and trailer advertising

As residents in turn we will:

  1. Fence off an area at the end of the cul-de-sac in which all items collected- recyclable and waste items are to be stored
  2. Ensure a supply of black rubbish bags
  3. Liaise with Speak with City parks and Pikitup about timing for rubbish collection from the park
  4. Negotiate with waste purchasers to secure best prices and agreed timings of collection
  5. Give "prizes" for successful arrests
  6. Buy uniforms (and with that dignity) for those that work and clean in the park
  7. Secure alternative accommodation for the recyclers (accommodation near Melrose has been earmarked as a possibility)
  8. Request that the RUC give consideration to letting only the known, identified and "adopted" recyclers access to ablution facilities in a controlled manner. The recyclers will be responsible to ensure that they remain clean and hygienic at all times

The win –win solution

  1. In this way- we manage the pollution, the visual impact and the number of people present.
  2. We manage the dumping and advertising
  3. We improve security and use the recyclers as security and a source of information
  4. They are self-regulated from a numbers perspective as there is only that much product in the area for them to remain viable
  5. We can liaise with the   buyers of the recycling products that they come on agreed days and agreed times (for example on a Thursday, one day after rubbish day and before the weekend) to collect all recyclables
  6. All litter is to be disposed of by city parks 

We do not know if this proposal will work, but it seems to be better than the alternative, which we have seen is not working.  If we want to see change we need to be the agents for that change. So let us give this a chance and with luck Hurlingham Park can become an example for others of similar community partnerships.


Important Contacts

HGC Committee:
Flying Squad: 10 111
Randburg SAPS vehicles: 071 675 7115 / 6
Ambulance: City: 011 375 5911
ER24: 084 124
Netcare 911: 082 911
Randburg Police: 011 449 9115 / 9110 / 9117 10111 for an emergency
Joburg Metro Police: ​011 375 5911
Joburg call centre: 0860-JOBURG
Includes City Parks and Pikitup
See Community Info --> Overview section for a full list of numbers
Water Issues: Joburg Water

011 375 5555
Electricity Issues: http://​ ​and click "Fault Reporting" or on mobile
Road Issues: ​
Environmental Contraventions: 011 587 4232 1st point of contact for any issues arising from the Health Act (noise, restaurants, unsanitary backyards etc)
Pollution: 011 226 8328
Revenue Queries: ​011 375 5555
Traffic Signs and Markings: Jurie Swart JRA - Assistant Manager, Traffic Signs and Markings section for Region B
Region B Contacts and Information:
Building regulations: 011 407 6111
Eskom: 086 003 7566