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UHA AGM Minutes 7November2011


									                         UPPER HOUGHTON ASSOCIATION
                  Incorporating the Upper Houghton Residents’ Association
                                PO Box: 2248 Houghton 2041
                                    Tel: 0860 877 778 Fax

                                        King Edward Memorial Hall
                                     MONDAY 7th November 2011

Chairman:        Paul Stuart
Treasurer:       David van Heerden
                 Bruce Eccles
                 Jane Henderson
                 Brenda Randera
                 Margi Marchant


         Introduction of members of the UHRA committee.

         The Chairman mentioned his gratitude of our unique scenario regarding the presence of the
         schools. This helped with a unified and effective security presence throughout the Upper
         Houghton area, both from the police and 24/7.

         nancial contributions towards the association funds are required occasionallwhen dealing with
         illegal developments. However, litigation less likely due to increased effectiveness of the
         Development and Planning department, under the guidance of P Naidoo.

         Residents Association omplaints and issues ould be directed t Council assist

         CCTV is still , technology costs decreasing become viable for theneighbourhood. In the meantime
         Residents are encouraged to install their own CCTV systems that could, in time, be linked up.

    2.   SECURITY – Police
                         Captain Moonsamy
                         Sector 1 Hillbrow, including Houghton, Killarney and Riviera
                         Contact 071 675 6000 and071 675 6001 for the sector patrol vehicle
         Captain Moonsamy mentioned that the Young Avenue portion of Upper Houghton falls under the
         control of the Yeoville police.

         Security is everyone’s concern and your direct security can be compromised by your neighbour’s
         lack of it.
     Renovations and vacant stands are a portal for opportunists. There is concern over the
     abandoned house in Elm/St Andrew Road and the house opposite 54 Houghton Drive. The police
     currently have an initiative regarding empty land and have been clearing these sites.

     Properties currently of concern:
     6 Elm Street, 1,2,3 Rose Road, property opposite 54 Houghton Drive, 2 St Patrick Lane and the
     vacant stand near 90 Houghton Drive

     The enforcement of by-laws falls under the JMPD.

     The Captain cautioned Residents regarding the onset of the Festive season. Vehicles should be
     parked inside residential properties and not left unsupervised on the roads. Theft of and theft
     out of motor vehicles is an opportunistic act in most cases. There was a correlation between
     incidents and the broken palisade fencing at the Wilds. The fence has subsequently been

     Captain Moonsamy also requested residents to improve their driveway lighting.

     Mention was made about the practice of garbage collectors sorting their rubbish at the view site
     on Munro Drive and the unsightly litter that is left behind. The Captain is keen to discourage the
     garbage collectors from using Upper Houghton.

     All suspicious vehicles are to be reported to either 24/7 or the Polic sector vehicle.

     There is a marked reduction in the crime statistics and this is due to the good working
     relationship with 24/7.

3.   SECURITY – 24/7
     A comprehensive brochure was produced by 24/7 detailing crime statistics in our area and
     current trends. This brochure can be found on the UHRA website.

     The statistics indicate that the days of highest crime frequency are Friday, Saturday, Sunday and
     Monday. They also bear witness to the fact that Upper Houghton has one of the lowest crime
     statistics in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.
     The 24/7 SIU vehicle has been tasked to monitor the area on an on-going basis.

     Mention was made of electronic jamming devices. This is not an urban legend and is occurring
     more frequently. Warnings to be vigilant when locking vehicles in shopping centre car parks.
     Please check that the vehicle is physically locked and do not just assume it to be so. The
     syndicates using this technology are primarily after laptops left in vehicles.

     Another trend is to ‘punch’ a hole near the door handle, the car alarm is not activated and there
     is no broken glass. The thieves then open the door and remove all valuables. The hole looks
     exactly like a bullet hole.
     Cell phone guns have been developed by criminals, so do not be alarmed if the security at the
     airport asks to test your cell phone. They are simply ensuring that it is a cell phone and not a
     Residents are recommended to install panic systems in bathrooms. The current trend is for
     victims to be bundled into the bathroom whilst their homes are ransacked. A silent alarm would
     enable security to be notified of a robbery in progress.

     A joint operation between 24/7 security, SAPS, JMPD, Mantis security and CAM security was
     conducted through the Wilds and 2 St Patrick Lane. SAPS are looking at conducting frequent
     searches at the Wilds.

4.   COUNCILLORS FEEDBACK –               Cllr Marcelle Ravid, Democratic Alliance.

     Cllr Ravid mentioned a huge backlog at the JRA in respect to both maintenance and repairs.
     There is a shortage of tar and currently there are no concrete slabs to repair broken storm water
     drains. There does not appear to be consistency with the departments. They go through
     sporadic periods of efficiency, but it is not sustained.

     The way forward for Residents is by persistence. All concerns regarding broken infrastructure,
     street lighting, water leaks etc, are to be logged through the normal channels. If not action has
     occurred after a two week period then escalate the call to the DA and they will try to chase up
     the relevant departments. In extreme cases the media has been contacted in the past to expose
     a lack of delivery in the area.

     There has been a lack of maintenance in ‘old Joburg’ over a ten year period. The Council is now
     aware that maintenance cannot be removed from the established suburbs and it trying to catch
     up. There is shortage of money as Council is not collecting all outstanding rates and taxes.
     Despite reassurances, there is still a concern over the city’s billing. Residents are being illegally
     cut off for a number reasons and the resolution of these issues is quite cumbersome.

     By-laws are in place to ensure that a property is kept in good condition. Cllr Ravid recommended
     that the police and health inspectors are summonsed to the property at 6 Elm Street regarding
     its current condition. There are considerable rates outstanding on this property.

     The BRT route has been amended from Oxford Road to Louis Botha Avenue. This has been
     acknowledged as a less expensive alternative. It was felt that this development would be good
     for our area. It is estimated that this initiative will take four years to completion. The process still
     is in the planning and environmental impact stage, next would be expropriation of portions of
     land, prior to the commencement of actual work. The route would entail: Parktown, Empire,
     Louis Botha, Alexandra and then across to Sandton.

     Jane Henderson, who has reworked the UHRA pavements from neglect to a series of indigenous
     blossoms has tendered her resignation from the Committee. The UHRA would like to extend
     their ongoing gratitude to Jane for her fabulous work. The pavement project that she initiated a
     good number of years ago is to terminate and it is her greatest wish that the Resident’s will
     continue to look after the pavement gardens and not allow them to decay. Resident’s wishing to
     continue her work may contract the gardeners individually in order that they can continue their
     work and receive employment.
The current committee still stands. Nick Geimer and Lawson Ricketts volunteered to officially
join the UHRA after their involvement

The meeting ended at 19h30.

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