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UPPER HOUGHTON ASSOCIATION

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					             UPPER HOUGHTON ASSOCIATION
         Incorporating the Upper Houghton Residents‟ Association
                       PO Box: 1367 Houghton 2041
                        c/o 17 Elm Street Houghton
     Email: UHRA@eesa.co.za Tel: + 27 11 447 4229 Fax: + 27 11 447 7137
                        www.upperhoughton.org.za


        MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
                      THURSDAY 25 OCTOBER 2007


Chairperson: Jemima McDonnell



APOLOGIES: P. Stuart
           S. Pellerade
           B. Shorkend
           H. Schneider
           K. & T. Poivesan
           H. & H. Edeling




1.   CHAIRPERSON‟S REPORT

     Jemima McDonnell welcomed and thanked members and guests for
     attending the meeting.

     There were no changes to the Minutes of the previous AGM.

     McDonnell advised that Membership fees for 2008 have been increased
     as follows:

     Private: Owner/Resident/Tenant – Annual Fee: R625
     Business:
     Small Business up to 3 people – Annual Fee: R750
     Larger Business more than 3 people – Annual Fee: R875
     Institutions, Schools etc – Annual Fee R1 750

     Applications for development in the Upper Houghton area continue to be
     submitted. These have been assessed according to whether they are
       acceptable within the terms of the Neighbourhood Development
       Framework. They continue to be monitored by Helga Schneider the
       Association‟s Town Planning consultant.

       The issue of the “Death Bend” development continues. The UHA cannot
       come to an agreement with the developers. The appeal hearing should
       have taken about a year, it has now been fast tracked and will be held on
       28 November, four months since the appeal was submitted!

2.    SECURITY REPORT

     2.1 REPORT BY SAPS HILLBROW

         Sergeant Botha has been appointed the new Sector Manager of Upper
         Houghton. He can be contact directly during the day on 076 050 9491.

         He advised that the emergency number 10111 is still in effect
         however, should Residents get no response or should they experience
         difficulties during the day they should contact Sgt. Botha directly.

         A security meeting covering Killarney and Upper Houghton precincts is
         held on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 18h00 at the Nedcor
         Building in Killarney. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss and
         try and address security issues in these areas. Sgt Botha asked if
         Upper Houghton could send one or two representatives to these
         meetings.

        McDonnell advised that one member of the Committee would attend and
        asked for a representative from Residents. Cindy Came kindly agreed to
        represent Residents at these meetings.

     2.2 REPORT BY 24/7 – DAVID DE LIMA

         De Lima advised that the following statistics were specific only to
         incidents that 24/7 were directly involved in.

         Serious offences (October 2006 to October 2007)

         3 incidents of armed robbery (use of violence)

        11 arrests: including people involved in attempted house break-ins,
        robbing of KES students, attempted motor vehicle theft

         3 house break-ins
6 incidents of hi-jacking and attempted hi-jacking in St Patrick and St
  David Rd

3 motor vehicle thefts

2 attempted vehicle thefts

2 stolen vehicles were found in the area.

Overall there has been a 20% improvement over last year. De Lima
believes that Upper Houghton is a relatively safe area particularly taking
into account the perceived surrounding areas/boundaries. Have the 3
schools and many Resident‟s participating – from the security
perspective the area seems to be in a strong situation.

24/7 has increased guarding manpower – there is now a day guard from
Monday to Friday South of St Patrick Rd, going up Elm to Louis Botha
and that block.

Participation of Residents subscribing to 24/7 has increased significantly.

T.J de Klerk congratulated 24/7 on expanding security to the Roedean
area.

 Cindy Came queried usage of dedicated vehicles. De Lima advised that
if a robbery is reported and in progress they will pull vehicles from other
surrounding areas if necessary.

CAP Project Lower Houghton:
McDonnell advised that the financial implication of putting the CAP
project together is immense. It is a good initiative but at a massive
premium. All activities are sponsored – no subscriptions. There are
already 2 vehicles in operation. 24/7 is working together with CAP and
they are sharing information.
CAP is looking at Community Improvement District initiative, Block
watches, the role domestic workers play in the security situation etc.

McDonnell advised that a block watch does exist in Upper Houghton
covering – St Patrick Rd East, St Patrick Rd West, Rose Rd, Munro
Drive, St Paul‟s Rd, St Andrew‟s Rd and Young Ave. The block watch
exists because of the fact that a representative from each of these roads
sits on the Committee.


Definitions of armed robbery vs hi-jacking:
      Armed robbery = no vehicle involved
      Hi-jacking = involves a vehicle with person in car

      2 successful hi-jackings took place outside people‟s driveways.

      The majority of hi-jackings involve people being followed to their homes,
      mainly females. If one feels they are being followed, don‟t go home.

       Sgt Botha advised that hi-jackers usually work on special order. They
      look for a specific car (make and colour) – they find this car in shopping
      malls etc, and follow the drivers home.

       McDonnell asked Residents who subscribe to 24/7 to spearhead efforts
      to get other Residents to join.



3. WARD COUNCILLORS‟ REPORTS

  3.1 COUNCILLOR MARCELLE RAVID (DA) (Ward 73)
      Contact: 084 355 0826 Email: mravid@axxess.co.za

      Council has not really changed over the last year. Problems still
      continue – some departments work well, others not. Currently
      Johannesburg Water and the Johannesburg Road Agency are having
      problems.

       When Residents experience problems they must „phone the relative
      department, log a complaint and get a reference number. If no response
      is received within a reasonable time the complaint can be escalated and
      Councillor Ravid should be made aware of the situation via email.

      Load shedding will continue and will only be for 2 hours at a time. If
      blackouts continues for longer than 2 hours take this as a power outage.
      There is not enough power to go around and Residents are asked to
      assist by turning off geysers etc. This situation will be continuing for a
      number of years. Ravid advised this situation was a result of a “flopped
      project” as announced by Minister Erwin. This was later
      clarified/corrected by Dr Vincent Micali of Dante Alighieri Society (cnr 4th
      and Houghton Drive), that the problem was a result of the Regulator
      making an error in 1998.

     Transport situation:
     The 2 main developments are the Gautrain and the Bus Rapid Transport
     System. This bus system will be situated down Oxford Rd. The Mayor
     recently launched the project. Special buses will be used which will
   travel down the middle of the road with stations every 500 meters. The
   transport system will start in Soweto going all the way to Sunninghill.
   Part of this will be ready by 2010.



   Property Rates Act (PRA)
   Government is looking to equalize rates. The new rates are based on
   land and dwelling value. Need more concrete evidence as to what will
   happen. Business consent users will not be given rebates – only purely
   residential properties will be given rebates.
   An invitation has been issued for the public to attend a series of public
   meeting to discuss the PRA. Details will be forwarded to McDonnell.

   Questions/Comments from Residents:

   TJ de Klerk reported a pile of sand on the pavement on Joe Slovo
   (Houghton Drive) 200m from the robot at St Patrick Rd on the left
   traveling south – this should be removed.

   TJ de Klerk reported that street lights at the corner of Newton Rd and
   Houghton Drive and at the Munro Drive view-point area have been
   vandalized. City Power is of no help – the only do repairs, they don‟t do
   preventative maintenance.


3.2 COUNCILLOR NOMASWAZI MOHLALA (ANC) (Ward 67)
    Contact: 083 297 2936 Email: mwdups@mweb.co.za

   The Inner City Summit was held on 5 May 2007 at which the Inner City
   Charter was created, completed and accepted. The Inner City Charter
   Forum for stakeholders will be launched during the week of 29 October.
   Most businesses will be involved. The purpose of the Charter will be to
   speed up service delivery.

   Region F has formed a Delivery Forum. All cases reported and not
   attended to and addressed will be elevated to the Director.

   Pavement problems reported by the Upper Houghton Association have
   been reported to the necessary authorities.

    Four subsections have been formed to look at problems with street
   lights etc and to improve service delivery.

   Council has launched the underground waste bin system which is being
   utilized in Yeoville and Joubert Park. Hanging bins have been installed
in Yeoville. These cannot be removed and are easily emptied by tipping
them.

Councillor Mohlala feels that Pick-it-Up has improved over the last few
months.

The Regional Development Program up to 2008 has been approved.

Property Rates Act – Cllr Mohlala will fax details of invitations to various
public meetings being held to address the PRA to McDonnell.

A “Street Prefect” project has been introduced in Joubert Park and
Yeoville, sponsored by the Province. Each street in these areas will
have one person in charge – a monitoring function.

CID project. Guards wearing green and yellow uniforms have been
placed in the Yeoville area concentrating mainly in Rockey Valley – will
extend the project as and when Council can.

The Yeoville library is to be upgraded and has been give property by
City Power.

 The Wilds:
 City Parks has established a Wild‟s Management Committee. At the
moment this committee is not working well but should improve with time.
Should Residents require improvements in the Wilds suggestions should
be put forward to Councillor Mohlala via the Upper Houghton Committee.
Mc Donnell has been in touch with Oscar Oliphant several times re
outstanding issues at The Wilds – to no avail. Mohlala will take these
issues up with Oliphant of City Parks. McDonnell to give Mohlala details.
 Issues include: street lights out at the corner of Newtown Rd and
Houghton Drive, street lights out on the Munro at the view point; the
palisade fencing needs to be repaired, pile of sand on the pavement
opposite the Wild‟s kiosk on Houghton needs to be removed; the
Killarney water mains in the Wilds have been leaking for ages etc.

 J. Woolcott (12 St Paul Rd) raised concern about The Wilds – the UHA
is dealing with Oscar Oliphant of City Parks but are getting no action.
Need to get answers from Councillor Naidoo (MEC Property) and Mike
Moriarty. Work is being done at Peter Roos park in Parktown. If this is a
success this could be used as a benchmark for The Wilds.

There are no sports facilities in her Ward. They are looking to Council to
address this problem.

Better Building Project:
Residents wanting to renovate properties had to formerly apply to the
Housing and Development Council, this has now moved to the
Economic Development Council. At this stage there are no terms and
references from which to work.

2 Dove Road. Are getting positive responses, have spoken to the TDA
who will take this property and make it a transitional property. Councillor
Mohlala to keep UHA informed.

The Josie Bonds have helped immensely towards bringing revenue to
Council. Dividends will be declared on a 3 month basis. Bonds can still
be purchased from Standard Bank.
Woolcott would like to hear how Johannesburg is using the money
raised from the Bonds to improve and build infrastructure. Councillor
Mohlala will send details of how the money is being utilized to McDonnell
for distribution to Residents.

The Mayor has opened a migration department where all immigrants
being legal or illegal can get assistance with queries. They will interact
with authorities and where possible get assistance with petty crimes. The
department is located at CI Cronje Building, cnr Loveday and Bree
Streets in Johannesburg.

 Development on cnr of Houghton and Houghton:
 McDonnell raised the issue of the development on this property which is
going ahead illegally despite the Association having gone the legal route
having approached City Council, PHRA-G and SAHRA. It took 3 months
for representatives from PHRA-G and SAHRA to go onto site for an
inspection. Demolition continues without proper permission. UHA have
sent a lawyer‟s letter to SAHRA saying that should there be no response
they will be taken to court.
 Councillor Mohlala requested that all correspondence be sent to her and
she will meet with Mrs Adriana Gilhar the immediate neighbour (36
Houghton Drive). Mohlala advised that this falls under the Developing
Planning and Transport Department, not under the Housing Department.

M. Freeman (1 St John‟s Rd) reported that a street light (pole no.2) on
the corner of St John‟s Rd and Fife Str has been out for 6 months.

Councillor Mohlala stressed that if Residents needed issues to be
addressed they need to liaise with their Ward Councillors.


COMMENT FROM ST JOHN‟S COLLEGE: CLIFF MIDGLEY:

1)   The corner of Joe Slovo turning into St Andrew Rd is extremely
     dangerous – numerous accidents happen here which have cost the
          school a lot of money, and should be addressed in the interests of
          road safety. They have written to the JRA requesting they change
          the camber. JRA responded that these accidents are caused by
          speeding. Midgley requested that the UHA and Councillor Mohlala
          put pressure on the JRA to change the camber or put up more
          warning signs.

     2)   An application has been received from Vodacom to put a
          transmission tower in the St John‟s Rd precint (between St John‟s
          and St Andrew‟s Rds). St John‟s has lodged disapproval to this and
          are negotiating with Vodacom.

     3)   St John‟s has started an outreach program where they are opening
          an Academy taking in 25 talented but previously disadvantaged
          children in the afternoon and teaching them Maths, Science and
          English. They then go on to write their own exams in their own
          schools . In 2008 there will be 25 and in 2009 50 children taken
          in. The school believes that this is a sustainable way that it can use
          their skills to meaningfully address critical educational issues. The
          students enrolled will attend afternoon lessons in three subjects for
          three years and will be given every possible opportunity to excel in
          Science, Maths and English. The school will be looking for
          Corporate Sponsors to take successful candidates through tertiary
          education. (Please direct enquires to Mr Alan Thompson at the
          school)

     4)   St John‟s is trying to get approval for a building next to the existing
          Science block. They are having trouble getting approval of the
          plans from the Planning department. Midgley requested support
          from the UHA and Councillor Mohlala in getting approval. Plans are
          available for inspection.


4.   APPLICATIONS FOR DEVELOPMENT AND GENERAL DEVLOPMENT
     ISSUES

     4.1 Report received by Helga Schneider – Town Planning Consultant:

          There have not been that many new applications submitted this
          year - in fact, less applications have been submitted than in the
          previous year. Applications are however steadily trickling in, and
          the pressure is not off Upper Houghton. Most of the new
          applications have been for increased residential density, above
          what is allowed in terms of the Neighbourhood Development
          Framework.
There have also been a number of town planning and heritage
infringements, with rezoning conditions contravened and illegal
demolition of structures, which has been an ongoing problem for a
number of years. It has required the ongoing vigilance of the Upper
Houghton Association to bring those concerned to book. The
Association tries to engage positively with developers, but this is
difficult when there is a flagrant disregard for the law.

What the Association has done in previous years is to address any
issues as and when they have arisen - it is impossible to run
through every application. The main issues are:

a) Death Bend site (there were 3 hearings, a mountain of evidence
was presented to the Board, and the Townships Board has not yet
made their final recommendation). The UHA needs to define
exactly what the “Ridge” area is and are going to employ the
services of a Quantity Survey to define the area.

b) The corner of Houghton & Houghton (the site is being developed
in accordance with previously approved rights, although the zoning
conditions and PHRAG requirements have been contravened -
legal action is ongoing). 76 apartments are being built – in line with
government‟s policy for densification. Trees over hundred‟s of
years have been cut down and the old stone walls have been
demolished.

All the other applications (e.g. Came/Theron/Baard, McFarlane,
Iranian Embassy, open space on Young Avenue - see below), are
still in process, and haven't got to their hearings yet.

The UHA has objected to the following rezoning applications (only 4
applications):

Erven 826, 827, 836 and 838 (open space in Young Avenue) -
applying for very high density residential rights.
Erven 974 and 975 (McFarlane) - applying for high density
residential rights.
Erven 976, 2341 and 2372 (Came/Theron/Baard) - applying for
high density residential rights.
Erven 2237, 2238, 2239 and Erf 19 Mountainview (Iranian
Embassy) -applying for high density residential rights.

The UHA has commented on the following applications:

Erf 2308 (corner of Houghton and Munroe Drives) - commented on
the SDP.
            Portion 1 of Erf 2306 (Dante Alighieri Society, Houghton Drive)
            Erf 2378 (1 Young Avenue ) - applying for a guest house
            Erf 1121 (Houghton Drive ) - commented on the SDP
            Portion 1 of Erf 2431 (Rose Road) - subdividing into 2 portions
            Roedean application, to regularise their rights
            St. John's building works
            Erven 97,98,99 and 100 - applying for home office rights.

            All of the above are i.t.o. the Framework and are thus supported.

5.   HERITAGE SURVEY

     The Heritage Survey commissioned 2 years ago is now complete.
     The objective of the Survey is to define the area in Upper Houghton and to
     declare the area a Heritage Site.

     Public participation is now needed for final approval of the Survey and to
     have the area declared a Heritage Site. In the meantime it will be
     submitted to SAHRA for comment.

     Once declared a Heritage Site certain management procedures will be put
     in place. It will not prevent future developments taking place but they will
     have to fit within the parameters of the Survey. The survey will explain the
     degree of development and management control.

     The Survey will be available for perusal and comment at St John‟s, KES
     and Roedean as well as on the website: www.upperhoughton.org.za
     between 1 November and 1 December 2007. Residents are encouraged
     to look at the document and give their comments. It is most
     comprehensive and worth looking at.

     Comments must be submitted before 2 December 2007 by email to
     UHRA@eesa.co.za or by fax to 011 447 4229. Comments must be clearly
     marked HOUGHTON HERITAGE SITE.

     A Special General Meeting will be held on Monday 28 January 2008 at
     King Edward VII School at 17h30 for 18h00 to discuss and finalise the
     Survey.

     Details will be circulated to Residents.

     McDonnell thanked Rocco Bosman and Barlin & Chaskelson Architects for
     the work and research they did putting the Survey together.

     C. Batchelor (37 St John Rd) queried how “restrictions” will be enforced.
6.   FINANCIAL REPORT

     The income and expenditure report was tabled.

     Running expenses exceeded income, however, there were some existing
     funds to cover these costs.

     McDonnell advised that Jasper Management Services have been
     employed to collect fees on behalf of the UHA.

     The financial year runs from October to September. The AGM and
     financial year may not coincide. Re-invoicing will commence 1 November
     2007.

     Anne van Dijk (17 St David Rd) , Treasurer, asked Residents to be
     generous with their donations over and above membership fees. These
     donations will be used to pay towards the production of the Heritage
     Survey.

     C. Midgley proposed a vote of thanks to the Committee and to the Ward
     Councillors for the work they all do for the area.


7.   REPORT ON THE WILDS – T.J. DE KLERK

     T.J.‟s Contact details: 082 554 9972 Email: wildswalk@artslink.co.za
     www.wildswalk.co.za

     The Wilds are really looking stunning at the moment. November walks will
     be held on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month.

     Smash and grab incidents still happen – they swap between Newton and
     Houghton Drive intersection and the St Patrick and Carse O‟Gowrie
     robots.

     Problem with palisade fencing on Houghton Drive is that a lot of damage
     is done by the number of accidents that occur there.

     After 2½ year‟s of TJ‟s involvement in The Wilds, there are still 17 issues
     which have not been addressed. Need City Parks to deal with them not
     only Ward Councillor Mohlala. These include:

           Borehole installed is not yet working
           Mugging incidents – still no guards in the area. Have been no
            incidents recently – but there have been no visitors recently!
           Gautrain excavation is occupying the parking area at the kiosk so
            there is no access to The Wilds. Visitors use the parking area at
            St John‟s, cnr St Patrick and Joe Slovo (Houghton Drive)

     The last walk this year will be a “snack” walk, participants can take a
     picnic lunch. TJ hopes to organize a string quartet.

     TJ thanked the UHA Committee for the support he and his family have
     received.

     McDonnell thanked TJ for the work he has done almost single handedly in
     turning The Wilds around. She also thanked Cliff Midgley of St John‟s for
     their support in paying for palisade fencing.


8.   ELECTION OF COMMITTEE

     The existing Committee was unanimously elected. Two new members
     were welcomed onto the Committee: Mathew Horne and Adriana Gilhar:

     Committee Members:

     Jemima McDonnell – Chairperson (happy to continue for one more year)
     Rocco Bosman
     Bruce Eccles
     Adriana Gilhar
     Jane Henderson
     Matthew Horne
     Brenda Randera
     João Ribeiro
     Paul Stuart
     Anne van Dijk

     Other Residents who continue to assist the Committee are Fabrizio
     Genovese, Lynn Taylor, Thilo Thormeyer. Johan van Noordwyk now in
     George still maintains the website.


9.   GENERAL

     McDonnell stressed that Upper Houghton is a unique area and very lucky
     when one looks at developments going on in other areas such at
     Sandhurst and Inanda etc which are under immense threat. Bosman
     advised that Upper Houghton was the first suburb to develop and register
     a Neighbourhood Development Framework.
P. Theron (58 St Patrick) queried the erection of the “advertising” board on
The Munro. McDonnell advised that Tilly Wood, the advertiser, had got
the go ahead from the Committee and had obtained approval from Council
to erect the board.
M. Horne (63 St Patrick Rd) advised that he stopped vandals from spray
painting the board and had chased them away.

McDonnell thanked Jane Henderson (37 St Andrew Rd) for all the hard
work she does on maintaining the pavements in the area. She employs 3
people and carries a lot of the costs involved personally. The monthly
donation for pavement maintenance is R100. Jane can be contacted on
082 558 4692.

Woolcott queried the Association‟s attitude toward the Ward Councillors
and the Council. McDonnell advised that the Councillors do mostly attend
the monthly meetings. The problems is the size of the areas that they are
responsible for. There is no point in getting aggressive or confrontational.
There are so many issues to deal with in the larger scheme of things,
issues need to be prioritized. It is up to Residents to make the area work,
they can‟t rely on Council to service the area. The Association needs to
keep proactive.

Nev Moodley (79 St David Rd) offered to assist the Association as he has
contacts in Council. McDonnell will contact him.

McDonnell thank the Committee members and the Secretary for the work
they have done and continue to do for the Association.

McDonnell thanked everyone for attending the meeting and for paying
their subscription fees.

				
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