ARCHCOM – PAUL HIGGINS
Archcom meeting was held on 08 August 2023 attended by Gordon Hart, Lise Carswell, Ulf Martz and me.
Four plans were examined, 2 were approved & 2 need minor changes before approval.
2 No-objection to departures to city building bylaws were received from the city.
Brief discussion on the fees and Archcom will refund the member the deposit & inspection fee.
Communications – Lise Carswell
I had a meeting with Chris Bishoff our web and communications guy. He is worried that our website is at capacity and becoming very slow.
1 – We have way too many documents on the Official Document page. We have started a Google Drive page where old documents (ancient Excom minutes etc) will be saved. These can then be accessed via a link on the website. I have started moving files across. Marcia has the log in details.
2 – our website sits with Xneelo. This affords us a number of email addresses. We could set up emails for the portfolios that do a lot of communications, like for example chairman@ etc. This would allow those taking over a portfolio to have all the relevant information and not start from scratch each time.
3 – The website is heavily coded and clunky. Chris proposed a rebuild and this was already on the cards when I took over the portfolio. The new website would be template driven and without getting too technical, this would allow us to be able to upload documents and information ourselves, costing less and without having to wait for someone else to upload documents
New Residents pamphlet
Cost to update the new residents pamphlet is R450 per hour. The changes we need will not take more than 1 hour. Can I go ahead and make the changes?
We are reviving the blog. This gives us more interesting content on the website, keeps things fresh and allows people to go back and read older articles like, for example, the ones by Gordon Hart, which will be relevant going forward.
Conservation and engagement – Caitlin Melidonis
Past Month’s Activities
• “Conservation Corner” content supplied for MDGA newsletter. Fun facts about the wildlife on the reserve and useful information will be supplied to residents in every newsletter going forward.
• Confirmation received from the Nature Reserve regarding the following activities which Valerie kindly advertised on social media:
o Full moon walk on Park Island – Thursday 31 August
o Bird Walk on main reserve – Sunday 10 September
Issues requiring attention
• Appointment of Waterways Portfolio representative – suggestion to advertise in next MDGA newsletter and Whatsapp and Facebook groups to request applications for this important position on the excom.
• Drafting and circulation of information sheet about injured wild animals (who to call, what to do etc.)
• Additional dates for a second full moon walk and bird walk before the end of the year to be discussed with Nature Reserve Staff.
EVENTS – VALERIE BENSON
Marina Children’s Christmas Party – proposed date Saturday 16 December 2023
Have provisionally booked Father Christmas (David Muller) pending costs
Need to check status of MDGA music equipment, speakers etc
Marina Christmas Carols – proposed date Sunday 17 December 2023
Have contacted Mike English and original Carols band and advised proposed Carols date which they are happy with.
Confirmed Don from Eastlake Island as the piper for the Marina Carols. He has played at them before.
Marina Open Gardens day – proposed date 10 September 2023
The Marina Open Gardens poster has been sent in for the next Marina newsletter on 15.8.2023. Seven gardens are confirmed for the day.
Municipal Infrastructure – Ulf Martz
- Past Month’s Activities
Due to extreme weather conditions, flooding has occurred, as well as failures of some infrastructure, such as the boundary wall on the northern periphery, see below for further details.
Collapsed Boundary Wall
Sections of the northern boundary wall had collapsed after a storm. The matter had been addressed and communicated to the City officials, and with the assistance of Valerie Benson, the City implemented temporary fencing to close off the area due to security concerns.
Further communication between the MDGA and City officials and councillors ensued.
Whilst the onus of reinstating the section of boundary wall falls on the property owner, in this case the CoCT, they appear to be reluctant to build a new wall.
PARKS AND GARDENS – VALERIE BENSON
The Marina Gardeners’ team, led by Staffa, works every Tuesday on a rotational basis in the various areas of the Marina. Park Island, then Uitsig Peninsula, then Cannon Island and Eastlake Island.
Each area of the Marina has a local resident guiding the Marina Gardeners on the relevant Tuesday. Andrea Pycroft represents Cannon Island and Eastlake Island, and Koemi Rowe is the Uitsig Peninsula representative.
I met with Cherry Giljam and Nola Davidson on Wednesday 9th August 2023. They have offered to be the Park Island resident volunteers replacing Silvia Stringer. Cherry wants to focus on tidying up and beautifying the entrance to Park Island as their first project before moving onto to other areas. Nola and Cherry were due to meet on Sunday 13 August 2023 to have a walk around and see what needs attending to. Cherry was also going to contact Silvia Stringer for a handover.
Three sets of keys to the garden storage unit in Eastlake Island have been cut for the three different Marina resident volunteers, ie Koemi, Andi and Cherry/Nola. The Marina Gardeners team start at 8:30am each Tuesday. As the MDGA office only opens at 9am, the volunteers requested keys to open up for the gardeners at 8:30am.
The Marina Gardeners are in Park Island tomorrow, Tuesday 15th August 2023, so Cherry and Nola are ready to receive them.
160 bags of mulch at R30 per bag were ordered and delivered by Super Plants Tokai for the use of all the islands before the end of the winter rains.
At the entrance to Oudevlei Road, Uitsig Peninsula, the brick paving section that needed repair has been attended to and looks much better. I logged a service request with council for this about a month ago.
Staffa had a serious accident on 4th or 5th July 2023 – have asked him for an update on how his leg is healing and if he has a date in mind to return to the Marina Gardeners team.
SAFETY AND SECURITY – ROBIN CARLISLE
1.Assessing the current state security in MDG.
1.1. Entry Cameras.
All 8 entrances to the Marina are covered by an LPR and an Overview camera. These cameras are owned by the MDGA, initial monitoring is done by Navic; reaction by Deep Blue and maintenance by First Dimension. This is not how the system was inaugurated and I would need compelling evidence that three service providers are necessary for these cameras when the other 61 security cameras in the Marina are leased from and fully serviced by Deep Blue.
During July 2023, the LPR cameras were triggered 72 times by 16 vehicles, an average of 5 times per vehicle. One resident`s vehicle triggered the system 26 times for the crime of poaching. Deep Blue located/escorted/followed out of the area 15 vehicles or 20% of the vehicles triggering the system. None of the triggers arose from any crime in the Marina.
It is clear that the whole system needs to be reviewed and cleaned up. It seems that little is being achieved at present, tho there may be a psychological benefit.
1.2. Security status of the MDGA Precincts; –
-Uitsig has 6 cameras on the north Wall totally financed by the MDGA, and some hardy activists raising money to keep the guard and Deep Blue`s presence funded. The tail of the North Wall reaching to the canal has fallen down and is currently replaced with a fence. It has many well maintained houses and attractive internal and verge gardens. It also has many of the same that are a disgrace, as well as some of the common areas. We have clear safety and standards challenges here. I note that Uitsig is now well represented on the Excom. Should we not consider an “Uitsig sub committee” to consider devise and execute a strategy to sort these and other Uitsig problems out.
-Park Island is now a Special Rating Area (CID). It has a strong safety group headed by Colin Reeves. It has 98% contribution to security which consists of a manned guarding presence at the entrance and 8 monitored cameras.
– Eastlake (Elisa) has strong safety operations managed by a very good volunteer group. It has approx. 80% contribution to security costs and has 8 monitored cameras and an unofficial guard at the entrance. It will reach CID status in July 2024.
-Cannon Island safety committee is not yet known to me, but I suspect it needs more management, members and energy. It self finances its 16 monitored cameras.
-Fishermans Quay has a history of fine safety structure with 9 monitored cameras paid for by residents. I am informed that this precinct is about to lose its long time champion.
-Battleridge has a committee and 12 self funded monitored cameras. It is an area of concern, as it is the only precinct with a drive through road. It also has two cameras funded by the MDGA in the gully behind the Battleridge dune.
-Park Island Quay is a self funding gated village. Port and Starboard Closes are also gated. Sonnet and Spearhead which exit onto Prince George Drive apparently have active committees and WhatsApp circles. I am uncertain of the status of Waterside Close, Dabchick Quay and Eastlake drive.
1.3. Funding of Precinct security.
A general meeting authorised the funding of the entry cameras, whilst at the same time confirming that except by way of such a meeting, all precincts were expected to meet their own security costs.
Subsequently, previous excoms saw fit to fund cameras in Uitsig and Battleridge without gaining the approval of a general meeting.
This was unfortunate because it opens the way to all precincts calling for the MDGA to fund their security costs, which in turn would lead to the Association`s inevitable bankruptcy.
A further problem has arisen with worsening loadshedding during which we lose much of our protection from crime. I am getting an idea of what the mitigation costs would be.
No crime was reported in the Marina during the month of July
However, the SAPS Community Forum which is attended by Colin and myself was advised by Captain Knapp that crime in Sector Three (Prince George Drive to Kalk bay) was rising fast, particularly in the categories of rape; burglary, housebreak, house robbery, theft from vehicles and theft of vehicles. We are not permitted to reveal the numbers, but generally they are double those of the previous year. Most crime occurs between 2100 and 0900 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Most crime in our Sector Three occurs in the north of the Sector between the railway line and the estuary mouth. Clevedon, Frankfort and Alexandria were mentioned as problematical.
3.Extending Protection in the Sector and Beyond.
Moves to create an unbroken bulwark of precinct security in the Deep South are underway, but these things take time.
We have gone backwards in that a key precinct neighbour – Marine Estate – has lost its activist driver and has virtually ceased to exist.
The MID and the Marina will be the prime movers in this extension.
The Muizenberg Police station has no mitigation during night time load shedding. It does however have a large but non-functional generator and has abundant stocks of fuel. We are finding out what the cost of fixing and reconnecting the generator will be.
I hope the MDGA will come in for some of the costs once they are known. An appeal to residents should also be considered.
4.Other community problems.
The unlawful use of the public spaces in the Marina will be dealt with strictly by the law enforcement entities. We are awaiting the erection of a Council notice board which will show exactly which activities are unlawful. This will be followed by a campaign of robust persuasion to ensure that Law Enforcement carries out its obligations.
We need to be concerned about vehicles speeding in the Marina, and to consider a lower speed limit.
Notably in Uitsig, we have garden refuse being dumped in the in the public spaces and on the verges.
We also have a rapidly expanding colony of Port Jackson invaders that need removal and poisoning.
5.Collaboration, cohesion and communication between the precinct security operations to ensure resident buy-in.
There are so many matters to be investigated, assessed, changed, improved and extended that excom would be busy with them to the exclusion of other important matters.
Therefore, I will now commence to canvass support amongst the security community for a resuscitation of the Marina Guardians as a forum open to all security activists where security matters can be considered and consensus sought prior to their submission to Excom for approval. We would expect all security providers operating in the marina to attend Guardian meetings.
The Guardians will not impinge in any way on the autonomy of precinct safety operations.
STANDARDS – NEIL MULLER
- I met with the two Standards Officers in the MDGA Offices on Friday 11 August 2023. We agreed to hold a regular weekly meeting at 9am on Tuesdays.
- We agreed to update and review the database on alleged violations of the Standards and will review weekly.
- We reviewed the file on the Vibracrete Wall.
- It is recommended that a meeting be set up with the owner to establish the next steps. Dates are being sought for a meeting through Mr Hepple who apparently has some communication with the parties.
- There has been no communication with the City and it is unclear whether a building permit is required or would be required to replace what is there.
Surrounding COMMUNITIES’ Liaison – Lathif Gafoor
Treasury– JONATHAN WALTERS