1. A positive introduction
2. Public announcement
3. Valuation objections
4. City power press release and meter readers
5. Press release from our Pikitup spokesperson
6. Combatting crime – issued by Sandton CPF
7. Pensioners rebate
8. Suburb report backs
1. AT LAST A POSITIVE INTRODUCTION!
Ward 32 brace yourself as the winds of change set upon us. One of the most innovative introductions that I have seen in Council over the last 12 years has just been introduced by the Mayor.
Each ward will get ten JMPD officers assigned to it. This will be spread over four staggered shifts ensuring that during the day two cars will patrol the ward and at night at least one. This on its own will be fantastic but when you note that the officers will be responsible (in conjunction with the relevant departments) for noise and environmental pollution; crime prevention; by-law enforcements and traffic policing, it almost gives the impression that the ward will have its own Council enforcement army. It is also noteworthy to mention that the Mayoral objective and departmental objective is to bring the Metro Police closer to the residents both in public relations and enforcement. This should all be rolling out in July 2012 whilst JMPD find enough personnel and vehicles. I ask that you please give this pilot project your full support by keeping an open and tolerant mind. There will be a lot of teething problems and adjustments but make no mistake we will make this work.
2. PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
I will be in Cape Town from Monday till Friday due to the facilitation of the Joburg Junior Council leadership week. Cllr. Martin Louw will be standing in for me.
3. VALUATION OBJECTIONS
Please note that the deadline for objections has been extended to the end of July 2012.
From around the 3rd July 2012 a staff member will be deployed specifically to deal with walk in objections at the client service centre at Region E offices 24 Fredman Drive Sandton.
I urge you to please make use of this person for your objections to your valuations.
To date I have logged nearly 50 on my own on behalf of residents of ward 32 and surrounding areas.
4. CITY POWER OFFICIALS AND METER READERS – PLEASE READ!!
The City of Johannesburg discovered that there are customers who do not allow our meter readers access to their properties. This results in the City not being able to bill those customers on actual readings but on estimates.
In terms of the City of Johannesburg by-laws, the City is entitled to disconnect the supply of electricity as a result of customers’ failure to allow us access to their premises for purpose of reading the meter or fixing a faulty meter.
Customers who are falling into this category are requested to urgently contact us on the following numbers to avoid termination of the supply of electricity to their premises
Fax number: (011) 490-7223
Call Centre number: (011) 490-7484
SMS line 44074
Please include the following information in your correspondence:
• Account number
• Physical Address
• Contact details
• Date and time of availability.
The Call Centre operating hours are from 07:00 to 22:00 (Monday to Friday) and on weekends from 07:00 to 13:00.
How to identify City Power meter readers:
• They will carry ID Cards with a name and picture of the individual
• The ID cards will identify the individual as a City Power CONTRATOR
• The individual will wear either a brown or blue overall under the City Power reflector jacket.
• The individual will be wearing City Power reflector jackets.
5. PRESS RELEASE FROM OUR PIKITUP SPOKESPERSON
Residents of Johannesburg continue to be frustrated by their refuse not being collected on time or at all. To exacerbate an already untenable situation, a number of garden refuse sites across the city have been closed without notice. This is due to the fact that there are not enough vehicles to empty the skips in the garden sites, resulting in people dumping the refuse around the sites.
The poor service delivery from Pikitup has been with us for a number of months and will most likely continue until September or October this year. This situation arises from two sources, namely the gross mismanagement by senior city officials in the context of the renewal of the city’s fleet contract and the inability of Pikitup’s fleet management unit to plan ahead and ensure sufficient vehicles to provide the requisite level of service.
Despite adequate warnings that the city’s fleet contract was going to expire, senior officials involved themselves in brinkmanship in not taking steps to ensure that there would be a smooth transition from one fleet service provider to another in the event that the contract was awarded to a different service provider. The result of this was that at the last minute, the contract was extended for an additional month on at least 2 occasions. When the officials finally took a decision to end the existing fleet contract, they were beset by legal difficulties in awarding the new contracts and were forced to appoint an interim service provider. All indications are that the officials were warned about the potential legal impediments, but in their usual arrogant and cavalier fashion, chose to ignore the warnings.
When the fleet contract was ended with the previous service provider, officials within the Pikitup fleet management unit were given the opportunity to keep vehicles that would assist them in maintaining the required service levels. They chose not to do so. In addition, the interim contract allows for the hiring of ad-hoc vehicles to fill the gap in the event that they are required. Once again, the fleet managers in Pikitup chose not to use this option. Why they have chosen to do so is not clear. There is more to this debacle than meets the eye, yet officials and politicians of the ruling party remain mum. Official questions put to them are ignored by obfuscatory answers that ignore the question. Surely, this is a matter that the Public Protector should be interested in.
6. COMBATTING CRIME – ISSUED BY SANDTON CPF
Tips on how to currently combat this problem:
o When stopped by police in unmarked cars, advise same that you will proceed to the nearest garage (people and cameras) or police station where they can conclude their search or investigation.
Be aware that there are bogus policemen out there (always in unmarked cars) who have access to police uniforms or bullet proofs as well as ‘Blue Lights’.
o When stopped by police in marked cars, ensure you get the CALL SIGN painted on the car (e.g. SD.80) which, because all police cars are fitted with a AVL (tracking) system, will identify the officers within that vehicle as well as substantiate the whereabouts of the vehicle at that specific time.
o Always ask the police officer for his name and get verification if necessary – they are obliged to carry same.
o Subscribe to eBlockwatch and utilise their cellphone recording system should you feel the need.
o Do not become an accomplice by submitting to a bribe.
o Do not adopt a ‘victim’ attitude – neither be aggressive. Be polite but assertive for and within your rights.
o Call the Sector Vehicle for assistance if being threatened, or the Duty Officer at Sandton SAPS.
o Always report all incidents immediately to the police management so that the necessary action can be taken.
• Station Commander: Brig. Alan Billings firstname.lastname@example.org
• CPF Chairman: Wendy Vorster-Robertson email@example.com
• Sandton SAPS Duty Officer: 082.304.9562
• National Police Anti-Corruption Line is 0860 267 787 and 0860 267 788
• Crime Line is 32211
7. PENSIONERS REBATE (PLEASE SEE FORM ATTACHED TOO)
Application form for 2012 is attached – this is the updated form from the Rates Directorate
There seems to be some issues brought about by the Pensioner Rebate applications. I have requested Official comment and process from the Rates Directorate and this will be sent to me shortly (Directorate request needs to go via the office of the MMC).
For the mean time I summarise it as follows.
It would seem that ANY pensioner can apply for a rebate when the following conditions apply:
• They are 60 years of age (can apply the day they turn 60!)
• Own the property and personally occupy it
• Value of property must not exceed R1 500 000 as per Municipal account statement
• 100 % rebate
o Dependent on National Security Grant OR
o Who are not on National Security Grant but monthly income is less than R5600
• 50 % rebate
o Who are not on National Security Grant but monthly income is above R5600 but less than R10 300
Process for Pensioner Rebate Applications:
1. Complete the attached application form
2. Gather the necessary documents
3. Make a copy of the application form for own records
4. Go to COJ Walk in Centre, sit in queue for a Customer Relations Agent to log a service ticket on SAP Billing CRM system.
5. The agent will then scan the documents into the system and the Rates Directorate back office will then process the application.
6. Within time, the rebate (if approved) should appear on the statement.
The Service Ticket number in this process is vital as it is the only record of the interaction for future disputes.
One of the things I seek clarity on is the RENEWAL of rebate applications (verification to take place every 2 years) – this will hopefully be included in the process detail from the Directorate.
Note: There is also another rebate that the City offers those that earn less than R4024 per month (not limited only to pensioners). I have asked the ESP Directorate to send this for wider distribution and I will forward soonest
ALEXANDRA FAR EAST BANK EXT 7
Alexandra celebrated 100 years! Huge celebrations took place. I am sure it is not political but as usual my invitation as a Councillor in Alexandra seems to have been misplaced. This is the story of my life, in Alexandra, either I do not get invited to the events, workshops/ meetings or I get some friendly voice two hours before an event apologizing for late notice and inevitably always giving a little giggle at the end of the sentence before asking me if I will please attend a meeting in two hours.
I took the region on strongly in our last meeting and found unlikely allies in my colleagues from another party. I have warned people that if they cannot accept a white Councillor for Alexandra then they should not be working in a progressive administration like we have. A few days later I was called by City Power to inform me that tin the event they will be rolling out a solar geyser project in my area. Not only will residents benefit from free solar powered geysers but they will also benefit in a job creation project to install them.
I have had constructive meetings with BRACE and with the school in Buccleuch and we will be pursuing the children’s safety on our roads in Buccleuch more aggressively together. Watch this space. It is a vision of many to have more street lights, user friendly walk ways and of course satisfactory traffic calming measures.
We have had issues with transformers malfunctioning in the area. Unfortunately these have come at some of the coldest nights of the year. I cannot begin to imagine the problems it causes for the young and the elderly. I have donated blankets to the local church in the hope that we can control some form of variable at a time when it really is out of our control.
I was at the 1st Road site meeting today and was really proud to see what the new road looks like. In fact it is the best looking road in Linbro Park at the moment. BREAKING NEWS: The contractors have been asked to please spend the money saved from not paving the whole of 1st Road to repair Ronald Avenue. Therefore come mid-July, Linbro Park will have two new looking roads for the price of one.
Cluelee Road continues to be a menace considering it has become a main arterial route that is as big as a one lane road, has no white markings and no traffic enforcement. I have been informed of two major accidents in the month that it has been open. Tomorrow I will be present at the LPCA table to advise residents around two petitions. The first one being that of the roads in Linbro Park and the second one being the new classification of property to Residential A. Pop past my table and say hi. There will be two sites – Malboro entrance and Cluelee Road entrance.
It was so refreshing to assist the Friends of the Modderfontein Library at their monthly book sale. We managed to sell lots of books and I was able to impart my limited novel knowledge onto residents. However I ended up purchasing a box load of books with the intention of actually trying to find the time to read them. To date I have only managed half a book.