AGM - 2008
CRAIGPARK RESIDENT’S ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON THURSDAY, 8TH MAY, 2008 AT CRAIGHALL PRIMARY SCHOOL
Wendy McAllister, acting Chairperson of the Association, welcomed the residents to the meeting and thanked them for their attendance, which reflected their interest in the issues that concerned our suburbs. She gave a warm welcome to our guest speaker, Clem Sunter as well as Senior Superintendent Nanda Moodley of the Parkview Police Precinct, Councillor Ian Ollis and Kate Henry of the Rosebank Gazette.
Apologies received from Mr D Callie, Lee Whitfield, Tony & Moira Barnes.
2. Approval of 2007 Minutes
The Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting, held on 30th May, 2007 were approved in a motion proposed by Ian Ollis and seconded by Andrew Kinghorn.
3. Address by Mr Clem Sunter, future scenario planner
Due to another engagement, Clem Sunter’s talk was the first item. (A summary of his thought-provoking talk will be found at the end of these minutes.) After taking several questions, Mr Sunter left the meeting.
4.Proposal to form a City Improvement District (CID)
After several months of investigation, the Executive believed that in terms of today’s local government structures, establishing a CID would ensure more effective management of our area. The increased demand on municipalities for infrastructure and services has not been matched by incoming revenue, leading to reduced services, degeneration and urban decay, clearly an unacceptable situation for property owners.
The process is determined by legislation, which makes provision for the establishment of section 21 companies to work hand-in-hand with local authorities in supplementing and complementing the basic services offered by municipalities. A CID works through raising a monthly amount from all property owners which may be spent only in the CID area and allows the area to deal with major issues such as crime and grime on an integrated basis. It may be formed only with the consent of a simple majority of property owners and the approval of the City Council.
A Steering Committee has been formed to guide the process. Information had already been hand-delivered to home owners and the first public participation meeting was to be held on 15 May. Residents had also been given the opportunity to complete a survey form to make their views known.
5. Portfolio reportback
Security: Richard King and his team – Eric Glover and Phillip Bond - have put in a huge amount of time and effort into this portfolio, including meeting regularly with the SAPS Parkview and ADT. The Community Security Scheme remains the most important security activity: support for the Scheme, however, was disappointing. It was noted that if a City Improvement District was established, this would ensure a 100% participation and provide the wherewithal to implement many additional security measures (bicycle and foot patrols and/or surveillance cameras) to better protect public and open spaces.
Town Planning: Since the Precinct Plan had been approved and was in place, there were fewer applications for higher density developments other than those permitted along areas such as adjacent to Jan Smuts Avenue . The team, Lee Whitfield, Roly Meyer and Bianca de Roland-Phillips, were thanked for their extensive contribution, with a special word of thanks to Lee Whitfield who was standing down after over 10 years of dedicated service to the community.
Environment: The Chair thanked Chris Taylor, working with City Parks , Pickitup, Eltec Properties, ADT and Caxton newspapers, for his hard work in organising a successful river clean up by residents who collected some 200 bags of rubbish. It was intended to have more river clean-ups and also to involve schools which had community service programmes
Membership: This portfolio has been vacant most of this year and a volunteer to take on this portfolio was urgently required. Information from the Deeds Office indicates that including sectional title property owners, we have over 1500 households in our area. With less than 20% of residents being paid-up members this is cause for concern.
Communication: Wendy McAllister worked hard at keeping the Community informed. The CRA website contained much information and residents were encouraged to make use of it. The Crier was still printed and distributed several times a year, particularly as the CRA was missing many email addresses of residents, as well as being of assistance to those who do not have email. Obviously e-mail addresses were very effective in reaching the community efficiently and quickly and an electronic newsletter was sent out monthly. Everyone who has an e-mail address was urged to send it to the CRA.
Community Affairs: This portfolio has also been vacant this year. There is so much that could be done in our suburbs, such as an annual “Community Day”. We have the river environment and open spaces - someone with a little imagination and flair was asked to come forward to plan such get-togethers and to welcome residents who have just moved into our suburbs.
Traffic: Peter Heritage has spent much time cultivating just who to contact in the Johannesburg Roads Agency and Jhb Metro Police. There seems to be little inclination by the authorities to solve problems such as taxis rat-running at speed through our suburbs. He also handles matters such as missing manhole covers and street lights out of order. We ask that you first report the problem and get a reference number and if nothing happens after a week or so contact Peter.
It was noted that CRA representatives had very recently attended a Ward Road Safety public meeting and had submitted a comprehensive list of improvements required. These included a traffic circle at Spar and another at the Bompas Rd/Northumberland Avenue junction. Speed bumps were requested for several roads, with priority being given to Alexandra and Buckingham Avenues.
Treasurer’s Report: Kendall Rattey gave a brief insight into the finances of the CRA. Excluding the Community Security Scheme, expenses were down by 31%. Having the Precinct Plan in place has led to a substantial decrease in Town Planning Expenditure and Legal Fees. Overall expenditure did not exceed receipts during the year under review, leaving us with a reasonable operating and cumulative surplus. She thanked Craighall resident Dick Harris of Harris Dowden & Fontaine for very generously giving his time and auditing the Financial Statements. There being no queries, the Financial Statements were accepted by the meeting.
6. ELECTION OF COMMITTEE/OFFICE BEARERS FOR 2008/9
The Chair then introduced the current Committee Members who were available for re-election. They were: Roly Meyer and Bianca de Roland-Phillips for Town Planning, Blyth Thompson, Richard King, Phillip Bond and Eric Glover for Security, Chris Taylor for Environment, Wendy McAllister in Communications, Peter Heritage for Traffic, and Paulette Malcolm for civic and community affairs, including the CID process.
The gathered forum proposed and seconded their “en masse” re-election.
Volunteers were then sought not only to assist with portfolios but also to fill the portfolios of Community Affairs and Membership and for the position of Secretary/Co-ordinator and Chairperson. A plea for a permanent Chairman fell on death ears in spite of both John Turpin and Ian Ollis advising the residents how important it was to have one for the smooth running of the Committee. Two residents came forward to volunteer their services. Karen Hoffa for Environment, and Kristy Falkenberg for Community Affairs.
Close Of Meeting
The Acting Chairperson thanked everyone for coming to the AGM and urged them to attend the forthcoming CID Meeting..
The meeting closed at 21h25.
Summary of Clem Sunter’s address
He began by saying that South Africa has reached the 2nd fork in the road, an economic road as opposed to a political one. As Hong Kong, for example, was thriving as the gateway to China , so South Africa had many opportunities being the de facto gateway to sub-Saharan Africa . Until recently, South Africa was ranked 29th out of the world’s 55 top economies countries. Regrettably, for reasons such as crime and infrastructural problems, we had now slipped to 50 - and it was not impossible that we lost our status of being Africa’s gateway to Nigeria .
Using football analogies, this could mean being relegated to the 2nd Division, thereby losing all the benefits of being in the 1st Division. How do we reverse this trend?
The optimistic scenario is that we do a 'U turn' and advance our rankings to at least the middle position of the league by the time we get to 2020. This will require the development of new economic spaces, capitalising being the principal gateway into Africa . We are the most modern economy on the continent and have all the accoutrements to act as a springboard for any overseas company wishing to launch its bid to gain market share in Africa . And, as the Chinese know, Africa is open for business. It's a very profitable space to occupy, providing you're an excellent service provider. One could interpret the acquisition of a stake in Standard Bank by China 's largest bank as a first step towards being acknowledged as a gateway economy. Other deals could follow which cement our relationship with the East.
However, a greater worry is a scenario where a relapse into the '2nd Division' is accompanied by internal disharmony and, eventually, overt conflict. South Africa would very quickly take a sharp turn left and join the likes of Zimbabwe , Myanmar , North Korea and Somalia in the ' Failed State ' quadrant. Kenya 's current political upheavals and violence demonstrate just how rapidly a country can tumble towards this scenario, and just how arbitrary the trigger can be. Of course, South Africa is also at the mercy of the global game. If the world moves into a 'Hard Times' scenario, South Africa 's position in the 'Relegation Zone' could be even more tenuous. It will certainly find it increasingly difficult to maintain its recent trajectory of economic growth or sustain its developmental and welfare policies. All is not lost, though. Should global instability see a shift towards a 'Divided World' scenario, South Africa can benefit from the goodwill it has accumulated in the East.
In conclusion, South Africa has definitely lost some footing in the 'Premier League' since the ushering in of its Cinderella democracy. Its fall in the rankings has been somewhat disguised by the beneficial effect of the 'Long Boom' scenario. Complacency, a certain degree of arrogance, a lack of service delivery and some misdirected government policies have taken South Africa 's eye off the ball in a game where the demands on the players are unyielding. The country is now in the 'Relegation Zone' and faces possible ejection into the economic mire of the '2nd Division'. And this could happen quicker than we think.
Clem hoped that these scenarios highlighted a sobering reality for the rainbow nation. It has a choice: do little and fall further swiftly; or put the brakes on the slide and reverse it by implementing brave and tough new policies. The latter are obviously linked to the formula for being a winning nation as well as the prime condition of being an internally harmonious society. Decisions in the immediate future will determine in which scenario South Africa will find itself in 2010. The country does have plenty of control over its destiny, and the choices are quite clear. We have to stop accepting the mediocre and aim to be the best. We must amaze the world for a second time.
[Clem was asked if he had given this presentation to Cabinet. He has not been asked to do so.]