Newsletter – 28 February 2020
Food initiatives in response to COVID-19
PRABOA has received a number of requests from the community as to how to help the underprivileged living in our area, including our car guards. Over the past few weeks Cortac and SafeParks/Parksec successfully collected a large number of food donations which have been handed out to reputable organisations for distribution. Residents who further want to support food distribution initiatives in our area (who will be supporting our car guards, among others), can donate to the Victory Park St Vincent De Paul Society and the Parkhurst Community Church, which both have authorised representatives to distribute food to the needy. Please add ‘Parkhurst’ to the payment reference you provide so we can keep track.
The details are as follows:
4th Avenue Traders
We’re more than four weeks into an extended lockdown. No matter the rationale behind this intervention, the economic impact on local business is going to be extreme and long-lasting. Once the lockdown lifts, and it will, albeit gradually, there are a few things we can do to ensure that as a community, we pull closer together and offer each other the support we need to see this period through.
Parkhurst on 4th is shuttered. The vibrant heart of our village has stalled and if you’ve taken a drive along the once bustling strip, it is eerie and disconcerting. However, there is a sense that we can emerge from this, and notwithstanding the social distancing restrictions that will remain in place for the foreseeable future as we attempt to mitigate the effects of this pandemic on our society, there is a lot we can do as a community to help our business district overcome these challenges.
To begin with, when the lockdown does lift, it is entirely likely that restaurants, those that are able to reopen, will be offering takeaway and delivery services. This is one of the main ways our community could support the restarting of our strip – buy local cuisine, collect or have it delivered. Your favourite eatery, your least favourite – order in. We’ve been eating out of our pantries for weeks; we’ll be eating out of them for weeks more. When the time comes, make that call, order that meal. Help our eateries come back online.
In the interim, the small businesses you enjoyed visiting – the fashion boutiques, the galleries, the bespoke gift shops, our cinema. Each business along the strip no doubt has a dedicated online and social media presence. Take this time to discover them, digitally. A simple Google search will direct you to these small merchants pushing out content and specials through a multitude of channels. Buy from them online, even if they can only deliver after lockdown, even if they will struggle to get their supply chains up and running, assist them by making sure their revenue streams continue to flow during what is a period of unprecedented uncertainty. Like their pages, share their content with your friends and across your networks. 4th Avenue Needs You, and it needs you now, not only when the lockdown lifts and you can once again stroll down, stop for a coffee or a chat with a neighbour or shopkeeper. Our high street is unique. It’s prestigious. It has its moments, no heartbeat of a suburb is ever without its hiccups, but it is ours, and it is under the most direct threat. Help keep it open by showing the businesses who are most likely still paying rent, the support of a community that can and will step up, when the chips are down. And they are most surely down.
Municipal Matters from Cllr Tim
Most CoJ entities are not offering a full service during lockdown, below is a summary:
City Parks – only maintaining crematoria & cemetaries, the animals at the Joburg Zoo, security at their facilities, and removing street trees that are blocking roads or powerlines. For trees, contact them on 082-803-0748 or firstname.lastname@example.org
City Power – no change in repairing outages. Log online with citypower.mobi.
Joburg Roads – only emergency work for dangerous potholes and traffic lights out on major roads. Please log with email@example.com. The ap is not working properly.
Joburg Water – they are operating as per normal. Please log pipe bursts/leaks and sewer problems with firstname.lastname@example.org
Electricity Meter Readings – the meter readings are not being done manually due to the Lockdown. Please log between 20-27 of each month with meter reading, account number, meter number, reading date & a pic of the reading on the meter to email@example.com.
Water Meter Readings – please submit your water readings between 20-27 of each month and include: account number, meter number, meter reading, date of reading, clear pic of the reading and meter number (please keep it below 2mb) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Billing problems – if you have a problem, it can only be dealt with after lockdown. Continue paying your average monthly amount. Cut offs and pretermination letters have been suspended during lockdown.
Municipal Covid19 Rebates – there are none at the moment in Joburg. But the proposed budget and tariff increases have been withdrawn from public comment. I hope that they are being revised in line with the Covid19 crisis.
Shelters – all the shelters are full, so until new ones are opened up in places like stadiums around the city, it is best to keep homeless people in situ and see how you can help them.
Need Docs Certified or Proof of Residence?
With the lockdown, you may need to submit certified docs, need a proof of residence, etc, I know how schleppy it is to get this done. As a city councillor I can do both of these as I am a Commissioner of Oaths.
Please contact me via Whats App (https://wa.me/27836192419) or email me on email@example.com if you need assistance.
We are looking for some legal advice in relation to taxation of public benefit organisations. Please get in touch with Chris Diamond (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are able to help.
If you wish to sign up, please email Lynn Rushton (email@example.com). If you want to get our weekly crime/ safety newsletter, please also contact Lynn. Please visit our Facebook and website pages:
Please also use your time at home in lock down to review your security equipment. Test and review your gate locks, alarm system, panic buttons, beams, cameras and electric fencing. Also trim all branches and shrubs that may affect your electric fencing and beams and lead to false alarms. Should you need professional help, most security installers have the necessary essential services permits to assist you and it may be time and money spent wisely.
Unfortunately, it is very likely that once the lock down in our area is lifted, that crime activities will spike quickly, and we all need to be prepared for it.
PRABOA AGM 2019
You can find the YouTube video of the 2019 AGM and all of the PRABOA committee member reports here: https://parkhurstvillage.com/about/agm/agm-2019/
PRABOA is a Public Benefit Organisation and has to stick to SARS rules. Among these are NO REFUNDS. So we cannot reverse debits if you have already left!
Please let us know as well as Cortac. A simple email to firstname.lastname@example.org is all that is needed. Please send it in the first half of your last month. Then I will usually cancel you by return of email. If the cancellation comes after the debit order run has been loaded (often about 22 of each month) you cannot be refunded.
Cutting down on expenses?
If you want to save money by discontinuing SafeParks while continuing Cortac alarm monitoring, think carefully. The rate you pay Cortac is a reduced rate for SafeParks contributors. If you do not contribute to SafeParks, Cortac would charge around R900 per month, which is more than the combined rate of R799, which is why they don’t offer it. Cutting either of these might affect your insurance cover.