The launch of the Ratepayers’ Association for Lakeview Residents (RALR) was held at the Square Hill community hall in Retreat, on Friday September 16, after the previous assocation became defunct a few years ago.
This initiative was sparked when the Lakeview Neighbourhood Watch (LNW) decided issues such as property, roads and crime would be best tackled through a residents’ association.
One of the main issues on the agenda was to appeal to the community for support and help in keeping the area safe.
Monica Petersen, chairperson of the LNW, was elected chairperson of the RALR.
She said neighbourhood watch members when on patrol often face issues such as tik users occupying derelict houses and dumping. “We have invited (Ward 72) councillor Kevin Southgate who will assist us when he can.”
Mr Southgate said: “The previous ratepayers’ association had not been meeting for years and so the community felt the need to revive the association as there was a need for the association to exist given the many challenges that confronted the community and would be better ad-dressed as a collective rather as individuals.
“I’m sure that if complaints are received the City is obliged to investigate in order to ensure compliance with the law and therefore take appropriate steps to address any non-compliance issues.”
Ms Petersen said it is a big task to keep the community safe, therefore they asked for assistance and introduced Bokonzi Security Service at the meeting to help patrol the area.
Mr Southgate added: “Any initiative taken by the community to assist in dealing with crime and making our community safe is always welcome. What is important though is that we ensure that everything that is done in setting up the initiative is legally compliant and has the support of the residents as well as the ratepayers’ association.”
Ms Petersen said: “Although Steenberg police are also working with us to prevent crime, we can only do very little because we are only the eyes and ears for them. With the permission of the RALR, the security company will deploy 21 guards in Lakeview and services will include 24-hour patrols, responding to break-ins robberies, gang activities, closing of shops if still open after 9pm, missing children and all general isssues.”
Ms Petersen said: “Head of the security Donovan Roberts, will visit residents door to door this week to inform them of the process and how it will be affecting everyone. The fee that was agreed upon for the residents is R100 for a household and R50 for a flat. The security company will work closely with SAPS and law enforcement.”
She said residents who are unemployed or who cannot afford the fee “will not be excluded and they are requested to speak to Mr Roberts, be-cause they will make a plan to assist.”
The security company will give feedback to the RALR and they will speak to those residents who cannot afford the fee.
The RALR will host an event to officially introduce Bokonzi Security Service to the community at the end of the month. “We will have crime awareness talks and the community can give their input with queries, ob-jections or come up with ideas to assist us.”
She said they have identified a plot for the security company to set up a station but needs the City’s input.
Mr Southgate said: “They have identified a vacant portion of land on which they would like to place a structure as a base for the security company. I have referred them to the relevant department and encouraged them to submit a formal application to lease the land from the City. Lakeview has the potential of becoming a beautiful neighbourhood especially given that it is located opposite the pristine Langevlei. However, given the criminal element slowly infiltrating the area I commend the community for the commitment in reclaiming the space and developing it into a safe and secure space where they will feel comfortable living and raising their families and as the ward councillor I am committed to assist where I can.”
A fundraising event is on the cards such as a jazz event to entertain the community in November. “The proceeds will go to a CCTV camera.”
Other future plans from the RALR is to keep the school children occupied during the holidays.
For more information contact Karin Petersen on 021 836 8208.