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MRA Newsletter #2

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Letter from the Chair

Dear JC,

Welcome to our second newsletter.
I would like to update you on on some of the initiatives that have taken place since my previous letter to you.

Greatly improved working relationship between the MRA and MSI.
Initially a project of the Melville Residents’ Association (MRA), the Melville Security Initiative (MSI) was founded in 2009 with its primary goal of maintaining & implementing security solutions for the safety and security of the community and all who reside and operate businesses within its boundaries.


Over the years the two initiatives had very different focuses and often the working relationship between the two, was not ideal. One of the biggest criticism residents had was that the two committees were not aligned. During 2015 the MRA and MSI started working more closely together not only on community projects but also to rebuild the relationship between the two committees. A significant step forward took place when the communication platform of the committees was combined with the new MSI and MRA websites under the I Love Melville community banner.
 

To further strengthen the relationship with a view to align the two committees, I joined the MSI team as director. This will ensure all further resident engagements are aligned and that the community is better serviced and informed by both committees.

While on the topic of the MSI, we are delighted to share with you that the first set of Security Cameras installed by them is now live and streaming through to the CSS Command Centre. A total of 78 cameras will be activated in the next couple of weeks in order to help combat crime.  For more information about the cameras please contact the MSI via email.


FTTH  - First homes connected
Following the communications in December regarding the Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH),

we have now started seeing the first homes benefit from the roll out of Fibre.

The benefits to Melville are significant and besides amazing broadband access also includes:
  • Increase in property prices,
  • Improved security through the Melville Security Initiative's Cameras that are currently being installed across Melville. Cameras using the same infrastructure and technology have reduced crime by up to 92% in other areas around Johannesburg.
  • Residents enjoying Internet speeds typically only experienced within major international cities across the world.


If you have not signed up yet with either Vumatel or Fibrehoods, why not browse their respective websites for more information.
 

Pikitup Strike – MRA involvement in keeping the neighbourhood clean
The recent Pikitup strike was a setback to the initiatives of the MRA Physical Environment (PE) committee in their efforts to keep the neighbourhood clean. Although significant work was done in 2015 to ensure the neighbourhood (and specifically certain hot-spots) were kept clean from illegal dumping, emergency measures had to be taken by the PE Committee during the strike.

Derek Milne, Lee Shaw-Newland and Willem Prinsloo worked closely with the Pikitup management to ensure the additional evening collections covered the entire neighbourhood and that residents were aware of these collections. An increase in illegal dumping saw several dump clean ups also organised by the PE committee.

With the Pikitup strike (hopefully) over, the committee is planning another resident assisted clean up in the next month. We will communicate more details closer to the time.

We would like to thank the management and staff from Pikitup for their willingness to engage with us to help streamline the collections.

Over the past few weeks, the PE committee has also liaised with the City of Johannesburg and would like  in particular thank Mr Rankin and his team from City Parks for assisting with the cutting of grass and more specifically removing overhanging and unsightly branches, where opportunistic muggers/ hijackers could hide down Main Rd and other areas. Thanks also to our regional inspector from the city, Mr Miya for overseeing these projects and for ensuring that the areas got cleared properly.

JC, I am sure that you will appreciate, managing Pikitup when they require guidance at night, navigating their way through Melville is quite a task. We do not always have the time or resources available and then they end up neglecting some parts of our suburb. If you are avaiable to offer some assistance, please email us with your details.

Melville Residents' Association Committee Updates
Andrew Marais moves to join the DA in Gauteng as a proportional representative candidate.
Andrew joined the MRA Committee in 2013 and was chair from March to August 2014 and co-chair from August 2014 to August 2015. He selflessly dedicated many hours of his time to working closely with residents on a number of issues in Melville including liquor licences, heritage issues, driving the initial fibre committee and broader across the greater Melville area.

His contribution to the committee and to Melville has been invaluable and we wish him all the best in his new endeavours with the Democratic Alliance.

Craig Mcleod resigns to focus on new business interests.
Craig joined the MRA Committee in July 2015 and although was only on the committee for a short time, made a great contribution to the various challenges we faced towards the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. We wish him all the best for his new business projects and look forward to his contribution in future as a Melville resident.

Jeanne Duminy joins the committee.
Jeanne is an admitted attorney and has lived in Melville for many years.

She has brought a new passion to and implemented new structure within the Heritage portfolio of the committee.

Welcome Jeanne!

MRA AGM planned for August 2016
We are  planning to hold the next AGM in August; further communication on this will follow in July.

 

Winter is on our doorstep, stay warm and take care.

All the best,

Eric van Gils
WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU
 
We believe that it is important to receive ongoing feedback from our residents, in order to continue putting your interest, as a resident, first.
We have been approached by a Soup Kitchen in Melville for donations.

The MRA is funded by the Melville Residents via their annual membership fees and therefore would like to inquire from the residents whether donations could be made from these funds. Please take a couple of minutes to answer this survey.


We would also like your feedback on the current Liquor Policy, whether you are in agreement with it and any comments/suggestions for improvement that you might have.

Click here to provide your feedback.
CLEAN IT WITH VUMATEL!
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the super team at Vumatel for arranging a special clean up through-out our suburb by emptying rubbish bins on Sunday 10 April 2016.  We really appreciate your support and being part of our community!
DID YOU KNOW..

There are various WhatsApp groups in Melville to share important information quickly within the community.

 
  • Street WhatsApp Groups

    keeps you in touch with your immediate neighbours and promote security and fast reaction if you need it. These groups are open to residents and business owners in Melville.

 
  • Melville Council WhatsApp Group

    provide real time alerts and relative real-time contact with our Ward Councillor, Amanda Forsythe or other contact that can help when you have a service delivery challenge from the City of Johannesburg or anything relating to council matters within the Melville Sector of Ward 87.

 
  • Melville Crime Forum WhatsApp Group

    is administered by the Melville Sector Crime Forum which is used to inform residents of crime in the suburb, safety tips, warn of intrusions and even circulating photos of abandoned or suspiciously parked vehicles or persons.



For more information on the WhatsApp Groups including how to join, click here.
Melville Koppies - Photo Credit Suds344 (Flickr CC)

Melville Koppies

Melville does not have a park. But we do have Melville Koppies, a unique asset!

Melville Koppies is a Nature Reserve and a Johannesburg City Heritage Site.  It is the last conserved remnant of Johannesburg's ridges as they were before the discovery of gold in 1886. Its geology goes back three billion years. Stone tools show that Early Stone Age man camped here as long as 500 000 years ago. There is a Late Stone Age living floor. Within the last 1 000 years Iron Age immigrants arrived, and remains of their kraal walls can be found on the northern slopes. In 1963 an iron-smelting furnace was excavated and can be seen today.

The vegetation of the Koppies is entirely indigenous and is a remarkable example of the richness of highveld grasses, flowers, and trees so close to a city centre. These ridges have looked like this for hundreds of years.

 
This is a favourite well-maintained haven for residents who love to walk in nature with their children and dogs. Paths meander through the grasslands and rocky ridges with spectacular views of the CBD, Melville and Westdene.

This last remnant of Louw Geldenhuys’ farm was added to the Melville Koppies complex in the 1990s.  MK East is open daily from dawn to dusk, with entrances in 8th Avenue (opposite the Puma garage), Kloof Road and 4th Street corner 9th Avenue. This is public open space so take normal precautions for your safety, i.e. leave ALL valuable at home, including cell phones.
To learn more about the rich Koppies’ heritage of geology, archaeology, history, flora and fauna, come on one of the three-hour guided tours which are held twice a month. A few facts about the Koppies; the rocks are 3 billion years old, 500+  specimens of Koppies’ plants are preserved in the Moss Herbarium at Wits, over 200 birds have been recorded here, the original Iron Age furnace has been dated to over 500 years, the Koppies have  more indigenous species of trees than the whole of the UK. Volunteer guides share their knowledge in an anecdotal approach on guided tours. This section has controlled access only for scheduled or booked events. Eleven CDs of all aspects of the Koppies are available singly at R50 each, or the whole set on a flashdisk at R350.

MK Central is also an outdoor ‘laboratory’ frequently used by universities for education, fieldwork, research and projects. School tours related to teachers’ requirements and the syllabi are run by the guide team. Such tours are organised for children from pre-primary to matric.
There are security issues on West, it is advisable to only walk with organised groups. Tony Lelliott (082-850-4620) organises 90-minute walks with socialised dogs on the first Saturday of every month, starting at 0800 from the Cul-de-Sac of Arundel Road in Westdene.
Hikes
Three-hour group hikes over all three sections of the Koppies are held twice a month.  This is a chance to keep fit in beautiful surroundings. The route covers rocky ridges, grasslands, forested areas, a section of the litter-free Westdene spruit and the cave on Melville Koppies West. Park and meet in the upper parking lot of Marks Park for the 08:30 sharp start.
 

Details of the tours and hikes are on calendar/map of www.mk.org.za. The R50 per adult and R20 per child (over six years old) donations on these outings are used for maintenance of the Koppies by the volunteer Melville Koppies Management Committee. FOMK employ CSS security, as a precaution, for these events.
In the Melville Koppies community too few people do too many things. They always need help. There are many ways you could get involved, click here to find how.
MAY DAY HIKE
 
A three-hour group hike over the pristine Melville Koppies complex.

When: Sunday 01 May 2016 at 08:30
Where: Marks Park Sports Club, Judith Road, Emmarentia
               (Park, Meet & Pay in the parking area)
Costs: R50 per Adult,  R20 per child (6+ yrs)

Contact: 011 482 4797  or email fomk@mk.org.za

Bring water and a snack. No dogs allowed on this hike.
Melville Koppies Website
Melville Koppies Facebook Page
Email the Friends of the Melville Koppies

 

MELVILLE COMMUNITY
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Melville Residents' Association · Melville · Johannesburg, Gauteng 2109 · South Africa

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