We had 139 responses to the Palliser Park Survey.  About 55% were in favour of including the park but 58% said they did not approve of the road closure funding the fencing of Palliser Park. So if this goes ahead the funding will have to come from a source other than our capital reserves.
About 22-25% indicated a special levy or combination would be acceptable but this is not enough for us to apply a general special levy.  At this stage with reducing membership and with the closure running at a loss, the committee agrees with the many comments provided that it is prudent to try and preserve these funds in case we need to use the money to ensure the ongoing operation of the closure for the benefit of all residents.
We have made some suggestions to the residents surrounding the park on how the fencing initiative could be moved forward.  Basically they will have to try and arrange for the capital funding and approval from council.  It is possible that they may call on other residents to assist/donate where they can.
Below is the summary of the results and the comments residents have made –
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Comments/Suggestions –

The only reason for my personal disapproval is that there are way too many non-contributors and thus it is unfair to lay the costs on the paying members. I am also unaffected at all by the area being fenced or not.

Regarding the fence, we understand the issues that the 2 residents and the people in the retirement village have with the informal recyclers residing so near to their properties but seeing that the Road Closure is already short of money and had to ask suppliers for reduced rates, to spend R180.000 on the fence cannot be justified. We are willing to contribute towards a special levy to aid the Road Closure (if this is for roads- or fence maintenance and other costs carried by the Road Closure) but this new Park will not aid many people living in Edenglen. The idea of a play park or fitness park sounds nice but in reality, such parks don’t get used much (look at play areas in Dunvegan and other closed off areas). Also, who would pay for the equipment as well as the maintenance? Another problem is the maintenance of this Park. The 2 residents take it upon them to cut the grass but once they move house, it is up to the Road Closure to look after this Park, meaning extra costs to be carried by the Road Closure. The idea of keys being held by the 2 residents doesn’t seem to be a good idea. These residents will also have lengthy periods of time that they are not available. We do agree that the informal recyclers are a big problem. We make no use of these recyclers and never have as we have our own recycling company collecting all plastic, glass, tin etc. on a fortnight basis. We have been using this recycling company since 2009. Although our recycling company collects paper as well, we make sure that we use the Ronnie Bags for paper collection – this to support the paper collection initiative in Edenglen.

I feel taking away the mounds of earth ( which were not there originally)away would make more sense than the expense of a fence. The fence would be broken by the users of the park very quickly. To make the park less suitable for their use would seem to be a better option and wonder why the council do not want to do that option. Would the road closure and other contributors offer to pay to flatten the park if expense is the council’s objection to this solution, rather than pay for fencing?

If it were not for the 2 paying members being affected, I wouldn’t be interested in this. As such, those 40 units at that “old age” home who have never contributed should actually cough up double!

This money will only benefit a few people. More than half of which (if you count all the people living in the retirement home) are not paying for the closure.

The Old Age home needs to start contributing to the Road Closure on a monthly basis as well as contribute towards the special levy for this initiative

I feel that in order for this to be considered the old age home has to contribute to the closure. I also feel that there should be other fund raising efforts to cover some of the costs

I don’t have a problem with the guys digging in our dustbins. they recycle everything. they are not rude or aggressive. They just collect and go. This is their living and you will be taking that away.

In support of fencing off the Park. Old age home needs to become permanent contributors. Let us be weary in using up our capital reserves combination of both special levy/ fund raising and capital reserves could be looked at and let us include all residents in the area possible extending to the north as they could also benefit from the Park if we look at all the great ideas shown – kids play area, dog walks , fitness park etc. Just a word of thanks to the committee for all your hard work. Hats off to you guys and you have my support. Cheers Paulo

I do not agree that we fund the entire amount from the reserves. This is not entirely a security related project. This would have a big negative impact on our reserves which are needed for more important security related projects and upgrades, plus any legal fees that may be required to protect the existence of the closure. Only a few residents would benefit from such a large outflow. The non payment by the retirement village is also a negative and they would stand to gain if we proceeded with the fencing. The collection of a special levy would present its own challenges, if agreed to. The only way this could work if funding came from a combination of special levies, the retirement village, the effected residents and some payment from our reserves. I doubt we could get this right. So my answer is a “no”.

Is the North enclosure involved

The old age home must pay the majority of the fence cost and contribute to the enclosure for a minimum of 2 years going forward.

Only support Ronnie Bags as already committed to other charities for rest of recycling.

2 residents and the old age home are complaining. The old age home does not contribute. Why is there even a discussion? 450 contributors already carry the non-contributors. I will reconsider my contribution if this plan is funded.

No conditions.

not in favour of fencing in the park. I am a pensioner with limited funds as well & do not receive any special discount for the enclosure monthly levy. The retirement home should be contributing to the enclosure as well. Should this be approved, the home should have a special levy themselves & contribute a substantial lump sum towards the fencing to reduce the special levy on the paying members

The old age home that is currently benefiting from the closure and will benefit the most from the park closure MUST become contributors, they are leeching of us and it is patently unfair.

All contributing members, should be able to gain access to the park, without having to obtain special permission, the 2 members and the old age home needs to be contributing members to the closure and remain contributing members for atleast 5 – 10 years, with a clawback, should they not want to be a contributing member anymore, they will pay a penalty of x amount.

Good day all, I live at the top of Granville Rd and so the park is a long way away from our house, but in saying that, it would be a valuable improvement to our suburb to have a clean and secure park for everyone. I am not fully briefed on the history of the old age home and their hesitance to join the closure as paying members, but maybe this is the catalyst they need to get involved. I would not be opposed to a small special levy to get the project completed and I do not think using the reserve funds is the way to go. If the project is to proceed, then the park must be accessible to all the contributing members, one again being a catalyst to get some non-paying residents on board. I have always though it would be a lovely idea to have a regular community get together, braai, tea, whatever the case and this could be a lovely venue for that purpose. Perhaps as second phase of the project we could get a swing set and jungle gym erected further enhancing the attractiveness of an enclosed park for the suburb. Thank you.

The fencing of Palliser Park will benefit a small number of residence with minimal benefit to the majority of road enclosure residents. The proposal to use funds earmarked for a potential risk, seems to be irresponsible, as the question of what happens if the potential risk materialises, has not been explained. [The above comments are based on my limited understanding of the proposal and the severity of the situation in Palliser park and surrounding areas but trust the committee will make an informed decision].

I believe in good faith for me to support this would be for the residents and old age home to put up 80% of the capital of this project Once enclosed, the closure can do the administration and maintenance ofnthe additional area The additional enclosure should be accessible to all residents

I do approve of the proposal and will stop my contributions to the road closure if this proposal goes ahead.

Would need supervision of park until vagrants disappear. They must not be allowed to destroy newly erected fencing.

Thanks for taking the initiatve here. I know its a lot of hard and dedicated work to get this stuff done.

The old age home and other two residents must be compulsory contributors should this outlay be made

I suggest that the park should be accessable to residents from within the area and that the major benefactors should contribute at a higher rate than other members. Maintenance of the park should be under management of old age home who interact with council in this regard.

Ronnie is the best option for recycling as they were first.

If the fencing of the Park goes thru via the Capital Fund, we will withdraw our monthly contribution to the closure and we WILL NOT agree to a special levy either.

This issue should not be a burden on paying members of the road closure. The old age home doesn’t even contribute a cent to our road closure.

Ronnie Bags are losing out because of the hawkers . If the other initiative is partly responsible then we will not support them.The special levy must be borne by all homeowners.

If “Old Age Home” has a problem then they should pay. They haven’t contributed to the closure at all, now they want the closure to solve their problem. If you use the closure money. I will stop contributing. As for the recycling, Ronnie has been providing a fantastic service to our suburb for a long time and now someone else wants to come in and take over. Is this fair?

The retirement Park needs to contribute to the special levy too.

Please first ascertain how many residents in the vicinity of the park are paying for the gates at present ?

the police need to perform their function and relocate the vagrants.councilors need to assist in pressurising the police .

Old age home HAS to come to the party!

My approval is conditional on the Old Age Home and the 2 affected residents contributing to the road closure. Even if it is at a discounted / pensioner’s rate for the old age home… I truly believe that if they want us to help as a community then they have to become part of the community. I know they might face financial challenges because of age, but we’re all struggling here.

having 2 service providers is asking for trouble!

Old age home must contribute Park must not be closed and the key held by a resident. The park must be open at all times to all residents.

We are paying rate payers and will not entertain any additional expenses because of inherent inefficiencies in our municipality.

Even if the fencing went ahead, the vagrants would just make a hole in the fence and still use the park

The retirement home and the non-paying residents that would benefit the most from this fence should make a lump sum contribution (since they had no hand in building up the R180,000) AND they must become regular paying members; even if it is at a reduced rate. The balance can then be taken out of our non-budgeted expenses. I do not agree to a special levy as it will again be left to the paying members to cover this cost.

The park should be accessible for all residents of the closure.

If the residents and old age home become members of the road enclosure then I would be in agreement, but don’t see why the rest of us should pay for the minority.

I support the fencing of the park as long as we as residence can have access to it to walk our dogs, kids to play etc. With certain rules obviously.

Until details are furnished regarding the possibility of this venture and what access controls can be implemented to prevent vagrants I see this as a mute point. The park is considered public and therefore we cannot restrict access. The enclosing of the park sounds like it will not have any benefit.

Once off payment if approved will again fall on the shoulders of the contributors giving the rest a free ride to benefit a few. Very unfair

We need to ask the old age home in total (they have two of their members affected) what and how they propose to assist in this regard including monetary support before We can go to our Closure members for help !! Glenn

I am not in favour of closing off yet another open, public space. Once fenced nobody will bother trying to gain access and it will just become a no-go area with vagrants breaking the fence (leading to more and more unsightly patch-up repairs). Do you really think the residents who are requesting the closure to pay for the fence (presumably because they don’t have funds) will magical come up with money to maintain and improve the park? Over time, especially if those initially involved move on as they inevitably will, the closed area will fall into disrepair and become an eyesore. One just needs to look at other closed areas to see this. Even our own road closure gates are an eyesore. Battered, bashed, bent, road in permanent state of disrepair now that its “part of the closure”, rubble left over for “repairs” made years ago, loose bricks and rocks lying about. Sorry to be negative by Edenglen is going down the tubes. Its a mess. The writing is on the wall for what should be a beautiful park. It’ll either be fenced off and what I say above will happen, or someone will request that the trees be removed, the ground be leveled and the remaining left-over landscaping be removed (so that vagrants have nowhere to hide) and and it will become yet another bare, ugly, un-maintained piece of land that people will dump rubbish and rubble on. The actual answer is to hold the authorities to account to enforce bylaws and proper policing. But we all know this is not how the “new SA” works because “accountability” is a foreign concept that does not apply. I appreciate the “thought”, but the idea of a “privately run and maintained” park is a naive pipe dream.

I do not believe this is a Road Closure issue. The root cause needs to be addressed, not the symptoms. This will not go away without proper consideration by the police and the municipality.

If the road closure funds this project, everyone should have access to this park. The old age home should contribute to the closure. That should not be negotiable. Even if the old age home agrees to contribute to the closure, I’m not sure they can be trusted in good faith. They have not contributed for years and there is nothing preventing them to stop contributing to the closure once the fence has been erected. I’m very suspicious of their intent.

I am “sort of” in favour as nobody should be allowed to just do as they please and disregard other people. BUT, are we not just going to move these guys up the road onto the pavements of those living further up on Palliser Road???? Is there much point in sorting glass into bags for the informal recyclers to just pick up??? I no longer use BIN LINERS because they chuck everything out just to get to the liners. So please, Ronnie Bags works just fine but we need more info etc to support the Remarkable Waste project as that would mean there was nothing for these informal recyclers to collect and so there’s less for them to take up Palliser Road.

We are currently experiencing low growth numbers in people supporting the closure to be able to justify a capital expenditure for the benefit of people who may not support the closure. The reserve has been built up over the years by paying residents and should be used solely for the benefit of paying residents.

The vagrants will just move somewhere else so the problem will become someone else’s headache.

I am strongly against this spend as this is not adding value to the enclosure and only benefits a tiny portion of the enclosure and increases the running cost of the enclosure. If this goes ahead I will no longer remain as a contributing member of the enclosure.

Every financial year the levey goes up and based on the financials given to the members the closure is always in a negative we keep hearing a request for new residents to join the closure and they dont putting strain on financials

Remember to always maintain a high level of awareness, especially when you are leaving or entering your home/driveway.  Please tell your family and domestic workers to also be on the lookout.  Report all suspicious behaviour to Mamba control room (tel number below) and warn the residents using @ESRCAlert.
Regards,
Derek
On behalf of the Edenglen South Road Closure Committee
Committee: Kim Johnson, Des Kelly, Derek Gowans, Dave Lones, James Taylor.
Emergency – Mamba (011 609 0227)
SAPS Sector 3 vehicle 071 675 6844/5
Twitter – report any suspicious activity or crime in progress to all residents of our suburb by including the word @ESRCAlert in your twitter message.  Make sure you are following @ESRCAlert to immediately receive any crime related messages.
www.edenglensouthclosure.co.za – Our official web site, all past newsletters are posted here.
www.edenglensrc.blogspot.com – Community notice board. Do not post crime reports or closure operational issues here rather use our email for this.