As per the subject line, the AGM will be held at 7.00 pm, 18th October, 2018, in the Edenglen Primary School. Please make every effort to attend as our road closure continues to show a slow continuing downward trend of non contributors which means we have to have a serious discussion regards the health of our closure and it’s future viability. Somehow we have to put a stop to this downward trend.
As you know for several months now we have been reporting back from our meetings that we have financial concerns going forward. For the year ended 28th February 2018 we budgeted for a levy increase of 4.6% but the actual increase was 2.8% . This translated to a small loss. However, for the current financial year we budgeted for an increase of 4.4% but are running at an actual increase of only 0.8% for the first 5 months of the year. We cannot predict the likely loss for the year ending 28th February 2019 but at this stage it is likely to be substantial based on these figures. Apart from the gradual decreasing trend of contributor numbers we also are having issues with residents who promise to pay and don’t or debit orders that bounce. Last month we did not collect on 16 committed payments – this really hurts financially. The committee has negotiated decreases in service fees from all our suppliers and we are managing maintenance and repairs expenses very closely, so there not much else we can do to trim expenses. Our ever decreasing income is causing us to question the viability of our closure.
I have been on the ESRC Committee for almost 8 years and experienced a really depressing meeting last night where we discussed our operations and our AGM.
For the first time I heard the Chairman asking why are we doing this, why are we going through this worry and stress. One third of our residents do not not believe in the closure, do not want to pay and do not want a closure. This number is gradually increasing and is too large to ignore and they ultimately will have the final say on the future of our closure. At the moment they are saying they do not want a closure. We cannot continue to punish paying residents with annual increases and in our current case probably a larger than inflation increase for next year. The burden has become too large and we can’t continue to carry the non contributors.
We have been through several exercises to get the non contributors on board and still continue to try to this day. The committee believes that this group of people will not change their minds. We may get two or three converted but the rest are not going to change. So are we wasting our time?
When we send out emails like this we normally get some responses suggesting positive actions such as letters drops, special meetings, talk to your neighbours, posters, street captains etc. We have tried things like this in the past but the responses are normally small and the exercise runs out of momentum. The committee welcomes these suggestions, ideas and associated discussions. Our biggest problem here is ability to execute. We do not have any manpower and unless residents are prepared to physically get involved and run with their suggestions they will never happen.
One of our biggest groups of non contributors is the new buyers in the area. Since the start of the closure there has been about an 80% turnover in home ownership so this is a significantly large group. There is no way they can drive through the booms every day and think this all comes for free. Any reasonable adult person knows that there is a cost associated with delivering this service. The excuse we hear most of the time is “I’ve just bought – I can’t afford the closure” The ironic thing here is that if the closure stops then this is the group that will suffer the most financially. Estates agents tell us the closure adds up to 20% to the value of your home. While the primary mandate of the closure is to reduce crime, spin off benefits have been increased home values and reduced insurance premiums associated with living in a low crime area. If the closure is gone the suburb becomes less desirable to live in and that, along with the increased crime rate could take 15 to 20 % of the values of our homes. This would have some impact on people who have lived in the suburb for a long time but they will still make a profit if they sell their homes as the current value has built up over many years and their bond has correspondingly decreased. Real values of homes increase around 2.5% annually so it could take up to ten years or longer for new residents to recover this loss of value on their homes. Imagine that – ten years just to get back to where you started!
Many non paying residents also say that they don’t need the road closure as they have their own security. Nothing wrong with that and we do encourage all residents to take responsibility for their security. However, unless you have an armed guard or two standing at your gate every time you leave or enter your property you are not really safe/secure. You may be secure IN your house but not when you are going through your gate. That’s why a vast majority of hijackings and robberies occur at this time. The crooks know it is when you are completely vulnerable. The road closure helps to keep these crooks away from your gate and our crime stats prove the closure is working. Imagine what our suburb would be like with all the gates and fences removed and all the roads were freely accessible day and night?
So it looks like the AGM will be an interesting meeting and you should make every effort to attend. Please do not think that this is some trick to get attendance numbers up for the AGM. This is a very real and serious problem that we face.
Any questions/proposals/motions for the meeting must be submitted in writing to this email address. Closing date for submissions is 11/10/2018. We ask for submissions to be given in writing so we can adequately prepare and give attendees the most accurate response/feedback. It also helps us to better manage the AGM and not waste anyone’s time. If there is time at the end of the meeting the Chairman may decide to take questions from the floor.
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.
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.
– 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.