Chairpersons Report – VCID AGM 2013 (New)


To all the Vredekloof Residents.

It is amazing how time flies; we are at the end of another successful year of the VCID with all systems operating as planned and budgeted. We have had our fair share of challenges this year but due to the hard work of our management and employees and the unselfish dedication of my fellow directors we have again come out tops and ahead of the ever increasing crime. What we call in the industry that I work in a “”NEAR MISS”” occurred less than a week ago. I am referring to the recent ATM bombing at Glengarry Centre.

We will be having an emergency committee meeting after the AGM this week to liaise with the relevant stakeholders to draw up a management plan to counter this type of crime, because:

This incident occurred within 500m of Vredekloof residents who support us and it is our duty and key mandate to keep Vredekloof residents safe.

These criminals did not wake up at 2 am in the morning and suddenly decide to bomb the ATM.

These criminals have targeted the Glengarry center for a very good reason, reasons that they cased and studied beforehand.

Access to Glengarry is also via our neighborhood, the questions are:

  • Did they enter our neighborhood with explosives in their car while casing the crime?
  • What type of explosives did they use and how stable are these explosives?
  • What type of trigger mechanism did they use, was it a timer or was it remote controlled?
  • There are other ATM”s in our neighborhood?

Are we lucky or is it fate that we did not have an accidental explosion that could have caused injury or death to or families, children or friends?

Scary, yes but rest assured our manager has provide the SAPS with all the video recordings of the sighted vehicles and we hope that these callous, heartless individuals get what they deserve, I am one of those that believe the wheel eventually turns and that their modus operandi is of such a nature that it will be responsible for their spectacular end.

Please be aware of suspicious vehicles and persons, we have provided you with a 24/7 manned control room that can react within seconds, please make use of this facility as we are nearing the festive season and this is bonus time for criminals.

2013 Business results and finances.

On a more positive note I can report that all finances are in order, information is made available on our website and we have all the checks and balances in place. Last year we managed to reduce the overall budget by 8,95%. We will be requesting your approval of the 2014/2015 budget at the AGM on Monday the 25th November 2013 at the Friend of God church. Minimal increases can be expected to fall in line with our service delivery taking top priority with inflation and fuel costs making up the bulk of increases.

We are still within our original cost to resident with the same percentages applied to the municipal value of your property. Remember the actual cost you incur over a 10 year period is negligible with respect to the ever increasing property value of Vredekloof, trust me ask any estate agent that operates in our neighborhood and they will confirm this fact.

Crime in Vredekloof

Again a positive year with respect to crime statistics, please feel free to request the monthly statistics report from our Manager Mr Leon Brynard, this information will also be published on the website after the AGM.

We encountered two crime spikes in 2013 with respect to the residents who reside along the R300 servitude. This has always been a concern from day one of the VCID (Vredekloof City improvement District). Fortunately we have the required mechanisms in place to measure and manage the crime with immediate remedial action.

These counter measures included the following just for those residents:

Installation of power to raised guardhouse providing lighting.

  • Installation of two access gates on the North and South side, to enable the armed patrol vehicle and SAPS quick access to arrest the perpetrators.
  • The purchase, installation and manning of another guard house on the North side. This is a very visible deterrent for the criminals and this can be seen from as far as the Fairtrees road.
  • Deployment of guards along the access road we built a few years ago.
  • Replanting of the thorn trees along the perimeter, a dedicated letter was also sent out to all residents to water the plants, please this is a costly exercise for us that involves material and labor, just a quick squirt along the outside wall each day is all we need. Just take a look at some of the plants along De Bron Weg that were planted at the same time. We were well aware that the criminals were going to remove the Vibacrete slabs to gain access; we had an 8 year head start, and will now be starting from ground zero again.

The installation of Razor wire along the top of the fence was completed and this has also been repaired after damage was reported.

I am now confident to say this matter has been dealt with and our manager has reported regular raids and removal of vagrants by the Metro police, and SAPS.

As expected we now face most of the criminals are gaining access to our neighborhood via the entrances on foot or by car, this is closely monitored by the cameras that were installed. We can report that the camera monitoring with the number plate recognition software has paid huge dividends with a number of arrests being made due to the video footage. All this information is available on request from our Manager and also features in the yearly Manager Report.

As reported earlier this year in the local newspapers, criminals are using the pretense of renting properties or staying in guesthouses and using this as a decoy to carry out their crimes. Yes we have numerous properties that are owned by investors, companies and individuals as extra income and we also have a fiduciary duty to these homeowners (CID Mandate) to provide a safe environment for their guests or customers, hence we ask that if you have long term tenants to urge them to complete the required database forms that we can be of assistance to them, for short term tenants we kindly request that you or your leasing agent applies due diligence with respect to information, identification and records so that in the event of crime we can assist in limiting the damage to the surrounding residents and the loss in income to the property owner. Our logic also applies that the safer we make our residential area the better quality tenants will be attracted and the higher your income would be.

Numerous crime fighting projects are in the pipeline ensuring your safety and maintaining your good statistics, Vredekloof, Safe and Clean.

Legacy of caring

The mechanisms of the VCID are strictly controlled and regularly checked by the City of Cape Town with respect to procedures, finances, budgets and projects. We are mere servants to you the residents of Vredekloof, our policy of caring for you will always remain a high priority when it comes to Safety and security, and the original 8 point plan also covers a section that relates to General Municipal Matters. The committee has provided the residents with a direct line to any municipal service matter that you require assistance with by simply contacting the Manager, why wait on the phone or take time off work to attend to your query when you can simply stroll down to the control room and have a chat to Leon. Leon is in direct contact with all the various municipal officers; please make use of this first class resource.

The committee is also committed via fiduciary duty to advise and recommend always being impartial to general municipal matters with respect to property developments, application for home businesses and resident’s complaints.

In the 8 years of my involvement with the VCID and my current role specifically as Chairman, I have yet to receive a direct complaint from any resident that requires my attention. I have the policy of not reacting to any matter if I am simply CC’d in on an e mail. I will gladly assist if correct protocol is followed with all concerns and complaints addressed directly to me. If I am not available I give you the assurance that the matter will be taken up by the acting Chairman and that suitable and professional communications and meetings will be arranged to attend to your concerns. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved.

Eight years ago we made a promise to all the residents that if we stand together as a community we will take back what is rightfully ours, our right to a crime free, safe and clean residential area that we can be proud of and leave a legacy for our children to be given the chance to lead a normal life and to grow up in a safe environment for their children one day.

Ensuring robust growth through project implementation

We have numerous projects in the pipeline for 2014/2015, all developments and progress on projects will be published via the web site and updated on a regular basis.

I would personally like to thank Leon for his tireless efforts in implementing the projects as requested by the residents, committee members and dictated by crime statistics, I work long hours and often come home late at night and I regularly see Leon is working into the wee hours of the morning as I pass the control room. Baie Dankie Leon, ons waardeer al jou harde werk sonder om oortyd te vra.

Just a heads up on the new park equipment and upgrade to the surroundings at the Engen Park, my sincere thanks to councilor Carin for arranging these upgraded facilities, and the eventual installation of lights along the paved walkway, albeit took three years the mere fact that the installation included extra lights all the way up the servitude to De Bron road and the inclusion along the middle of the open space at NO COST. This huge gesture is another guarantee that the City of Cape Town slogan, “This City Works for You” is definitely not misleading advertising. I see that this gesture is well appreciated by all the Moms with prams and the number of residents that use this at night. Well done Carin. You are living up to one of my phrases, “The Best Man for the Job is a Woman”. I know where I will be putting my cross while the rest of the comedians are trying to board the train!

On a more serious note and due to the modus operandi of criminals and the securing of the perimeter we have no option but to add more cameras to the existing network. Also with technology on the ever increasing upturn and the reduction in cost of hardware we will be able to effect better security with enhanced software and more focus on the criminal activity database. We will be installing reverse facing entrance cameras and upgrading the infrastructure on an ongoing basis. Budgets have been allocated to improve the current camera systems that have been installed at Villa Da Vie.

An ongoing project is of course the maintaining of our existing infrastructure and the ongoing focus on continued improvement. We also need to mechanize the Green Team enabling an improved service delivery by doing more in less time. We try our level best to work smarter not harder. As the requirement reduces as a result of regular up keep, more funds will be applied to Safety and Security with emphasis on continued cost to resident reductions.

Our Commitment to you the resident

You have my personal assurance and that of all the directors’ staff and employees of the VCID that we are committed to continued service delivery at affordable rates resulting in a beneficial financial return on investment. Your home is the most expensive asset you will own and we intend maintaining the value well above market prices.

My sincere thanks to all the residents who have given us positive and motivating feedback and who have helped us in the beginning of our journey to create a safe neighborhood, we just have to read the news or watch the television to realize our country has changed over the last 20 years, the secret to our success is your continued support and positive interaction.

In 2006 we stood up in front of a packed hall of residents who had enough of crime, to make a promise to all of you, I kindly request that you attend the AGM so that we can convey our sincere thanks to you the resident, we all planted a seed and now we all enjoy the shade under the hot African sun.

Safely Yours

Gary Hirst


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