An overview of our Annual General Meeting

The Woodstock Improvement District (WID) has been providing top-up cleaning and security services to one of Cape Town’s oldest residential and business nodes since May 2005.

As an organisation we have had the privilege of leading the charge in the continual improvement of Woodstock as a residential and business area. In the past decade we have had many meetings to strategise and reflect, but the most poignant is the AGM. This is an opportunity for all parties to reflect and give input on happenings in the area. What follows is a brief overview of the meeting.

Meeting agenda and role players in attendance

The AGM took place on Thursday, 15 November 2018 at the WID offices in Woodstock.
It was attended by WID staff, including General Manager Chris Lloyd, board members including our Chairman Dr. Teun Baartman, as well various business owners. Members of the Inter-Services Liaison from the City of Cape Town were also in attendance as well as Councillor Errol Antsey.

The agenda ran as follows:
1. Registration
2. Welcome and apologies
3. Membership – resignations and new
4. Quorum to constitute a meeting
5. Approval of previous AGM minutes 2017
6. Approval of agenda
7. About WID
8. Chairperson’s report
9. Feedback on SRA’s operations 2017-18
10. Noting of audited financial statements 2017-18
11. Approval of budget 2018-19
12. Usage of surplus funds 2018-19
13. Approval of implementation plan 2019-20
14. Appointment of auditors
15. Confirmation of company secretary
16. Election of board members
17. Q & A
18. Adjournment

Overview

As a special mention in this section we would like to extend a warm welcome to our new members as well as a fond farewell to those are no longer able to extend their membership. This organisation relies heavily on the support and feedback of business owners in the area to be successful.

Security cameras

The length of the WID area spans from Russell Street to Roodebloem Road with the width running from Nelson Mandela boulevard all the way into the harbour. The addition of our security cameras has made a marked difference to the crime rate in certain areas.

Thanks was extended to the engineering company who helped with the set up of the cameras and members Tammi and Tony for their assistance with the process.

It was confirmed by Councillor Dave Bryant that the City will be sponsoring a further four License Plate Recognition Cameras to be placed in strategic areas.

Social responsibility

Christopher once again complimented our resident Social Officer, Abigail Abrahams for the good work she has done in the past year with various projects, most notable the gardening project with Khulisa. He recognised that it is often a thankless job, but that he truly appreciates all she has invested into the upliftment of marginalised people in the area.

Finances

The Audited Financial Statements of 2017/ 2018 were presented by Harry Curtis and Co and approved by CCT and the Board of Directors.

As chairman, Teun highlighted the fact that although the total annual figures are the same, the line items have changed slightly through the year. The surplus funds have been mostly spent on the camera project. Of the surplus funds for the coming year, R84 000 has been committed to the Khulisa project.

In terms of further shuffling of funds, Crispian Swarbreck requested that extra staff be available for special events such as Open Streets. Chris suggested we look at that going forward. The suggestion was countered by Tony van Heerden who advised that those ventures are partially supported by the City and he feels that our budget need not be spent there. Both points were noted for the board to approve in future. To conclude, all members approved the budget for the 2019/ 2020 year.

Confirmation of Auditors and Company Secretary

Teun advised that auditors Harry Curtis & Co will serve for another year.

There was a suggestion that a board member steps in as secretary as they will have the necessary insight into affairs with CIPC registering outsourced to the accountants. Meeting minutes will be taken by office liaison. The only requirement is to have someone who can oversee the secretarial work. The meeting unanimously approved this idea going forward.

Confirmation / Election of Board Members

Four resignations of board members took place and new members were welcomed. Teun stated that he is standing for re-election as Director. Andre Potgieter and
Mukthar Joonas will be staying on as Directors.

General Questions and Answers

Andre Potgieter wanted to know from the CCT what happens to the fines that have been issued and what percentage is collected, recovered or paid. In response, Councillor Errol advised that only 18% of these fines are paid. The total fines brought in is about R180 million – the city issues about 30 billion fines a year.

He stated that the main problem is that the courts don’t have enough magistrates to sign off summonses.

In closing, Andre thanked various members, giving his admiration and gratitude to the Directors who are stepping down for their hard work and dedication over the year.

We hope that this feedback incentivises business owners who have not had an opportunity to attend, to join us for the next AGM. All information and statistics will be made available on our website under ‘Useful documents’. If you would like any further information on membership and input into your community, please do contact us on the details below.

Tel: 021 462 7321
Email: info@wid.co.za

From us to you – our deepest thanks to our contributors

“Nothing else in all life is such a maker of joy and cheer as the privilege of doing good.” — James Russell Miller

As we approach the giving time of the festive season, we are reminded of all the generous donations we receive from various role players in the community. This article is dedicated to thanking just a couple of those whose contributions have helped make our events successful.

KwikSpar Boulevard and Balmoral Supermarket

This thank you is slightly overdue, as our local KwikSpar has been helping us since last year. In June 2017 we hosted a holiday programme and had the mammoth task of feeding over 100 children. KwikSpar generously sponsored 200 hot dog rolls, all of which fed hungry mouths!

This year they paired with Balmoral Supermarket to support our Mandela Day event for the homeless in the Woodstock area. Both of these stores provided soup and bread for attendees. The food was a welcome gift and allowed us to serve and connect with the most vulnerable in our city.

The Mandela Day initiative in Town Hall park was of particular importance due to the focus of the event: health and wellness for the homeless. An HIV and TB awareness talk was given, and testing was provided along with items to promote safe sex. Due to the KwikSpar’s generous donation, we were also able to feed many people, including children.

Sir Fruit

We are so grateful to this quirky local fresh juice brand for their donation of almost 300 bottles of iced tea for our holiday program this year. After a day of games and fun the children were thirsty, and so grateful for a healthy tasty quencher!

We use our termly holiday programme to entertain and educate kids in the area while they are on school holiday. The iced tea was delicious and went well with the hearty lunches of macaroni and cheese which fuelled the kids as they played, listened to educational talks and had outings to various departments.

Once again, thank you so much to these businesses for their generosity. Without your help we may not have been able to host such successful events.

Our social officer Abby shares that she has been blown away by the generosity of the businesses and is so grateful for their support. “What to say? I would like to thank the sponsors for the donations toward our holiday programmes, health days for the homeless and Nelson Mandela Day this year,” she says. “I wish these organisations all the best over the festive season and New Year. I hope to keep our relationship strong and on-going – there are many new projects ahead!”

If you, or your business, would like to make a difference in the community, our social projects are the right place to start. Whether through donating food to our holiday funds or sponsoring someone with a monthly stipend to get them back on their feet, we can help you contribute to positive change. Our social officer Abby will gladly discuss your options and explain exactly how your donations would be distributed to help those that need it most.

Abigail Abrahams/ Social Officer:
Tel: 082 611 0591

Spring happenings in Woodstock

Everyone who comes into contact with us at WID will have the pleasure of knowing our resident social officer Abigail Abrahams, affectionately known as Abby. She has been part of our team for years and has the eyes and ears that drive social development in the area.

We caught up with her on the cusp of the spring season to get a fresh perspective on growth and plans in Woodstock.

WID: First things first, can you explain in your own words why we do what we do? If someone doesn’t know anything about the WID, how would you describe it?

Abby: I would say the reasoning is that we want a safer, cleaner and more environmentally friendly Woodstock. We want the community to visit and enjoy the area, and for people to come and invest in the future so that the area can develop and reach its full potential.

 

WID: Why do you do what you do?

Abby: I really enjoy helping the less fortunate, especially women and children. I work with the homeless on a regular basis and this poses major challenges but also beautiful moments. I am humbled by the way homeless people can turn over a new leaf and start over if they choose. Those that are willing can change their lives, and it is so rewarding to be a part of that journey.

 

WID: That is such an inspiring thing to hear. How has 2018 been so far?

Abby: To be honest, it’s been tough. This year has had many challenges, but I guess if there aren’t any, how will one be able to open the next door? Or start the next chapter? I don’t believe anything comes easily.

WID: What projects from this year would you mark as a particular success?

Abby: The ID project, where we assisted a number of homeless people to attain their identity documents, ran very successfully. Many people are asking if I am going to do it again, as it really helped those in need. I will seriously consider implementing it again early in the new year.

 

WID: What new projects are you preparing for?

Abby: I am planning the agenda for the new year at the moment …you will just have to wait and see what happens! This year our annual holiday project is due to happen soon and we continue to run our gardening project on a month to month basis. We are still encouraging businesses to invest, so hopefully we will be able to end off the year on a good note.

 

WID: Would you tell us a little about the holiday programme? Who is involved and what is the project about?

Abby: The Holiday program starts on 1st October and runs until the 5th. It is for kids in the area that need to be kept busy and off the streets during school holidays. SAPS, Woodstock Library, City of Cape Town, the Water and Sanitation department and Blue Ribbon bread are all role players that will be involved in making the day a success. I am also preparing for the December holiday program to make sure we are ready in time.

 

WID: Is there anything important you would like to leave the public with?

Abby: I really would like the businesses and the community to give responsibly. Please give directly to a shelter or NGO in the Woodstock area. You can donate food, blankets or even clothes. Giving directly to a homeless person, although well intentioned, enables them to stay on the street for another day or week, which is longer than anyone should.

 

I also want to request that businesses do not encourage homeless people to sleep on their property or give them permission to build shacks. Again, this is done with the best intentions but it will become an embedded problem that the we, as the Woodstock Improvement District, will have to deal with at a later stage.

It is also unfair to the person to ask them to leave the property after they have been there without disturbance for a while. If a structure appears on your property, please contact our control room immediately on 021 462 1205.

We want to help integrate people into society, and for Woodstock to become the best that it can be!

A team that plays together stays together – WID’s annual teambuilding event

At WID, we’re a family. We support and challenge one another to do the best work possible. We are united by a love of Woodstock and the community. We believe in giving our all and working hard – but we also believe in having some serious fun!

Last week we decided that it was time to explore our playful side again. The entire WID team, along with our service providers, Essential Cleaning and Securitas, participated in a few team building activities to build some bridges and strengthen relationships. The activities were put together by Team Building Activities and Events to facilitate a day of bonding and raising team spirit.

Our administrator Nicola Welby-Solomons was pleasantly surprised by the commitment demonstrated from everyone involved. “I am very proud to say that we certainly have an amazing group of people working to keep Woodstock great. They are not only dedicated but I never knew they were so competitive!” she said, laughing. “It was really great to see all the different sides to our colleagues.”

The team was divided into four groups and participated in cooperation and outcome-based exercises to achieve a shared goal. Unsurprisingly, as the day wore on, many participants realised the importance of a supportive team to meet goals.

Officer Ndlovu, “Foot Papa” at the WID (Securitas), was humbled by a seemingly simple activity. “When we played memory lane, I was motivating my whole team and showed them where all the blocks were to get to the other side, but when I was alone I had to remember all the blocks on my own, and that made me realise why I need a team.”

After this, there were also a few heated rounds of “minute to win it” activities. These mildly ridiculous exercises saw individual team members threading raw pasta onto a kebab stick in under a minute – using only their mouths!

Despite the silliness of some games, participants showed resilience and enthusiasm at every turn – there was certainly no letting up from any of the teams. After all of that activity, the team was looking forward to a hearty meal, and were not disappointed. Oor die Kole Spit Braai and Catering did a magnificent job. Their lunch was delicious and the service splendid.

It was a wonderful experience for the teams, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Officer Poni, the Supervisor for Securitas at WID, went so far as to say that it was by far the best function that we have had. The feedback from the Law Enforcement Team can be summed up in the words of Officer Gaidien; “I just want to say thank you for an amazing day with you WID, Securitas and Essential. You guys are awesome.”

In keeping with the spirit of the event, we want to thank all of those who made this amazing day possible. A special thank you to the Board of Directors and management for providing us with this opportunity to get to know each other outside the usual working environments.

Thank you to Woodstock Community Church for providing us with a venue for free, it met our needs exactly. Thanks also to Team Building Activities and Events for hosting an amazing day of activity, we truly appreciated your commitment to facilitating an atmosphere of fun and making sure that nobody felt left out.

Finally, we would like to thank each and every WID team member who attended. We are so proud to have you as part of the team and look forward to many more years of serving together.

Bloomlane – a garden in the city

We are proud to announce that Woodstock is home to a number of projects which allow residents to engage in the process of local renovation and renewal. Our mission is to improve the area sustainably, from the roots up.

One of the projects that we are achieving this vision through is the pilot project collaboration with Streetscapes, where homeless people are given the opportunity to tend gardens and sell the produce for profit. This project served as a catalyst for other developmental projects in the area which have the potential to change the social and physical landscape of Woodstock.

The most recent of these innovations is the transformation of Hanwell Lane into an urban garden which will benefit the community.

What is the project about?

The project aims to create an urban food garden in Hanwell Lane, Woodstock. The garden will give people the techniques and space to grow fresh produce for feeding programmes. It will also be an area where community members can support one another through interaction and skill sharing. The main aim is to create a productive environment to empower the community. The hope is that this model will be applied in other suburbs throughout Cape Town.

What prompted the project?

The project was born out of the vision of Mr Graeme Allen. He lives next to Hanwell Lane and was frustrated by the level of vandalism and illegal dumping of waste in the street. He refused to believe this was the only option, and obtained a lease for Hanwell Lane to establish a community garden.

Mr Allen then spent six months communicating with other residents and the City Roads and Planning department to create a plan. This blueprint was then shared with homeowners in Roodebloem Road, Roberts Road, Beacontree Lane and Hillyard Street where local support was harvested. Eventually an agreement was signed by many local residents to turn Hanwell Lane into a community garden.

Who are the stakeholders?

This project is an example of what can be achieved in a community through collaboration. Mr. Allen has garnered support from invested partnership who are willing to see the project through to the end.

Connective Collective (CC) – a collection of people who provide platforms for sustainable community engagement. Their goal is to facilitate citizens in building communities that live in harmony with the earth.

Guerilla House – an urban permaculture training platform that educates and equips citizens using affordable regenerative technologies. They specialise in creating and running organic food gardens, water harvesting, soil building, animal systems, mushroom cultivation, grey water systems, alternative building technologies and waste regeneration.

Community – people living between Hilyard and Salisbury Streets, Roodebloem and Roberts Roads, and those that use Hanwell Lane for thoroughfare. They are encouraged to take ownership of the lane and invest where possible so that they can benefit from it flourishing.

Contributors – property owners neighbouring Hanwell Lane have contributed to the cost of gates and the further development of the project.

Woodstock Improvement District (WID) – we aim to utilise the community garden project to extend our social outreach programme.

Woodstock Residents Association​ (WRA) – facilitates engagement between local authorities and residents living in Woodstock. They provide a platform to share information, discuss differences and solve problems in the community.

 

What is the vision for this community project?

The ideal outcome is a community garden that benefits all who live and work in the neighbourhood. The lane will serve as a meeting space where people can interact, educational workshops can be held and resiliency skills can be obtained by anyone who would like to learn.

The partners are aware of the challenges this public space may encounter, and there are discussions underway on how best to approach potential problems. If you would like to view the vision for this project please contact ConnectiveCollective through one of the Public Participation Process (PPP) channels (see below) and we will forward you the full proposal. Feedback, both for and against, is welcomed as we would like to understand and communicate the community’s views.

Below are the various PPP channels that can be utilised to voice opinions or ask further questions about the project:

  • The email address hanwellgarden@gmail.com (which will also be displayed in the lane).
  • A post box in the lane for residents to hand write and deliver your views.
  • A telephone number, which residents can contact, and a WhatsApp group/ SMS group which residents can join to receive information about the project.
  • A Facebook page where residents can post their views and find more information about the project.

Public meeting: Social housing in Woodstock

The City of Cape Town is organising a public meeting at the Woodstock Hall (31 Plein St) on 18 July @6pm where Mayoral Committee Councillor Brett Herron (MMC for Transport and urban Development) will provide an update on the affordable housing projects in the area and answer questions.

The Woodstock Residents’ Association (WRA) invites all residents and interested parties to come to the meeting. The WRA is a civic association that promotes and supports the wellbeing of all residents living in the area. It provides a platform to share information, to discuss differences and to share agree on common approaches to solving problems in the community. The WRA also represents the community in its relationship with the local authorities and to helps facilitate engagement between local authorities and residents.

For any questions regarding the WRA or to join the Residents Association, contact us on committee@woodstock.org.za.

For any questions regarding the Affordable Housing public meeting, please contact councillor Dave Bryant on 021 487 2001 or dave.bryant@capetown.gov.za or contact Mayco member Brett Herron on 021 400 1298 or Brett.Herron@capetown.gov.za

Planting life and a future – our collaboration with the Streetscapes project

One of the greatest challenges that we face as a community is the reintegration of destitute people back into society. Because of this our Social Officer, Abby, spends a lot of time and energy helping these people reach their full potential. Recently Abby came into contact with a local NPO called Khulisa – which roughly means to enlarge or magnify in Zulu.

Growing change

The organisation is an umbrella under which many different projects rest. Abby resonated with the Streetscapes programme which gives homeless people the opportunity to tend gardens in the city and sell the produce that they grow for a monthly income. Allowing the people to be responsible for their own income is key to integration, as many of these people have low self-confidence. Streetscapes provides training and counselling to support them in their growth and personal healing. Another benefit that the programme offers is to help with finances and savings. The money that is made by the vegetables that are sold is paid directly into the workers’ bank accounts which are set up for them by the Streetscapes staff.

High success rate

According to Jesse Laitinen, a representative of the initiative, this programme works well and there have been great success rates in the past. After 6 months of earning R2 400 per month, 77% of the beneficiaries had moved off the streets and 68% had addressed their dependency on alcohol or drugs. This high success rate is encouraging for the three candidates which are spearheading the pilot programme in Trafalgar Park on WID’s recommendation. Sara Marien Ndhlovu, Theo Luyando and Ndzimeni Wellington Ndayi will be enrolled in the three-month pilot programme between the Woodstock Improvement District (WID) and Khulisa, tending a garden at Trafalgar High School. If all goes well, they will be placed in different locations where similar gardens are being kept around the Woodstock area.

Ndhlovu describes this as ideal she sleeps on the streets in Woodstock in order to find odd jobs quickly. This programme will provide a safe way for her to regain her confidence and provide a stable income with which to support herself and her two-year old daughter.

Luyando had also made it clear that he was the perfect candidate for the project by his eagerness to get back on his feet. He has been homeless for just two years and is positive that the program will provide him with the opportunity he so desperately needs to rebuild his life from the foundations up.

The final candidate in the project is just as eager to generate income with his own two hands: Ndayi had worked for a company for nine years but then lost his job and shortly thereafter became homeless. At 48 years of age, the excitement about restarting his career is palpable. He is particularly excited to be in possession of an ID and bank account.

Safety nets

The contacts built through the programme will prove highly beneficial to navigating out of poverty, not to mention the restoration of dignity through meaningful employment. Throughout the duration of the course they will be monitored, with reports being sent to WID on a monthly basis regarding their progress. Abrahams will be in contact with the Streetscapes team on a regular basis to make sure that the candidates are being given the support they need to succeed and are also delivering on their agreements.

“I’m very excited to see this programme up and running,” Abby says, “it’s had its challenges but I believe that it will be very beneficial for everyone involved.”

How you can help

In order for the programme to be a success, public support is vital. We are asking local businesses to make whatever donation they are able to. The money will fund the fencing, compost, tools and seeds to run the garden. Maintaining the project costs roughly R2 000 per person, per month and the goal is to take on more people in the future. If you are able to, volunteers are often needed to help the workers in any capacity they are able.

Alternatively, if you have a skill that can be taught, we would be grateful for your time and donation of training for those currently looking for employment.

For more information, we encourage you to get in contact with Abby directly on 082 611 0591. You can help people change their lives by giving.

Game changers in the war on water wastage

There is much to be said about the fact that for the foreseeable future Day Zero should not become a reality. Capetonians are breathing a collective sigh of relief at not needing to queue for water anytime soon. The question remains, whose efforts led to staving off that dismal day?

Baseline Coffee

Coffee culture is serious business in Cape Town. Deon and Stacy, the founders of the Baseline coffee roastery, fully agree and live their slogan “Bad coffee shouldn’t happen to good people.”

Recent water saving ventures by this business have proved that they are as serious about conserving our most precious resource as they are about serving quality caffeine. The roastery has implemented changes including recyclable paper cups instead of ceramic, which save 60 litres of water a day previously used to wash cups.

A personal water meter has been installed so that they can monitor their water consumption. They also installed a 1000 litre water tank to supply their customers with non–municipal drinking water.

FCB Cape Town

This advertising agency has been around for a long time and stays ahead of the curve by keeping up to date with trends and evolving alongside the needs of the public.

If they’re half as creative with their campaigns as they have been with their water crisis strategies, we’ll all be buying their clients’ products in no time! They have made significant changes, starting with a move to bottled drinking water. This is also sometimes used for washing dishes.

The agency has also turned off the hydro boils in the kitchen and limited the use of the espresso machine to certain hours of the day. As a precautionary measure, they are also looking to replace crockery with recyclable or disposable alternatives.

The Test Kitchen

Winner of the best restaurant in the country not once but five times, we might have predicted that the innovative minds behind The Test Kitchen would get creative with their water conservation action plan!

Some of their changes include a complete overhaul of the menu to make food that can be prepared with less water and minimal sauces. Others include using the leftover melted ice to wash the floors and installing water saving taps.

The company has also collaborated with another Woodstock based business to serve food on plates that need no washing! Castle Framers constructed plates from obeche wood and coated them with nitrocellulose sealer to ensure the plate is water resistant. The clean look works well with the high – end customers at the restaurant, and every patron is doing their bit not to increase demands on our limited water resources.

We would like to congratulate these wonderful local businesses for taking responsibility and conserving water. Thanks to their efforts we hope to have water in our taps for the foreseeable future!

A helping hand for Woodstock

The primary mandate of Woodstock Improvement District (WID) is to provide safety, security and cleaning services in the Woodstock area. A big part that is sometimes forgotten about is the impact of social upliftment in the community.

Abigail Abrahams, Woodstock’s own Mother Teresa and WID social manager, is the lady behind the many heart-warming things that happen to help those in need. It’s a tough job to keep track of who needs help, but Abi does this by walking the streets, connecting with people in the area and getting to know each family and individual in need – personally. She also gets assistance from the WID drivers who drive her to hot spots in the area. She is so well-known and revered in the community that some of the vagrants even pop in at the office if they need advice or help.

Poverty and homelessness are big issues in Woodstock, as it brings all sorts of destructive activities to the area and the streets. However, these people are also our eyes on the street and are often willing to help as soon as they see that someone cares for them and actually want to help.

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Over the years, WID has formed relationships with a few organisations so that they know who to contact when help is needed. St. Anne’s and ACVV help with assistance for mothers and children, and if they don’t have the capacity to help, Social Services (for children), or shelters like the Haven Shelter (for adults) are contacted. The ultimate goal is to get every person in need placed in a home or shelter, as there are currently 65 homeless people in the area and this is still increasing. WID also assists with getting IDs, going to SASSA to apply for grants, gives counselling and advice, refers clients to drug rehabilitation centres, and assists with typing CVs so unemployed people can find work.

To get a better understanding of why there are so many homeless people, it is important to understand how they got there and what the reasons are. Many of these vagrants are rejected by their families or they’ve come out of prison and land up on the street. Prostitution is also a big issue among the women on the street, as many of them see this as a way to earn enough money to support their drug addiction.

WID currently works with SAPS and other organisations in the community on a holiday programme that will start on 12 December. This programme will focus on child development and keeping children off the streets during the festive season. Pamphlets will also be handed out to raise awareness for the ‘16 days of activism for no violence against women and children’ United Nations campaign that kicks off from 25 November till 10 December.

In 2017, WID will focus specifically on providing those in need with food hampers and clothing. “If we can make these people feel good and look good, they should have more confidence to go for interviews or to go back to their families at home,” says Abigail. To make a success of this initiative, the help of the community will be greatly appreciated and will make a big difference. To do your part and give back this festive season, please donate old clothes by taking them to WID offices at 41 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock. For any other donations, or to help with volunteer work or projects during the holiday period and next year, please send an email to abigail@wid.co.za or give us a call on 021 462 7321.

Lastly, to keep Woodstock safe for everyone is a public effort and we’d like to ask every business and resident in the community to help us by giving us a call or sending us an email if there is anything we should know about. Let’s make this festive season a safe and blessed one for everyone in the area.