Save our furry friends!

August blog WID save our furry friends

Milan Kundera, a French writer, once said: “Humanity’s true moral test, its fundamental test… consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy – animals.”

In recent months there has been an increase in the incidents of animal abuse and cruelty across the board. We have seen and heard stories and footage on television and social media where animals are being killed and tortured and neglected, left to fend for themselves on the streets and try to survive against the odds.

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Abigail Abrahams – A hero in our midst

Abigail Abrahams - A hero in our midst

Abigail Abrahams  – a household name at the Woodstock Improvement District  – has long since been an advocate for the underprivileged, the downtrodden and the hopeless. Her work in the community is extraordinary and so we caught up with her for a quick chat to find out a little more.

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WID Winter Warmers

WID Winter Warmers

Winter is officially in full swing and we are anticipating many more cold, dark and damp days ahead. We also know that there are men, women and children suffering on the streets during this time that could greatly benefit from a small act of kindness – so why not keep the heat in and the cold out this winter by spreading the love becoming involved in these heart-warming initiatives in the Woodstock community and its surroundings.

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Safety first – our best tips for staying safe

WID community safety

WID community safety

One of WID’s two main objectives is to provide top-up security services to the Woodstock community. This involves supplementing the services already provided by the City of Cape Town and working cooperatively with the City and private sector to make Woodstock a safer, cleaner and greener environment.

While we work tirelessly to achieve these goals, individuals also have an important role to play in ensuring their own safety and security.

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Help St Anne’s help others

WID St Annes

WID St Anne’s

Women and children are among the most vulnerable in our community and in society at large. As a community focused organisation, WID is committed to assisting entities that support those in need.

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Support our sustainable employment initiative

WID Sponsor a homeless person

Those familiar with the work of the Woodstock Improvement District (WID) will know that our official mandate is to provide top-up cleaning and security services to the Woodstock community.

More than that, we’re committed to serving and supporting the community in practical ways. This includes finding sustainable ways of addressing poverty, unemployment and homelessness.

One of the successful ways that we’ve managed to do this is in partnership with Khulisa Social Solutions, a non-profit organisation working to empower and enable vulnerable communities to unlock their potential and develop skills towards a sustainable future.

The premise of the partnership is to take people off the streets of Woodstock and give them a job, typically in cleaning, for which they earn a monthly stipend of R3000. We have countless success stories that demonstrate how having a job and earning an income gives people a sense of purpose and security, which has a knock-on effect on other social problems within the community.

We want to get more people off the streets, working and with a sense of dignity. But in order to do this we need financial support.

Please consider helping just one person off the street with a monthly contribution of R3000. The orientation process is managed entirely by WID and Khulisa, with no further expectations from business, except the benefit of working and living in a safer, more resilient community.

With your help we can empower people and create more resilient communities, and as such we kindly urge you to consider getting involved.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or queries on 021 462 7321 or info@wid.co.za

Making Woodstock safer, one security camera at a time

We have new eyes and ears on the ground thanks to the advanced technology of recently installed, fully operational security cameras!

This proactive stance against acts of criminal intent feeds directly into our main prerogative which is to keep our area clean and safe for residents and those who work in the area. We have developed a good relationship with business owners and are invested in protecting their ventures.

The cameras assist us in being proactive in identifying and responding to criminals. Through this technology, we are now able to have more eyes on the street as the cameras can see in many places at once – something that our officers are not able to accomplish.

Since their installation in November of last year, a number of accidents have been ‘picked up’ and we were able to send assistance to the parties in need almost immediately. In another instance, we were able to intervene in a violent fight during the festive season which was alleviated with the assistance of the SAPS.

Currently six cameras up and running with six more will be installed later this year, as well as an additional four Licence plate recognition (LPR) cameras in undisclosed locations. These are specialised types of video surveillance cameras which capture numbers and letters of license plates on still or moving vehicles.

The footage is sent directly to the security control room where it is looked over and if something out of the ordinary is identified, relevant action is taken. Our security officers work in partnership law enforcement as well as our Social Officer, Abigail Abrahams.

Along with the regular joint operations with SAPS and other role players, the cameras are a progressive and innovative way to further protect the public.

Woodstock is vibrant, colourful community and we are privileged to be a part of it.

If you live or work in Woodstock, and would like to speak to us, please register through our website. wid.co.za/contact-us

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!