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Website : www.hillbrow.co.za
Making Hillbrow a neighbourhood
HILLBROW used to be known for its dangerous New Year’s Eve bashes, where fridges, TVs and couches would be thrown out of windows, endangering lives and causing chaos - but no more. A huge socialisation process is happening in the suburb. Throwing unwanted items out of windows has stopped; instead a social upliftment programme called Ekhaya Neighbourhood, with the slogan “Making Hillbrow your home”, has been put in place. Ekhaya means “at home”. The organiser behind this pioneering inner-city, low-income residential neighbourhood initiative is Josie Adler, community organiser and a woman with a strong desire to change people’s lives for the better. She has worked since 2004, with support from property owners and their managements, residents and the City to “make a neighbourhood” in Hillbrow.
In 2004 Hillbrow was a notorious, large ‘no go’ area in the inner city of Johannesburg. Today still most people living in Johannesburg say they won’t go to Hillbrow. However, there were greater numbers of people now working in the inner city who needed to live closer to their places of work. They wanted to live in decent accommodation in buildings that were wellmanaged. More and more property owners were renovating their buildings and introducing reliable and trustworthy management. But the conditions in the streets were terrible. Day and night sounds of gunshots were heard all around. Criminals frequented the streets and were able to attack people walking from taxis to their building front doors and run away unstopped through the lanes, or grab people as they walked past the lanes.
Drug dealers and gamblers frequented the pavements. Toxic water streamed in the gutters from broken piping in buildings. The lanes were full of uncollected stinking rubbish. Rats ran all around. Street lights didn’t work. Children could not walk and play in the streets. They played inside the buildings, and it happened that a number of children fell to their deaths from fire escapes. In December and over New Year people collected and brought tyres and bottles into the buildings, which they threw over the balconies onto cars and passersby’s in the streets below. Windows were broken and glass lay everywhere. Johannesburg Housing Company and Trafalgar Properties owned buildings in Pietersen Street. They decided something had to be done. They engaged Community Organiser Josie Adler to find out who would be interested to
work together to make a neighbourhood. Over many months countless visits were made and discussions held, with neighbours, ward councillors, Region F officials, MOE’s and neighbours until finally a meeting was held and an eKhaya Neighbourhood Steering Committee formed to start to solve the most pressing issues of concern to everyone – the awful violence during the festive season and at New Year, and the unsafe, foul lanes. The first New Year Campaign brought astounding response and support from all the buildings as people took responsibility and showed that they did not want the chaos and ugly behaviour of the preceding years. Over the next months meetings took place to make arrangements for building owners to repair leaking sewer pipes and to put gates at the lane entrances, and for managers to communicate with residents so that they no longer threw dirty nappies and other rubbish out of windows. As the actions succeeded, one by one, eKhaya Neighbourhood became known throughout Hillbrow and the inner city, and was recognised for how it was working to regenerate the area. People got to know each other - anonymity was broken. Members and building managers and volunteers were proud and excited by their achievements and were keen to take on other matters of importance in the community. As eKhaya Neighbourhood became “Safe-Clean-&-Friendly” it became the area of choice in Hillbrow for people to come to live and bring their children to the inner city.
How eKhaya developed Investment in public space infrastructure
Development of strong relationships based on responsibilities, obligations and trust
Investment in physical repair and ongoing maintenance
Good management of public space
eKhaya’s success story is based on four equally essential ingredients
eKhaya Neighbourhood CID did the following: - Broke the anonymity and pervasive fear and criminal behaviour by building trust through strong sustained co-operative action - Initiated a process to combine conventional CID management with neighbourhood social development through a programme of activities - sustained organising to achieve agreed goals promotes social cohesion and trust - Brought about realisation by more property owners that no amount of management or money-based and imposed security and cleaning solutions alone could regenerate the area
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t has been an exciting and interesting year for us, and the eKhaya Neighbourhood City Improvement District continues to change the perception of Hillbrow....and the realty. Our eleventh year brought a new and needed dynamism to our organisation. We are growing our borders and expanding our membership base. We were, and remain fore-runners in the CID landscape and continue to lead the way in that our social compact and context influences all that we do. The import and value of our membership is reflected by their continued generosity, participation and support offered in a wide variety of ways in all daily and special calendar activities within their premises and throughout the neighbourhood. We are recognised as a focal point for innovation in the field of development and offer a vibrant platform that
both embraces and reflects the multicultural dynamism of the neighbourhood. There is continued and sustained confidence by the authorities - especially the CoJ and JDA - in eKhaya Neighbourhood’s endeavours to improve and preserve the ‘Safe, Clean & Friendly’ environment essential to make residents, workers and visitors happy, their businesses work, and preserve investments made. We have made great strides in being recognised again by the Municipal Entities as a group that shows excellence in coordinated cooperative endeavours such as the Visible Service Delivery Team and Urban Management programmes. Sustained and even service delivery from CoJ and its MoEs remains a challenge though, one that we all are pursuing with concerted energies. Our membership in the CID Forum and our ability to have initiated membership to the new and important Hillbrow Development Forum will be channels through which we will continue to demand inclusiveness and exert pressure, and thus influence service delivery outcomes.
Each and every effort and personal input by our Board Members, property owners and their tenants, and partners, continues to ‘make the change happen’. It is not possible to mention them all by name, but a special shout out to the following is needed; Josie Adler-your untiring commitment and efforts as a social organiser continues to grow the ‘eKhaya phenomenon’ that you started so many years ago and your expertise and professionalism that has formed the basis of renewed and expanded membership will aid us all in going forward as a more mature and consolidated organisation; Bafikile Mkhize your role of coordinator continues to grow in both scope and import and it has been a pleasure to have personally been able to work so closely with you and see and feel the valueadd that you bring to our neighbourhood; BadBoyz - from inception of the eKhaya neighbourhood, your leaders and team continue to shape and secure our neighbourhood and i am thankful that our relationship has been able to evolve into formal SLA institutional arrangements that still remain coloured by personality, passion and commitment. I value, and am thankful, that I am able to work together with such meaningful, committed and invested members and partners, and feel that all our efforts will continue to significantly impact on the vibrancy, consolidation, security and richness of the area. .................Yael Horowitz
Ekhaya moves to the north
Khaya, a city improvement district (CID) started in 2004 in Pietersen Street in the south between Claim and Klein streets. In 2011 it extended from Klein to Banket streets, then later the same year from Smit to Esselen streets. It was founded with the objective of transforming Hillbrow from its notorious past into a liveable neighbourhood. The programme is now targeting a new area in the north of Hillbrow, between Van der Merwe and Jager streets and from Banket street to Clarendon Place. “We are extending to the north following a demand by other property owners who are interested in joining eKhaya. “Lead members of eKhaya plus other property owners have already met, recently, to develop the eKhaya Hillbrow north initiative,” said the outgoing coordinator of the eKhaya, Josie Adler. She said the owners observed that their businesses in the south are doing better than those in the north. The area’s ability to attract new residents, who support the local businesses, is attributed to declining levels of crime and a clean environment. EKhaya provides cleaning and security services to buildings that are affiliated to the CID. Based on its success, talks are already afoot to get eKhaya implemented in the north. A steering committee is made up of members from the Johannesburg
eKhaya Neighbourhood’s Co-ordinator
Working in eKhaya today
BAFIKILE MKHIZE, eKhaya Neighbourhood’s co-ordinator, is a mother who lives with her family in Hillbrow. In 2015 she completed her Degree in Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing and Business Management in only three year of study, while working full-time. She is well-known throughout Hillbrow and is much respected for her work among eKhaya’s property owning members and building managers, with managers of all buildings and businesses, with City officials and government departments. Her commercially-trained approach to working and solving problems in a business-like way, together with excellent communication and facilitation skills, support her focus on achieving eKhaya’s goal of “Our Safe-Clean-&-Friendly eKhaya Neighbourhood” in Hillbrow. As eKhaya’s co-ordinator Bafikile is
tasked with many activities to sustain eKhaya’s success as an inner-city residential neighbourhood. Firstly, she manages the non-profit association of property owners of residential buildings in Hillbrow. This includes supporting the Board of Management and preparing all the meetings of the association, of the housing managers, and organising eKhaya’s social projects. Her meetings/walkabouts with housing supervisors and city officials identify challenges in the area which are taken to and followed up in eKhaya’s Board of Management and the Region F Visible Service Delivery meetings. She is in contact throughout each day with eKhaya’s Safety and Cleaning Project Manager and staff to liaise and oversee the all-important security and cleaning of the neighbourhood. Secondly, the Co-ordinator organises the social projects which break anonymity and build community responsibility in eKhaya’s high-rise residential area. Bafikile’s hand-in-hand work with energetic and committed building mangers and volunteers arranges the popular social events for the hundreds of participants from the buildings in eKhaya’s regular Soccer Tournaments, eKhaya’s Women’s Group, eKhaya Kidz Day and eKhaya’s newly starting Jump-Rope Project. eKhaya’s annual “Our Safe eKhaya Festive Season” Campaign is another significant social activity. All of these are highly valued for building the community and changing the area to a better inner city neighbourhood. A major assignment for the Co-ordinator is administration of eKhaya Neighbourhood’s working linkages with Reg F departments and city agencies for service delivery. As well as logging issues with Joburg Connect telephonically for reference and attention Bafikile attends Region F’s Visible Service Delivery Meetings monthly. Working with the City is helping improve service delivery in eKhaya Neighbourhood.
Bafikile represents eKhaya Neighbourhood CID in the Inner City Neighbourhoods Parks Regeneration Project, a partnership of eKhaya, lead property companies, MES with the City of Johannesburg. This Project hopes to see many more inner city parks serving the public in a good way. Ongoing networking supports recognition of eKhaya in the community and more broadly in the City. This involves engaging with Ward Councillors and non-members of the eKhaya, building relationships with women in the community, and connecting with shop keepers to facillitate their joining in keeping the pavements and lanes outside business places clean. Each year more groups of visitors, local and from overseas, also students from higher learning institutions, ask to see how eKhaya Neighbourhood works and to be introduced to eKhaya folk and the local ‘NGO’ activities taking place. Bafikile is often the first port of call in the community when situations or conflicts arise in the projects or in the neighbourhood which she can help facilitate to be resolved in a practical and amicable manner. Where necessary she enlists assistance from the CPF Sector Chairperson, the ward councillor or other appropriate leaders. As Co-ordinator of eKhaya’s successfully regenerated inner city residential neighbourhood in Hillbrow, Bafikile shares proudly in the many outstanding achievements of the growing number of organisations which are based in eKhaya Neighbourhood. eKhaya’s regeneration has strengthened their ability to provide a wide range of much-needed services in Hillbrow and to welcome Johannesburg’s citizens from all suburbs to the inner city. Some of the organisations serving the community are St Enda’s School, the Lutheran Outreach Foundation, MES, and WRHI. Bafikile reflects from her three-year experience as eKhaya Neighbourhood’s Co-ordinator and organ-
Ekhaya Neighbourhood founder Josie Adler Housing Company, Connaught Properties, Urban Task Force, Trafalgar Properties, Jozi Housing and other property companies. The committee will be chaired by Nick Barnes of Jozi Housing. EKhaya Hillbrow north will cover buildings from Pretoria Street up Clarendon Place towards Louis Botha Avenue. Under the umbrella body of eKhaya, stakeholders who have invested in Hillbrow have mobilised to tackle longstanding issues, including revamping high-rise buildings, improving safety and keeping the public environment clean. The partnership of these stakeholders in the project has yielded an unwavering success in dealing with problem areas in the area.
Bafikile Mkhize iser that she needs to be results-driven, self-motivated and resourceful with an in-depth understanding of all aspects of the association and its objectives and the community in Hillbrow. She strives to lead by example in engaging and building confidence in the teams she works with. Her priority as a professional organiser is to have exceptional interpersonal, communication, motivational and problem-solving skills. Bafikile says: “This has been an important job for me as I have made a significant contribution to the community and have worked together in many teams to change Hillbrow for the better and managed to make the place good to live here with my family, as well as having found opportunities for my personal progress.”
onnaught Properties was established in the 90’s by George E Palmer. Since it’s inception Connaught has pushed hard to upgrade both the environment and the buildings that house the thousands of tenants. Connaught has been instrumental in establishing the Ekhaya Neighbourhood programme, reclaiming the safety and cleanliness of the Hillbrow streets. Connaught has built a brand and a name in Hillbrow that is synonymous with ‘Home’.
Madulammoho Housing Association MADULAMMOHO HOUSING ASSOCIATION (MHA) - is a Section 21 non-profit organization, established 10 years ago and has grown from strength to strength in its mission: “To provide clean, safe and affordable housing that fosters social development and promotes sustainable communities”.MHA currently manages eight housing projects in Johannesburg (six in the Inner City and two in the West Rand) and has expanded its operation to the Western Cape where a further 1130 units will be completed by the end of 2016. This will bring the total number of units managed and operated by MHA to 2 576. Using an economic cost recovery model with affordability as the starting point, MHA pioneered a model that meets the housing needs of the very poor. Our housing model allows for people to access different types of affordable rental units according to the tenants income level. MHA was born out of MES, a non-profit, faith based organization that provides a wide range of social services to the city’s most vulnerable populations. Together, we apply a holistic approach to serve and empower the community. MHA continually strives to be the best social housing organization and we work hard on bettering our policies and procedures. We are fully accredited with the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA). The company has also received
MHA developments. Projects such as aerobics classes, dance classes and bible study are already being run by tenants at BG. It is intended that this will be a vehicle through which tenants can own and influence the vision of MHA. With all the excitement from the tenants and the surrounding community, BHH has been like a beehive of activities:
The five aside soccer pitch was christened the Orange Cruyff Court – Hillbrow and was officially opened by the Dutch team just before the kickoff to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
many prestigious awards; 2008- MHA was the recipient of the “Platinum Impumelelo Award” for Innovative Work in the field of poverty reduction and community development, the Johannesburg Development Agency’s Halala Joburg Award for “Living Joburg – Property Management and Affordable Housing”, as well as The Govan Mbeki Award for Best Social Housing Institution of the year. 2010 - B.G. Alexander became home to the Cruyff Court, donated by the Netherlands National Football Team. The five aside soccer pitch was christened the Orange Cruyff Court – Hillbrow and was officially opened by the Dutch team just before the kickoff to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. 2012 - MHA launched its first complete green field project outside of Hillbrow, at Fleurhof Views with 286 units with a mix of 96 bachelor units and 190 two
bedroom units2013 - MHA’s CEO, Renier Erasmus, received the CEO’s special award in recognition of its achievements in social development and housing. 2014 - MHA was awarded with two prestigious awards by the SHRA for “Best Social Housing Company Overall” and “Best Rental Collection” – second time in a row. It is important that tenants should call their accommodation home. Home is not just a place to come to after work. But it’s a place where there are others you can relate to and a place where you can enjoy yourself. It is this need that inspired the Bambisanani Hands of Hope (BHH) programme. Tenants at MHA propose social projects and initiatives through the BHH initiative that was launched in 2014. They can initiate and lead their own programmes at
• Soccer – There are about 78 kids that are registered and participate at the weekly after school soccer programmes held B.G. There is also a programme for over 18’s, which are run in the evenings. These are not just soccer matches that are played, but Coach Bull uses this platform to assist these young adults with communication, discipline and many other skills. • Aerobics – “Amazing change gym” now has 32 participants. The female tenants are enjoying the opportunity of being able to get fit and stay healthy so close to home. • Boxing – A professional boxing championship was recently held. Three of our boxers were engaged in the major title fights: Nathaniel Bania (world title), Bongani Mukanya and Rita Morwebi (SA titles). • Chess – BHH was recently privileged to join up with Stephen Skosana of Hyenas Chess Club (HCC). HCC took part in the Gauteng Provincial and National Chess Champions after dethroning Steinitz Chess Club from Cape Town who won the championship several times in Durban. • Karate - After many months of hard work and long hours of practice, our very own Sensei Kiro Febana and Theo Lesudi were chosen to represent South Africa at the world championship in the UK.
Finding a safe haven in Hillbrow
too many tsotsis around; Pietersen Street was one of the no-go areas
rom small beginnings on Pietersen Street, between Klein and Claim streets, eKhaya Neighbourhood now straddles 16 blocks around Pietersen, Klein, Claim, Ockerse and Smit streets in Hillbrow, an inner city suburb known for its notoriety - a reputation that is waning. “The neighbourhood has been extended three times since it was started,” said Josie Adler. It won the Johannesburg Development Agency’s Halala Joburg Award in the category Sustaining Joburg.
The programme, started under the auspices of the Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC) in 2006, is being strategically engineered to improve safety, cleanliness and the renewal of Hillbrow’s public environment. Members include property owners from the profit and social housing sector and cover about 30 residential buildings. They are mostly buildings that represent the regeneration of Hillbrow. It’s a community-centred project with building social cohesion among its goals. “What we’ve done is we have built a neighbourhood where we as citizens can make each other feel safe,” explained Adler.
“The city is our house, that’s the feeling that needs to be developed among residents. We value it and we’ll protect it. That’s the message we’re sharing with people in the neighbourhood.”
Ekhaya Neighbourhood founder Josie Adler with Bad Boys security personnel.
Adler, who was instrumental in the founding of eKhaya, said more than half the buildings in the neighbourhood were part of the programme. But “there are some people left behind” as “there’s a big difference between eKhaya and some sides”. eKhaya is in the final stages of establishing a formal city improvement district (CID), which will make it compulsory for all buildings in the neighbourhood to contribute to its running and the services it provides. “Every building around here will have a responsibility to pay for the CID.” The City of Johannesburg would play a significant role in the facilitation of the CID, she added. The programme is driving cleaning campaigns in one part of Hillbrow that was beset by crime. Under it, pavements, lanes and passageways have been cleaned up, while others have been closed as they were easy escape routes for criminals. Passageways separating buildings that are not part of eKhaya bear testimony to the differences about which Adler speaks so ardently. Driving along Quartz Street, she pointed to one that was filled with grunge. She pointed out that the programme could not do anything to clean such public space as their owners also had a responsibility. Carol Morris, part of the eKhaya Cleaning management team, said she had seen “big change” in the public environment of that part of Hillbrow since she joined the programme in July 2007. “We go around cleaning the spaces ... It used to be very dirty in front of all the buildings. Now eve-
rybody is happy about the cleanliness.” And John Gololo, the manager of Cresthill, a residential building on Pietersen Street, remembered the bad old days: “Before eKhaya took over, the lanes were full of rubbish ... You used to find all sorts of things in the lanes.” Patricia Msebele, a trainee co-ordinator at eKhaya, said she now felt that her security was guaranteed when walking the streets of Hillbrow, thanks to eKhaya Security. “I feel safe around the eKhaya Neighbourhood the eKhaya guards] are always there in each and every corner.”
Indeed, the guards are a common sight around the neighbourhood, manning strategic points such as corners and passageways. Crime has dropped drastically in the neighbourhood, according to eKhaya Se-
curity team manager, Rashad Mahomed.
He is convinced that most of the criminals they arrested in the neighbourhood were not residents of Hillbrow, as “guys here know who we are”. “There were too many tsotsis around. Pietersen Street was one of the no-go areas,” related Gololo. eKhaya Neighbourhood was instrumental in the establishment of eKhaya Park, built on vacant land in Claim Street. The park, named after the neighbourhood improve-
ment programme, was built with funds from the City. Adler said it facilitated the construction of the park after tracing the descendants of the owners of the strip of land, who are in Canada, after there was confusion about its rightful owners. The City gained ownership of the land, which was previously misused. “The sewer water was running down. It was an ugly site,” said Adler. “I said to the council that the property could be a park.” And a colourful park it has become, with children’s playing facilities and an AstroTurf soccer ground fitted with all requirements to host fantastic matches. Buildings surrounding the park have been urged to contribute to its care. Morris said the programme had engaged the buildings’ management on the need to protect the park. “We have to keep the park clean. We made them understand that,” she reiterated. The community was excited about the park, judging from enquiries they made, said one of the security guards.
JHC contributes to urban regeneration The aim is to uplift the quality of life in the targeted inner city neighbourhoods and contributing to the broader socio-economic regeneration of the Johannesburg inner city
JHC’s beneficiaries Families, single parents and their children, young working couples, professionals, blue-collar workers, students and the elderly consider JHC buildings their home in the city. In all its buildings, JHC caters for low- to moderate-income earning individuals and families. As JHC has grown and developed more social housing stock it has opened up the city to more people and created the space for mixed income communities to grow and prosper. In this way, it has contributed to breaking down the apartheid barriers of separate development and to making Johannesburg an inclusive city.
HC is one of the largest residential clients of the City of Johannesburg. As well as developing new residential buildings, JHC has transformed once derelict non-paying properties into income-generating accounts for the City of Johannesburg, while also driving neighbourhood development and contributing to urban regeneration. By ensuring all its buildings are well maintained it has spurred other property owners into upgrading their buildings. It has contributed to increasing demand for inner city properties and to increasing property values. By establishing a stable residential community in the inner city, JHC has boosted local economic development and increased the demand for retail and other business services, as well as for schooling and recreational facilities, among others. JHC contracts external service providers to manage security, cleaning and some maintenance services at its buildings. JHC’s growth has enabled these emerging enterprises to grow with it. A notable example is the Lepro Corporation which has been providing JHC with cleaning services for more than 15 years. This cleaning company was started in 1999 and JHC was one of its first clients. Today Lepro has branches across the country, and more than 2 000 employees. As with most other service providers, Lepro has undergone a learning process with JHC, and this
Success factors JHC standards of management and maintenance are considered international best practice, and JHC levels of customer satisfaction, rental arrears, bad debt and vacancies are admired by social housing institutions world wide. Innovative architectural design and rigorous construction management have become a JHC trademark, as have its firm, fair, and caring approach to building management and administration
By establishing a stable residential community in the inner city, JHC has boosted local economic development
has been supported by workshops and interaction with tenants. Makhulong A Matala (community development subsidiary of JHC) also plays a central role in the eKhaya Neighbourhood in Hillbrow. Networking with other local community-based organisations, the neighbourhood com-
munity and the city authorities like Pikitup, Johannesburg Roads Agency, JMPD and SAPS. It has been instrumental in the upgrading of the neighbourhood and ensuring the eKhaya precinct is kept clean and safe. It brings together a group of property and business owners, building manag-
ers and caretakers, who are united in their drive to improve the safety of the neighbourhood. The aim is to uplift the quality of life in the targeted inner city neighbourhoods and contributing to the broader socio-economic regeneration of the Johannesburg inner-city.
- Encourage and sustain the economic and social wellbeing of its residents, workers and visitors; - Establish an investment node which attracts and protects the financial investment of individual home owners, larger property owners, small and large business and financial institutions; - Establish an investment node which attracts and protects the social investment of private and public investors in the form of schools, clinics, neighbourhood leisure facilities, parks, librarand the lives of everyone living and working here. eKhaya Neighbourhood continues to elicit interest from visitors in- ies, religious organisations; cluding international and local organisations, academics and students. - Register a Section 21 company to administer a formal city imLooking back twelve years ago, who would have predicted that provement district with full legal support of all property owners in the eKhaya Neighbourhood to continue to identify,promote Ekhaya neighbourhood would have made such gains. The success is attributed to the men and women who, against all odds and act on shared issues of concern. believed in themselves, sacrificed their sweat, money, energy and conThis most exciting project, evidences property owners’ contributed to keeping the fires burning. My sincere gratitude to all the eKhaya members for their trust and tinuing concern for their tenants’ safety and wellbeing. Residents, workers and visitors will undoubtedly enjoy the greater confidence in eKhaya’s Executive Committee. I am sincerely appreciative of the interest and commitment shown by freedom of movement as they go to and from their buildings the eKhaya Committee, by the participant property owners and agents and work in the streets at night. I am honoured to have been entrusted in my lifetime with and their caretakers and housing supervisors. We thank also those city agencies and departments, and SAPS Hill- leading eKhaya, a position both challenging and time-consuming. brow, for their partnership. Having taken leave of my position as Chairperson, I thank Bafikile Mkhize, under continuing mentorship of Josie Adler, has proven herself everyday as a respected member in the eKhaya com- eKhaya members for soldering on and keeping Ekhaya neighmunity. Chairman after Chairman, the neighbourhood has improved for bourhood afloat and continuing to grow from strength to strength. the better. Thank you to all those leaders for their dedication. The Ekhaya neighbourhood has achieved the objectives it set itself at inception:. . . . Lindi Malinga
Things are going well in eKhaya Neighbourhood, the recognition by residents in eKhaya members’ buildings of the value to them of eKhaya Neighbourhood CID in supporting them to make stable lives for themselves and their families in Hillbrow
ur eKhaya Neighbourhood CID has come of age as we are on our twelfth year in shaping a unique method of urban regeneration which has not only been sustained with the support of the property owners with residential businesses in lower Hillbrow, but continues to grow, and to introduce valuable initiatives for the betterment of our inner city
Maintenance Long-term preventative maintenance and property improvements are planned and budgeted in a rolling five-year programme to ensure all JHC’s buildings are kept in good condition. This active investment in existing stock has ensured retention of asset value and of tenants. It is a vitally important aspect in delivering sustainable, value-adding accommodation in the inner city of Johannesburg that often suffers from active private sector investment
Combined Message from Region F Director Irene Mafune and JDA Ceo Thanduxolo Mendrew
Irene Mafune Region F Director
he Ekhaya Neighbourhood Precinct in Hillbrow is a great initiative and upgrade programme by the Johannesburg Housing Company and its partners. The Neighbourhood Improvement Partnership is a collaborative effort by citizens, working alongside the City Of Johannesburg, to identify key challenges in their neighbourhoods, and voluntarily contribute time, energy and resources to tackling them. Increasingly around the world, cities are recognising that a large group of problem solvers interested in the development of their city will have many more ideas, and better knowledge of local conditions than the City Officials alone. The Ekhaya Neighbourhood precinct is an inspiration to other areas as it has formed solid relationships between building owners and managers, residents and commercial tenants and between these groups and City entities like Pikitup, Johannesburg Roads, JMPD as well as local Region F ward councillors and Community Policing Forums and SAPS. With solid partnerships in place it has been a great success in its efforts to create a clean, safe and economically sustainable environment for residents and visitors.
Thanduxolo Mendrew JDA CEO
Nic Barnes Ekhaya’s development has helped MHA reach a few of these achievements: *collective functioning towards building strong, safe and sustainable communities. * using sports as a tool towards communicating social messages e.g. drugs, crime violence etc. * sharing of good practices among different stakeholders. * collaboration among various stakeholders e.g. house managers, tenants, youth, security. * mobilisation of communities towards taking charge of their lives. Neil Erasmus
“The only way to be successful in the inner city is not to complain about issues, but to fix it ourselves. We work with city departments through direct channels of communication, which is the best way. We have external guards roaming throughout our precincts and as a result, out tenants have become unusually safe and secure, people’s perceptions of Hillbrow must change as the crime is down by 60 percent in the areas where Bad Boyz Security operates.” George Palmer
Neighbourhood development J
HC initiated the eKhaya Neighbourhood Improvement Programme in Hillbrow, in 2004. It was the first of its kind in a high density, predominantly residential, inner city neighbourhood. At the time, JHC owned three buildings in the neighbourhood (these have increased over the years). With Makhulong and an appointed eKhaya coordinator, it laid the groundwork for the new neighbourhood association to take form, to drive improved safety, cleanliness, accountability and good order, and to improve the public environment, making a positive contribution to neighbourhood renewal in this part of the city. The eKhaya Neighbourhood Association subsequently found its own path, forging relationships among property owners, building caretakers, City agencies, residents and other community organisations. More and more property owners have joined the association, so far it has about 17 members and about 30 affiliated buildings. Today the eKhaya Neighbourhood encompasses about
15 city blocks as well as nearby residential clusters. EKhaya has implemented a series of campaigns which have seen a steady improvement in the neighbourhood environment. A growing number of buildings have been freshly renovated; the streets and lanes have been cleaned up; people feel safer walking in the area; and outdoor recreation spaces and parks have been reclaimed or newly developed. The association has established neighbourhood safety patrols and cleaning services and, working with the local police station and the Hillbrow community policing forum, has made a significant impact in reducing crime in the area. EKhaya also organises community events – such as the annual eKhaya Kidz Day and the eKhaya Street soccer Tournaments – which all residents can enjoy. In 2009, eKhaya was awarded grant funding from the City of Johannesburg to establish the eKhaya Neighbourhood as the first formal residential city improvement district (CID) in the inner city.
To date, the eKhaya Neighbourhood Association has been entirely funded by its members. The association involves property owners from the social housing sector – both government and non-governmental organisations – as well as from the private sector. These property owners, with traditionally disparate interests, have found common ground in their focus on improving the neighbourhood, not only to protect their own property values, but also to improve the quality of life for the people who live and work there and to contribute to the overall socio-economic renewal of the inner city. EKhaya has made a significant difference in the lives of about 6 000 residents and others who work in the area and nearby. Makhulong recently initiated Neighbourhood Development in Troyeville. Makhulong hosted introductory meetings where all potential stakeholders, property owners, Housing Supervisors, the Jeppe Police Station CPF and the Youth Desk with community members, church pastors,
EKhaya organises community events – such as the annual eKhaya Kidz Day
Facility managers, Hollard who own a house which has been converted into a training centre in the neighbourhood and NGOs to share their vision for the area. A lot of progress has been made in this regard to initiate a neighbourhood development programme to curb all the challenges in the area, including crime, lack of access and the utilisation of community facilities due to them having been taken over by criminal elements. A number of property owners in
the Ekhaya North Precinct were invited to a meeting to discuss the replication of Ekhaya1 in the said precinct. The landlords unanimously agreed with the proposal and nominated a steering committee to work together with the Coordinator to initiate a neighbourhood development project in the area. Makhulong is working directly and closely with the Coordinator in the establishment of this precinct.
Ekhaya Women’s Group As a feature of breaking anonymity in the neighbourhood and encouraging women to know each other and be involved in their children’s social activities, women from buildings were invited by housing supervisors to meet. There were two picnic-teas in eKhaya Park where Boitumelo Sewing Group (LOF) at the eKhaya Park
much interest was shown amongst women to meet occasionally and share their common interests. On the second occasion ngo’s were present to talk about their activities and services in Hillbrow. This is an opportunity for groups who are willing to take this further.
What eKhaya means for building managers
ver many years of working together in the eKhaya Neighbourhood City Improvement District organisation building mangers have developed strong relationships with each other. They know each other well. As recognised and trusted people working with their tenants and others in Hillbrow they help build up the community to develop and maintain the Clean-Safe-&Friendly eKhaya Neighbourhood they want to live in. It becomes easy as a manager to engage with tenants who are also involved and know the ekhaya Neighbourhood and its projects. Through good communication from housing managers to property owners with the assistance of eKhaya our work has been enjoyable and productive. As a building manager working with other building managers, eKhaya security staff and eKhaya’s Co-ordinator, you are able to lessen and resolve problems. Through eKhaya people knowing each other and working together, crime in the neighbourhood is lessened. Working as an eKhaya member develops one voice and having representation and attention to your problems. The building managers in eKhaya Neighbourhood meet regularly to discuss issues around their buildings. In 2004 when eKhaya Neighbourhood began the frightening violence and destruction seen each year during the festive season was the biggest concern of building managers. They organised the first Safe eKhaya New Year’s Campaign together with the Community Policing Forum and the JMPD and SAPS. The participation of residents in the buildings showed how strongly they wanted Hillbrow to be safe for everyone. There was amazing cooperation and response from everyone with the exception of two buildings. Festive Season Campaigns involving all buildings at the end of each year support the growth of a strong culture of respect for each other and the environment during the celebrations. No longer are tyres, bottles and live firecrackers thrown from balconies onto vehicles and pedestrians and into other balconies. Only Radio 702 still talks each December about freezers being thrown off the top of buildings in Hillbrow! Many building managers have lived in Hillbrow for a long time, some for over twenty years. They want the neighbourhood to be clean. A clean neighbourhood makes their tenants happy and encourages them to stay longer in the buildings.
As organised ekhaya members, building managers together link with the City’s departments and agencies to secure consistent and improved service delivery. They also get to know shopkeepers of neighbouring buildings and pavement traders, and can involve them in clean-ups and getting pedestrians to co-operate in reducing littering. Building managers know that no-one can do this task on their own. Building managers oversee eKhaya’s Neighbourhood Management Programme, also started years ago. Their walkabouts around the blocks together, along with eKhaya’s Co-ordinator, eKhaya’s Security & Cleaning Project Manager and staff, and the Urban Inspector for the area, are to inspect and record matters requiring maintenance and repair by the City. On occasions the assistance of the ward councillors is invited to participate in re-
solving issues. On other occasions Dept of Environmental Health and JMPD officials join the walkabouts to plan ways to deal with matters. Often neighbours make arrangements for better management of matters such as rubbish thrown from windows and leaking water. Hillbrow is a place full of challenges that cannot be addressed individually, they need collective efforts from everyone. The eKhayaSafety Project’s security men on the street have earned confidence in the community. The building managers know they are supported in their task of seeing to the wellbeing and safety of residents. This positive social cohesion is increased by linkages between buildings’ security companies and eKhaya’s security. The general reduction of criminality in
eKhaya Neighbourhood exemplifies cooperation of residents, building managers and eKhaya security. The safety provided in eKhaya Neighbourhood by eKhaya’s Security makes possible efficient crisis response e.g. if it is necessary for an ambulance to attend a patient at night in a building, eKhaya’s security is in attendance with the building security to support the paramedics who may otherwise be hesitant to come to assist since they fear being obstructed in the neighbourhood and in buildings they do not know. Building managers have a strong interest in the welfare of the young children and youth who live in Hillbrow. A decade ago when the streets and lanes were unsafe and rat-infested, there were instances of children who were playing on fire escapes falling off the rails and dying from their injuries.
Police Emergency Services: 10111, 011 986 9000/ 9151 eKhaya Neighbourhood CID Office: Ambulance and Fire Serious and Violent Crime 16 Kapteijn Street Johannesburg Central: 011 375 5911 Hillbrow Theatre St John’s Ambulance: 011 403 4227/2346 (Murder & Robbery): 011 986 9000 Tel: 011 042 7081 Cell: 076 888 7982 Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit: 011 982 7774
Captain Dee - Crime activist, proudly sponsored by some Ekhaya members, he leads #CrimeMustFall
SAPS officers on patrol in Berea.
Brigadier Vukile Ntandane
Police Emergency Services: 10111, 011 986 9000/ 9151
Bad Boyz security officers with Brig Vukile Ntandane after the discovery of a dagga plantation in Berea.
JMPD Officers on patrol in Hillbrow
Trafalgar Properties At your service . . .
Helderberg building in Hillbrow
Trafalgar employees pose for a photo in hillbrow
Hofman NewYorker building
Trafalgar is a specialist property management and property financial services company, focused on sectional title and home owners association management, residential letting, property financial services
Ithemba Property has its roots in Berea and was established in 1998. Today
Ithemba provides property and asset management to buildings located in Berea, Hillbrow, Doornfontein, Marshallstown, Kempton Park and Midrand consisting of over 3 500 flats and 18 000m2 of retail. More than 10 000 occupants call ithemba buildings home. Whether one is looking for a bachelor flat, a one bedroom flat or two bedroom flat, or a budding entrepreneur looking for their first retail space, Ithemba has the space for all. Its employees are at the heart of business. Ithemba proudly employs 250 people as building managers, maintenance workers, painters, cleaners and security guards. The head of-
and commercial property management. Trafalgar has traded for over forty years and aims to add value to its clients’ lifestyles and property assets. Trafalgar combines specialist skills,
fice complement consists of letting administration managers, assistants, accountants and senior management. In addition, the management team is young and dynamic and do their work with enthusiasm and purpose. Building managers are multiskilled and responsible for the full spectrum management of their buildings. Preference is to promote from within. Most of the building managers employed today started their careers at Ithemba as security guards. As millions of people flock to the cities to build careers and provide for their families. While in the city, Ithemba would like to provide decent homes to occupants. The company strives to provide tenants with affordable accommoda-
proprietary systems and a national infrastructure to provide a comprehensive and world-class property management service. Trafalgar’s current portfolio covers approximately 60 000 residential units in 1 200 buildings nationally, and more than 1 million square metres of commercial, retail and industrial premises in the countries major metropolitan centres. Highly trained and experienced professionals, backed by well established and customised infrastructure together with a firm focus on world class service delivery and prioritising client relationships is the hallmark of our success in the property market.
tion where they can live comfortably and securely, close to places of work and public transport. Its buildings have a dedicated building manager to ensure that the building’s upkeep receives daily attention, is clean and kept safe by the 24/7 security presence. Ithemba works closely with other property management companies, landlords, city improvement districts and local municipality to constantly seek opportunities and solutions for the upliftment of the Johannesburg CBD and other areas where Ithemba buildings are located.
“Your home away from home”
The Community Care Centre provides psychosocial care and support to individuals and families infected and affected by HIV
he Outreach Foundation is a vibrant community centre situated in the heart of Hillbrow. It provides an inter-cultural, multi-disciplinary programme that offers support and development opportunities to the neighborhood’s residents. Through its various activities it presents children, youths and adults with the chance to engage with arts, culture, skills development and heritage activities. In this way Outreach hopes to improve communication, encourage participation and build a strong sense of community in Hillbrow and the inner city. The Outreach Foundation was started with the intention of creating a peaceful and safe haven within the inner city of Johannesburg. Eighteen years later this safe haven is also a bustling hub that provides the community with the resources and tools necessary to deal with the many challenges faced in the inner city. Activities focus on developing a sense of selfworth for all our participants and seek to inspire creative journeys for all wishing to achieve their full potential. It is through the development and empowerment of individuals that the organisation aspires to build a strong community. All projects are driven by core values of humanity, equality, awareness, passion, political consciousness, antiviolence, transparency and integrity. The vision is - to create a self-sustaining, positively charged and prosperous Hillbrow neighborhood that inspires the whole of South Africa. The Outreach Foundation is home to seven programmes:
Urban inspector -William Twala
orking with eKhaya Neighbourhood in the city has made dramatic changes in achieving service delivery issues. It has been so important also in achieving some outcomes in the inner-City. Service delivery needs people to work
WRHI breathes new life into Hillbrow 1.Hillbrow Music Centre - We offer music classes to children and school-going youth 2.Hillbrow Theatre Project - We offer after-school performance arts programmes 3.Counselling, Care and Support Unit - We offer individual counselling, advocacy, capacity building, research and the provision of a mental safe space. 4.Dayvision Youth Centre - we offer exciting programmes that equip young people with relevant life skills towards their personal development 5.Hillbrow Kid’s Week The programme is run by trained Youth Leaders and offers a safe place where kids can play, explore their own identity, and learn to deal with the challenges they face 6.Computer Centre - Basic Computer Skills classes in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, internet and emailing. 7.Boitumelo Project - The Boitumelo Project offers training and skills development.
together in order to achieve the common goal of creating a clean and liveable region for all. Working relationships between communities in reporting the service delivery issues, having walk - about with housing managers identifying issues for attendance. Working with eKhaya Security in all operations around the area, encouraging people to clean their spaces and keep them clean and avoiding illegal dumping near buildings. All these challenges need working together to achieve the good work. Urban management need a plan to service the people and that plan needs people to work with and those are the people on the ground like eKhaya Neighbourhood. They work hand in hand with the city in trying to achieve the service delivery.
THINK OF HILLBROW and you’re more likely to think of a deprived inner city area characterised by poverty, crime and disadvantage. But the Hillbrow Health Precinct (HHP) is changing the perception of Hillbrow and the reality. Breathing new life into the in-
ner city, the HHP is an internationally recognised focal point for innovation in research and training in the field of health care and community development. Firmly rooted in the community, the precinct is gradually reversing the decline that has characterised Hillbrow in the
last decade, with the restoration of several important heritage buildings to renewed glory as centres of medical excellence. A unique partnership between the City of Johannesburg, the Gauteng Department of Health and the Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute, the HHP is a visionary, worldfirst health precinct addressing HIV and related diseases poverty and urban renewal in Johannesburg’s inner city. Standing at the intersection of urban regeneration and community based health care, and demonstrating the best use of modern technology in both spheres, the Hillbrow Health Precinct is a beacon of inspiration in the urban development landscape and a model of co-operation that is sure to see others follow in its footsteps.
eKhaya output, projects and activities
with Pikitup in minimising the challenge of illegal dumping - By allocating skip bins in some of the streets in Hillbrow during the festive season, deploying some of their staff to areas like COJ parks lThey also assisted Pikitup in ensuring that the importance of waste management is not only communicated by Pikitup officials, but they ensure that its emphasised in their building meetings — The results of that is evident in all the buildings that are having building managers who are members of Ekhaya group, there is a lot discipline within those buildings i.e. tenants are not dumping in front of the flats or emptying 240 litre bins in open spaces. lPikitup has also introduced Jozi@work project in Hillbrow & Joubert park lEkhaya neighbourhood has already offered to assist where necessary with their campaigns and street sweeping.
[ We believe that through this partnership the
message of Waste minimisation can be spread all over the innercity and at the end we will be able to achieve Pikitup’s vision of being a leading inlEkhaya neighbourhood has tegrated waste management company in Africa and be considered assisted Pikitup with Education & amongst the best in the World.] Awareness Which has been in a form of campaigns, meetings with their building managers etc. lEkhaya neighbourhood also worked
Ntombozuko Bekwa S@S Supervisor/ J@Work
Good moments at the eKhaya Neighbourhood
Award event preparation for the eKhaya Neighbourhood.
Urban inspector - William Twala shows awards he attained
George Palmer and Hendrik de Klerk of Bad Boyz
Award Ceremony at the eKhaya Park
eKhaya kids performing
Visiting the newly opened Lutheran Outreach facility
Marimba players perform at the opening of a new faciliity
Creche kiddies at play at eKhaya Park
Receiving the community Award â€“ Jessie Nkomo from eKhaya Security
ekhaya Neighbourhood builders
Celebrating 30 years of services in the heart of Hillbrow! 1 July 1986 is where it all began. What started as a soup kitchen has now flourished into a group of people making a difference in the streets of Hillbrow. As part of the Ekhaya Neighbourhoods, social upliftment programme, MES is committed to restoring the Hilbrow community that has been known for criminal activities and unrest over the years. MESs overall vision is to “Change the Heart of the City!” by encouraging clients to live independent, sustainable and meaningful lives. One of MESs flag ship programmes are GROW. GROW is a job-and-life rehabilitation programme that creates shift opportunities where cash is earned for work done whilst being part of a coaching and developmental programme. It provides the homeless and unemployed community an alternative to aggressive begging and petty crime. Ferron Hancok is a prime example of how the MES GROW programme inspires clients to use their skills to empower themselves and uplift the community. While being part of the programme Ferron could not imagine that his love for farming would come to use in the city. Amongst the regular activities Ferron has been able to turned a bare piece of land into a sustainable vegetable garden which now offers fresh vegetables to one of the MES crèches and other MES clients who are in need. MES is passionate about more than just skills development, but we encourage healthy individuals by providing entertainment that will open their minds to all forms of the arts. Our team of passionate youngsters, the Joshuas were part of the annual Hey Hillbrow! Parade which was held on 13 February 2016 is geared towards celebrating the arts in Hilbrow. Those who took part where not disappointed as members of various performing arts groups showcased their talents and painted the streets of Hilbrow with an array of colours and sounds. As we celebrate 30 years of “Changing the Heart of the City!” the staff at MES have, year on year been dedicated to improving the lives of their clients. A huge thank you to every staff member who has contributed their time and resources during the past 30 years, and to all the clients’ whose lives have been part of the MES process, we wish you well. MES services include: Poverty Alleviation & Spiritual Enrichment, Professional Health and Social work Services and Skills and Education programmes. For more information contact: MES firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.mes.org.za
Amateur boxing in the middle of Hillbrow K
Children’s tournament at the Bambisanani Hands of Hope (BHH) Boxing Club
hosi, known in the community as ‘George the Brick’, founded the Hillbrow Boxing Club in 2004. He trains amateurs and professionals. He opened the club to keep local kids off the streets, the dangers of which he knows all too well. The Bambisanani Hands of Hope Boxing club is more than just a meeting place for people wanting to get fit and promising boxers. Khosi’s vision is to help the community by giving the youth a place to focus their energy and stay out of trouble. As a result the lives of 50 – 60 kids are constantly being made better by this small, unassuming club in the heart of one of Johannesburg’s most unstable areas. “I’ve produced two champions,” Khosi says with pride. You could say he’s produced three though. His dream of becoming a champion has in fact come true as well – he is a champion for this community. Running a club like this isn’t an easy task. It is, however, one that Khosi takes on a blow-by-blow basis. “We often need food for the kids,” says Khosi, kids after all need to have full bellies to focus.
Sport Hundreds attend soccer tournament Hornelia Langa email@example.com The eKhaya Neighbourhood in Hillbrow recently organised an amateur soccer tournament at the eKhaya Park. Ekhaya co-ordinator Bafikile Mkhize said property investors thought it wouldn’t be fair if they concentrate only on their businesses and not give back to their tenants. “They decided to provide their tenants with social sport through the tournament that takes place three times a year. “The first takes place in April and it’s called the Easter tournament, the second is the Mandela tournament and last is the Open tournament that takes place in October.” She added that the real aim of these tournaments is to bring everyone together, especially keeping the youth of eKhaya
Ekhaya Neighbourhood Soccer Tournament at Ekhaya park
Neighbourhood motivated and help them stay away from crime, drugs and alcohol. “In this tournament we focus on the under 10 and under 13 age groups because the aim is to groom the children. “We had seven teams that signed up for the tournaments, and these teams are built out of our tenants. “Each team played soccer for five minutes until they could reach the semifinal,” said Mkhize. The under 10 team that won the gold medal was Landrost, the silver medal was won by Trafalgar and third position went to Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC). In the under 13 category of the competition the first position was taken by the team from Urban Task Force (UTF), the second went to JHC and third was also JHC (Uno Court).
Medals and Trophies on display.
One of the winning teams that participated in the youth soccer tournament.