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January 2017

Tel: 021 448 7090

Neighbourhood news, taken seriously

Left: A recent picture taken of the Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP) area, which is up for development.. Right: What the TRUP area could look like after development

Obs leaders’ TRUP vision THe TWo rivers Urban park Association (TrUpA), Civic Association (oCA), and various other community organisations have for months been working intensively on their vision for the Two rivers Urban park (TrUp), where a large development is proposed by the provincial government. The organisations have been actively involved in the on-going public participation process to ensure that the community’s vision for the area is taken into account. Carolyn neville, Chairperson oCA

said that her dream for the area, which includes Two rivers Urban park, river Club and the oude Molen eco-Village, consists of a well designed, environmentally friendly, inclusive development. “no building should dominate – none should be more than five levels high. “All buildings become ‘green buildings’ using solar panels, rain water capture and recycling waste,” she said. she added that accommodation in and around obs should be suitable for all income groups. There should be a rea-

sonable number of social housing units bringing lower income people closer to the city and work opportunities. The oCA has also been lobbying for the protection of the Liesbeek river and Black river, which forms part of the TrUp area. Carolyn said: “The rivers should run clean and flow freely.” she also noted that while the area is up for future development, the area’s history should be accurately recorded, and tribute paid to those who lived


continued on page 12

67 Station road

Thanks for all your support! We wish all our customers a fantastic 2017

Open daily from 7am to 9pm Sundays & Public Holidays 07:30 - 21:00 Tel: 021 448 0409


January 2017

The Two Rivers Urban Park saga explained By Hudson McComb A proposed high density development within the Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP) area on the border of Pinelands, Sybrand Park and Observatory,

082 458 3184 Here are the latest statistics on new property transfers available from the deeds office in Cape Town since 14 October 2015. When you know more about the market, you can make more informed decisions about your investment. Address

Price R

Sale Date


4 Ash Street



150 / 2 / G / 0

18 Ash Street



144 / 2 / A / 0

23A. Bellevliet Road



124 / 3 / G / P1

13 Bowden Road



131 / 2 / A / P2

13 Bowden Road



131 / 2 / G / P2

10 Cook Street



189 / 2 / G / 0

4 Donne Street



169 / 3 / A / 0

7 Disa Avenue



211 / 4 / A / P1

28 Falmouth Road



200 / 4 / A / P2

1 Franklin Street



205 / 3 / P / P2.G1

8 Franklin Street



192 / 3 / P / P1

5 Irwell Street



324 / 3 / P / P1

11 Kotzee Road



406 / 3 / A / G3

9 London Road



322 / 3 / G / P2

28 Low Street



236 / 2 / A / P1

20 Lower Main Road



200 / Commercial

24 Lower Main Road



260 / Commercial

53 Lower Main Road



160 / Commercial

1 Morley Road



274 / 3 / G / P2

5 Milton Road



136 / 2 / G / 0

16 Norfolk Road



171 / 3 / G / P2

22 Nuttall Road



466 / 3 / G / P1

13 Oxford Road



152 / 3 / G / G2

22 Oxford Road



132 / 3 / P / 0

38 Oxford Road



154 / 3 / A / 0

46 Oxford Road



171 / 2 / P / P1

6 Polo Road



447 / 3 / A / G2

27 Robins Road



105 / 2 / G / 0

34 Robins Road



140 / 2 / G / 0

154 Rochester Road



298 / 3 / G / G1

11 Station Road



140 / 2 / G / 0

59 Trill Road



381 / 4 / G / P2

12 Wesley Street



545 / 4 / A / P1.G1

3 Willow Road



351 / 3 / A / P1

5 Wyecroft Road



422 / 3 / A / P3

*Plot size(sq.m)/Bedrooms/Condition (Good.Average.Poor)/ Parking(P Garage(G)

by Province and the City, continues to provoke heated objections from neighbouring civic associations, stakeholders and effected parties. The TRUP area first came into the spotlight in 1998 when the City initiated an extensive and comprehensive public participation process over a period of five years, to prioritise the conservation of the wetlands, heritage and culture and committed to development that would not compromise the natural ecological system. This resulted in the adoption of the Two Rivers Urban Park Contextual Framework and Phase One Environmental Management Plan (TRUPCF&EMP) in 2003, co-designed by all parties involved and incorporated into the Spatial Development Framework for the area. To ensure the Conceptual Development framework was adhered to, the City established the TRUP Association, a non-profit organisation involving local representatives who were mandated to manage and oversee future development in the TRUP area in accordance with the TRUPCF&EMP. With no financial support from the City, the TRUP Association has relied on volunteer involvement and their personal funds over the years, has co-ordinated services in partnership with various stakeholders. They oversee regular river cleanup operations, coordinate bird watching and wetland tours, engage with local stakeholders, effected parties and local civic associations to promote the collective vision incorporated in the TRUPCF&EMP. In 2010 the Regeneration Program involving a partnership between Province and the City proposed a mega development surrounding the TRUP area and a conceptual design was exhibited in the City Hall during the World Design Capital (WDC 2014) program in 2014. The proposed mega development has provoked controversy for a number of reasons. Citizens are opposed to the top down development approach which was not only contrary to the bottom-up people-centred approach promoted by the WDC 2014 program but also in conflict with the “together we can do more” slogan the province and the city has championed during and beyond elections. The proposed mega development had not involved any public participation, undermining democratic principles. The principle promoted by Premier Helen Zille who said: “Our Constitution regards people as active participants

in development. Our job, in partnership with each and every citizen, with civil society and other spheres of government, is to make that vision a living reality.” Also of great concern was the promotion of the Cape Health Technology Park (CHTP) and Biovac Pharmaceutical Company on the extremely popular Oude Molen Eco Village site. The site is home to a dynamic collection of sixty small commercial and social enterprises together employing up to four hundred people. The proposed medical park would not only destroy livelihoods and nineteen years of proactive citizen involvement but also prevent the Oude Molen Ecovillage Tenants Association (OMEVTA) from pursuing the progressive future development vision for the site that was adopted as an official WDC project in 2014. In comparison, the proposed medical park, according to a representative, only required half of the Oude Molen Eco Village (OMEV) site so that their building could be seen from the highway. While high densification and affordable housing is being championed as a solution and incorporated in the proposed mega development, it is very doubtful that a high tech pharmaceutical health park will provide affordable housing. A comprehensive OMEVTA Future Development proposal articulates in detail, significant income to Provincial Government. It included the distribution of profits for social development initiatives in the region. It also covers job creation small enterprise development, youth skills development, affordable housing, food security, urban agriculture, renewable energy technology, local and international tourism, healthy social and recreational activities and access to the public as an extension of the urban park. The emphasis on large corporate business to generate employment, address poverty and ensure equitable distribution of resources contradicts current research which confirms that small enterprises have produced the majority of all new employment opportunities in South Africa over the past twenty years and will continue to do so for the next twenty years. Research also indicates that small enterprises distribute wealth far more equitably than large corporates. The proposed excessive building footprint by the province will destroy the unique ambiance and public urban park character and open space appeal continued on page 12

January 2017


OBSERVATORY CEMETERY CLEANED: Observatory’s dead centre is now cleared of hiding places for street people and drug addicts and solidly fenced. Thanks to the Provincial Department of Transport & Public Works, who have been working to clear the graveyard and cut down vegetation since March this year.

Observatory’s new subcouncil, ward committee sInCe THe change in ward boundaries for the local government elections this year, observatory now falls under sub Council 54. A new Ward Committee was elected to represent residents’ views for the next five years, to coincide with the term of office of our Ward Councillors. Tauriq Jenkins will be representing the observatory Civic Association (oCA).

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Mark neville will be representing observatory neighbourhood Watch. They were elected as Ward Committee Members. “our role is to make the municipal council aware of the needs and concerns of residents and keep people informed of the activities of municipal council”. Visit to learn more

about ward committees and their duties. “It’s also a way of spreading information concerning what our community wants from municipal council and what council is doing. “so we will do all we can to represent the views of the observatory neighbourhood to our councillors, and also hold them to account by reporting back on their actions taken on our behalf.”

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January 2017

What bang are Obs residents getting for their buck? By: Graham Porter, OBSID Public Safety Committee Chairperson, pUBLIC sAFeTY is arguably the most important aspect of any community, especially in a suburb, like observatory, with significant challenges. And while obs is fortunate to have complementary services offered by the observatory Improvement district, there is still the struggle of getting the most effective service for the least amount of money. We are all ratepayers and taxpayers after all. so, how do those of us involved in this task ensure that we get, and give the very best we can, to our community? I for one, chose to get involved. In october 2015, I started as a volunteer to oBsId Coo Hudson McComb, to assist in the structure and processes for the security complement. I was first involved with the security service providers contracted to provide public safety (ps) services to the community, and later as a committee member. I also joined the obs neighbourhood Watch in 2015, and the Community policing Forum this year. All three portfolio’s are involved with public safety and security, and with our local sAps team at Woodstock, make up the services that protect all of us in obs. so what bang are you getting for your buck?

Obsid Public Safety

The main task of the public safety (ps) team is to provide eyes and ears and relay information and alerts, to both the community, and to south African

ly with the Metro Law enforcement Officers (LEO’s), tasking and directing them on our specific priorities, particularly on by-law infringements.

You, the resident

residents, civic organisations play an important role in public safety. The 1,500 Whatsapp group users are a great example of what this can A Woodstock police sector vehicle patrolling the area by achieve. the Observatory train station. residents have huge leverage to influence the police services (sAps). public safety public safety by simply reporting. officers do not have the same powers South African Police Services Then last, but certainly not least, our as a SAPS officer does. The obsid public safety arm has, sAps brothers and sisters. The sector however, employed two Metro Law vehicle in our sector, the visible policEnforcement Officers, who have more ing vehicles, the sector commanders powers than our PS officers. They can vehicle and others, all move in and out stop and search, arrest and issue fines. of our area 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. A Law enforcement training centre will We call them for arrests, for confiscated replace the Metro training college next drug collections, for prevention operations, for noise complaints, for special to the village green every ps shift, has two vehicles operations and vehicle stops. We are with drivers, 2 foot patrollers, a shift working hard to have a tighter relationship with them in the Community policlead or commander. The control room operator is tasked ing Forum (CpF) space. All of these layers, make up the pubwith the collecting alerts by telephone, lic safety Infrastructure in observatory. sMs, Whatsapp, or radio. Public Safety Management We are committed to keep improving it. The oBsId public safety manageA huge Thank You to the pubment consists of 2 members, one on day lic safety committee members, those shift, one on night shift. whose attend our AGMs and meetings, They are responsible for the day to the oCA and the onW and to sAps. day tasking and management of all the The public safety arena in the oBsId ps security resources. special ratings area is now better posiThe ops managers work very close- tioned than at any time in the past.

Advertorial: Pick n Pay Observatory

Obs Pick n Pay stays true to their local outreach sTaYiNG TrUe to their generous community outreach efforts, the Observatory Pick n Pay Family Supermarket is running a Back to School stationary drive to equip under-resourced learners in the community. Obs Pick n Pay, a hands-on, owner-managed franchise, has been serving the Obs community since 1999. They employ around 200 friendly and welcoming staff members who are encouraged to improve their skills and grow in the business. These staff members and pick n pay management are excited about the future of Obs and will continue to support the Observatory improvement District (Obsid) and associated initiatives. Obs Pick n Pay has a range of social outreach initiatives they are actively involved in. These include annual festive support to Straatwerk, an organisation that aims to rehabilitate

street people by offering them jobs as street-cleaners. The Mary Kihn school for the hearing impaired in Low street are also benefactors of Pick n Pay’s community outreach. Obs Pick n Pay has also adopted the Cape Town Multicultural Centre in salt river as a community service project. The Centre assists and cares for youth at risk boys between the 6 -18 years. The supermarket’s generosity further extends to their elderly neighbours at the arcadia place Old age home. all their efforts could not have been done without the support of their customers. They’d like to convey a huge Thank you to all their customers. Want to know more about Pick n Pay’s community initiatives? Contact zeenith Thomas on 021 448 9802 or Observatory Pick n Pay Family Supermarket is open daily from 7am to

Observatory Pick n Pay made sure that Father Christmas attended a Tea Party at Arcadia Place in December 2016 where carols were performed and gifts

January 2017


Obs CPF slowly finding their feet with new chair Things are looking up for the Observatory community policing forum (CPF), who in the past three months instituted a formal community complaints channel and created and submitted a formal community safety plan. This after years of the Obs sub-forum of the CPF being almost non-existent and poorly supported. But now, under the chairmanship of Graham Porter, the Obs CPF has made every effort to strengthen relationships at SAPS Woodstock, improve the process and protocols, and ensure that Obs has efficient representation at the station’s joint planning meeting weekly. So what is CPF and what does it actually do? What most people don’t know, is that the CPF is actually the umbrella body for all the other structures under or requiring the services of the local SAPS Precinct. In this case, SAPS Woodstock. The Community Police Forum is the official, legally mandated body, representing the interests of the community to the SA Police Service. It serves as both a supporting organisation, as well as an oversight body to the police station. For the SAPS Woodstock precinct area, their are 4 sub-forums - Observatory, Woodstock, Upper Woodstock & Walmer Estate and Salt River. The CPF uses all of the existing communication channels including Whatsapp groups, Facebook page, Obs Neighbourhood Watch (ONW) radios, Google email groups and ONW & OBSID websites, to ensure that the Sector 1 CPF body is proactive to crime trends,. They use the OBSID security services, ONW Patrollers and the Sector policing officers available to Obs. As part of crime prevention, the first LPR (license plate recognition) camera has recently been installed as a trial to verify the effectiveness of this technology. If successful, it will be rolled out to cover all the entrance and exit points of the entire sector area. One of the challenges the CPF faces is that Obs is still without a Sector Manager to replace Const. Mark Berry, who was promoted to Detective in May last year, and a Dedicated Liquor officer. The Sector Manager is a vital link between the community, its own public safety teams, and the SAPS officers in Obs. The Dedicated Officer for Liquor, deals with liquor licence applications, extensions and renewals, as well as infringements for the 53 or so outlets across Obs. The importance of liquor license oversight was evident when the community failed to have a proper SAPS

Right: Law Enforcement officer Ian Macintosh with Hudson McComb . Ian is responsible for deploying the two Law Enforcement Officers who are a great help .

evidence documentation to support the opposition to an extension in trading hours for Stones in March. No DLO also led to no opposition for a new business licence in the crime and drug hotspot in Lower Main Road, this in October. The Obs CPF has offered assistance in recruiting sector managers, sharing of crime intelligence and incident information, shared radio and Whatsapp communication channels and has dedicated suburb resources, both volunteer and paid, to assist with planning and resource allocation at the station. But despite making a strong case with the management of the station and the CPF structure at Woodstock, there are still resource issues, lack of respect for volunteers, non-attendance at meetings that have been previously committed to, and no feedback of infor-

mation on queries and complaints. In a last ditch attempt to get co-operation, the CPF has escalated the situation to higher levels of authority. The CPF urges all residents to join or get involved in some way. “We need all the helping hands we can get, even if only for an hour a week, even an hour a month. “We have learned that if we become involved, we can improve the crime, the social needs, and the everyday quality of life, of each and every one of us in our beloved Obs.”

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January 2017 The Knowledge Coop at UCT compiled a report on the impact of the density of alcohol outlets on crime trends in communities. Observatory was part of the study.

Impact of Obs liquor spots on crime By: Anine Kriegler, Obs resident and researcher at the Centre of Criminology, UCT oBsId ApproACHed the Knowledge Co-op at UCT to compile a report to help assess, conceptualise and advocate around the possible impact of the area’s alcohol outlet density (Aod) on crime. Here are some of the results. According to the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA), observatory

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hosts 53 of the 4012 currently valid liquor licences in the Cape Town metropole. This equates to a density of 5.76 licensed outlets per 1000 residents (five times the city average) or 17 outlets per km squared (10 times the city average). A strong cultural reaction against earlier temperance movements has made consideration of some of the social implications of alcohol availability seem stuffy and old-fashioned. But although it is certainly not the only (or likely even the strongest) determinant, a large body of international research suggests that there is a relationship on a local level between alcohol availability and various types of community harm, including crime. Whatever the benefits, they may enjoy from hosting alcohol outlets, communities are also required to carry an associated burden of crime. It isn’t possible to isolate crime stats for observatory alone or to determine the extent to which alcohol is responsible for levels of crime. The Woodstock police area does clearly record high levels of crime compared to the city average and to similar precincts. reducing the harms around alcohol is one of the seven key ‘game changers’ to be targeted in the province. especially through the Alcohol-related Harms reduction Green paper. executive responsibility for the WCLA has already been transferred from the department of economic development and Tourism to the department of Community safety. A lot more space is being created for communities to have a say in their local liquor licensing and enforcement processes. Get involved by offering your time and expertise to the obsid public safety committee or social issues committee ops The observatory Civic Association The observatory neighbourhood Watch or the Woodstock Community police Forum

Does crime differ in parts of Obs?

FLorAIn HerreMAns, a 25 year-old Belgian student and obsid intern, has recently helped the observatory Improvement district (obsid) develop a survey to understand whether there is a link between the types of crimes committed and the different districts forming the special ratings Area (srA.) The data collection will take place in two steps. First, an online questionnaire will be distributed via social networks (Facebook, Whatsapp). Then in order to balance the sample, they will go through the neighbourhoods in which they lack data following the first phase of collection. The answers will then be crossed with the obsid’s knowledge & statistics in order to create positive (or negative) correlations. Ultimately, the goal is to deploy an action plan to improve the daily life of the community based on the conclusions drawn. It is essential that residents are assured that all data collected will remain strictly confidential. Florian, born in ethiopia, has a Master’s degree in public Administration and joined the obsid as an intern for three months to understand the functioning of a public service. What has impressed him the most since his arrival in Cape Town more than a month ago, was a visit to the Townships. He said the contrast between the centre of Cape Town and Gugulethu or Langa is immense. on one side, all the very modern aspects of a european or Us urban centre can be found. on the other, a feeling of abandonment dominates the majority.

Florain Herremans, Obsid intern from Belguim.

January 2017


Dutch intern Hendrick Suppers shows a cool leather wallet which he bought from a homeless man.

Dutch intern analyses Obs crime trends

A research paper on the causes of crime in Observatory and a public space map will soon be released by Dutch intern, Hendrick Suppers, who has been assisting the Observatory Improvement District (Obsid). Hendrick, a 23 year-old self funded intern from Holland will release his findings in Dutch this month after 18th January. He is looking for a volunteer to translate his report as it could be very useful to the Obsid in understanding crime in the area. “If there is a volunteer willing to translate my report you would be most welcome! “My English is not the very best,” he said. In a related report by UCT researcher Anine Kriegler, Obs resident and researcher at the Centre of Criminology, UCT, has found that intensity of crime increases in direct proportion to the number of liquor outlets. Obs has the highest number of liquor outlets (over 50) in Cape Town. See her report on page 6 . On arrival in OBS, Hendrick was impressed by the lovely little park opposite the Obsid offices. He said the park alone is a real success story proving that quality public space can provide a peaceful and safe place for the community. Hendrick has now commissioned a homeless man, who makes leather wallets, to produce a lot more as gifts for his friends in Holland. “These wallets are really well made and very convenient. “They will be popular in Holland,” he said. Hendrick said that if every resident took an interest in just one homeless or unemployed person, these problem could be radically reduced.

Left to right: Nosipho Sofika (31yrs), Busisiwe Mafanya (42 yrs), Shirley Ndengane (33 yrs) are our eyes and ears in the hidden Obsid Public Safety control room.

Eyes, ears and loads of smiles

Nosipho Sofika (31 yrs), Busisiwe Mafanya (42 yrs), Shirley Ndengane (33 yrs) are the eyes and ears in the Observatory Improvement District (Obsid) Public Safety control room. They receive and convey thousands of visual impressions and messages from our 10 strategically placed street cameras, Whatsapp groups , radio operators and security teams every month and keep an unbroken chain of alert

watchfulness going 24/7, 365. “Control room response has improved and complaints are down by about 80% since March 2016” said Wayne Roukema, Obsid Public Safety Manager. “Because we have focused on training and mentoring of our control room staff. These good ladies are hard working and vigilant and I am proud of them”

Advertorial: Obz Kwikspar Obz Kwikspar staffer hands over a Playstation to customer Aashiqa Jacobs who was the December winner of the Loyalty customer competition draw.

Become a winner with Kwikspar

Obz Kwikspar is a family business, established in OBS in 1995, trading at Pepper Square since 2005. They employ over 70 staff and feel very much part of this community. They believe in the future of OBS and look forward to working together to ensure success. Their social investment includes assistance to Friends of the Liesbeek, Black River Park clean-up campaign, the Observatory Improvement District (Obsid), assistance with special events at local Churches, Community Centres, Schools

and Learning Institutions, help for a feeding scheme at nearby Dryden Primary School and more. Become a Loyalty Customer and stand a chance of winning a serious prize through the store’s quarterly draw . The winner of the December Draw received a Playstation and previous winners have received a stove, a fridge and an led TV set. If you want to know more please contact Cesaro Rodrigues (manager) or Alcino Pecego (owner) on 021-448 0409 or


January 2017 The Observatory Improvement District

Obsid COO looks back on the past year Over the past year Obsid portfolio managers have been hard at work building on all the effort invested by the founders of the Observatory Improvement District. We have been reassessing how we do and what we do, streamlining systems and improving collaboration between the managers of our core functions and external stakeholder partners, such as Observatory Civic Association (OCA) Observatory Neighbourhood Watch (ONW) Metro Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) and SAPS resulting in a more focused approach, teamwork and improving value for money for taxpayers in Observatory.


There is no doubt it has been challenging, as well as an exciting year, especially as the current 2016 / 2017 financial year will be the last year of the current five-year business plan and budget cycle. The next five-year business plan and budget from July 2017 to June 2022 was approved at our recent AGM. This provides us with an opportunity to expand our presence and reach within the Obs community, which requires the financial means together with more effective partnerships to achieve a desired outcome.

Smarter, cleaner, safer

The emphasis on our smarter cleaner safer slogan contributed towards strengthened management structures and has produced more accurate crime statistics. This determines what a public safety service providers resource requirements should be. It has reduced unnecessary operating expenses and resulted in more optimum productivity within our management and staff complement. The board, committee members, the community and local organisations such as Obs Civic Association, Obs Neighbourhood Watch, the Community Police Forum representatives continue to provide their invaluable input. We are confident solutions to social, public safety and urban renewal will improve life in the Obs village for the benefit of inhabitants, be they homeowners, businesses, residence, local or international student visitors.


Securitas, our former security service company provided a valuable service over the past four and a half years, But based on our crime statistics, it was decided a new service provider be appointed with an emphasis on resource mobilisation, and a higher staff competency and the introduc-

Obsid Coo Hudson McComb

tion of foot patrollers on Segway’s together with improved communication. This was the key deciding factors when approving the new security service provider starting 1st February 2016. Our Metro Law Enforcement Officers together with their management have instilled an exemplary service and we are very appreciative of the amazing team work, collaboration and partnership approach adopted by them. We thank those staff, members and management within the Securitas team who went beyond the call of duty and look forward to improving on Public Safety by reducing crime with the newly appointed security company and Obsid board.


A partnership with the UCT Knowledge Coop and Magistra, an organisation involved in placing international interns has produced some meaningful research focused on understanding demographics and geographical challenges in Obs. We look forward to growing this collaboration that can assist us finding sustainable solutions.

Social Development

Our Social Development Job shadowing internship program for homeless and or unemployed people is producing results and we are excited by the opportunities this initiative presents us in adding value to the urban renewal cleaning and public safety teams. We are in the process of initiating a partnership that will provide a one stop restoration centre for homeless people. This provides a range of services including counselling, skills development, occupational therapy, job creation and rehabilitation trusting our efforts will becomes a reality by the end of the year.

ObsLife newspaper

Obslife is an invaluable platform to

communicate Obsid and our partner organisations aspirations, challenges, solutions collaborative efforts and progress was discontinued in March 2016. However, a small collective dedicated to reviving continued publications has stepped forward to mobilise support for it. Aiming to once again become a regular feature in Obs. Anyone with project management, coordination journalistic and photographic skills are welcome to contact the Obsid office to assist in this endeavour.

Obs History

A project involving documenting Obs living history is in the process of being transferred onto DVD. We foresee existing residents and newcomers to Obs enjoying the heritage and cultural narrative portrayed in this documentary.

New Technology

A new pilot project initiative, which involves testing new technology in License Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras has been launched with already significant results. Based on its success more LPR cameras will be rolled out at key points throughout the suburb. We foresee the integration of these with private street cameras initiatives before the end of 2017.

Local organisations

Together with the OCA, our core focus in the coming year will be to mobilise more proactive citizen involvement amongst Obs residents and key stakeholder organisations, businesses and non-profit organisation in order to ensure a safer and cleaner environment for the benefit of resident’s homeowners and visitors. Most notable throughout the past year has been the almost tangible underlying goodwill. The sense of shared ownership, and a strong desire and enthusiasm by residence involved in various civic organisations has been vital in addressing challenges and find lasting solutions.

Report all suspicious behaviour to the Obsid control room on 021 447 1066

January 2017 The Observatory Improvement District


Job shadowing shows results

Three of the four internship spots at the Observatory Improvement District (Obsid) has been filled since the launch of the Obsid’s Internship& Job Shadowing program. One intern, 22 year-old Asive Myataza originally from the Eastern Cape,is currently capturing data for the Operating Incidents Reports for the Public Safety portfolio. Asive has a qualification in Business Management from College of Cape Town and has been a part of the Internship& Job Shadowing program since September last year. Hudson McComb, Obsid COO, said: “She is a courageous person with impeccable manners, determined and reliable.”. In January 2017 she begins a Job Shadowing internship at Pick n Pay Observatory,” he said, adding that she is “bound to go far”. Asive, who is the breadwinner

and head of her household of two younger brothers since her mother recently passed away, said that she wants to become an entrepreneur and run her own business one day. Interviews are being held for the fourth place in the Internship and Job Shadowing program since a previous person dropped out. Anyone who is homeless or unemployed can apply to enter the program. Referral partners include Loaves and Fishes, Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre, the Observatory community and the Obsid itself. Residents can refer a likely candidate to Kenneth Roman, Obsid Social Development manager, by contacting the Obsid. Choose a homeless or unemployed person who you know quite well and who you believe really wants to make a change in their lives. Asive Myataza, one the interns in the Obsid’s Internship and Job Shadowing program captures data for the Operating Incidents Reports for the Public Safety section. She will start a second internship at Obs Pick n Pay this month.

Obsid’s smiling office angel When coming to visit Obsid (opposite the kiddies’ park on Station Road) the first person you are likely to meet is a smiling and welcoming Claudine, the Obsid office manager. Despite having recently lost her mother and becoming head of her family and sole breadwinner to whom all others in the family look for support, Claudine is always cheerful and helpful and a mine of information. She is gentle and offers firm guidance to all who come to her for help. When asked what has been the most outstanding achievement of Obsid in 2016 Claudine said: “The belief that our Job Shadowing and Internship Program has been a big step forward” . “Besides giving unemployed and homeless people a genuine leg up, Obsid now also attracts top quality assistance from international interns ,young professionals who are helping us to research data so Obsid can do its work even better than before.”

Obsid ‘sheriffs’ keep the ball rolling

Obsid “sheriffs” Wayne Roukema (below right) and Jason Clarence-Hill (left) are our ever vigilant and brave Public Safety Managers,on duty in shifts 24/7365. Hudson McComb Obsid COO said they take their task extremely seriously. Wayne came to Obsid after leaving the SAPS Cape Flats Gang unit.

He needed a change in his life but still wanted to apply his vast skills and experience to assist others. Jason is a young man with serious will. “When I joined Obsid.” said Hudson, “Jason was an admin assistant. “He took on more responsibility with open arms and is one of our rising stars and an example to many others!” said

Hudson What inspires them to serve so wholeheartedly? Wayne puts it like this: “When a group of people come together because they believe in and want to support positive change. “I am inspired and want to be part of something great as well”.

Contact the Obsid on 021 448 7090 or -


January 2017 Bang for Buck? OBS is a more complex suburb than most others, barring CBD, with over 21 kilometres of road system, thousands of foot commuters passing through daily, large open spaces which do not pay rates, a railway station, over 50 liquor outlets and hundreds if not thousands of non-residents who rent space here. We have only R5.00 per meter square to spend per annum. We believe we are giving serious “bang for buck” and fully intend – with your help- to deliver more nice bangs in future.

Local Obs resident volunteers his tech skills

“I’M A back room boy,” said Frank schuitemaker, resident in observatory for 31 years. Frank is an intelligence man, who previously worked in the Insurance industry and is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute UK. He is a volun-

teer for the observatory Improvement district (obsid). Among other things, he has written the analytical predictive program to collect and sort crime stats for obs. He gives advice, training and mentorship to obsid staff on data analysis. He has also consolidated and streamlined the Whatsapp group reporting system which is very successful with over 1000 participants. Frank further edits the Facebook neighbourhood watch page, created the obs street and house map and the obs directory of essential numbers to call in an emergency. Always with a sunny smile and a ready quip, Frank is undismayed by the battle against crime. “Collection and analysis of crime stats is rapidly coming together. “We will soon have accurate monthly reports that gauge fluctuations and allow us to target our resources very effectively,” said Frank. “We are 90% there”. “All we need now,” he added, “Is a

few more volunteers. Then we can take bigger strides much more quickly”. “Volunteers often say that this work is fun and that they have never met so many interesting people before,” he said. “We welcome everyone, but will especially be happy to have more young people , women and people of colour joining us. The big thing is having more eyes and ears and rapid reporting,” Frank said. Volunteer opportunities include patrollers and patrol coordinators, Whatsapp group coordinators and monitors and radio operators. Training and mentorship will be given. “We aim to encourage efficient volunteer groups who react quickly and effectively,” said Frank. When asked what he thinks about the Woodstock police problem, Frank said: “There are lots of good men and women in blue at Woodstock. “The problem is that management is struggling to control rotten apples in the ranks who simply don’t care.”

Frank Schuitemaker is an active volunteer who regularly helps the Obsid with gathering information. He created the OBS street and house map and the OBS directory.

January 2017


Celebrating Observatory’s local heroes.

From zero to compost hero

Shaun Bennett (pictured), 32 years old, is an entrepreneur with a business management qualification and experience in the restaurant industry. Shaun kicked his drug habit of 16 years in April last year after hitting rock bottom on the street. He made up his mind to change his life after he was rejected “as a skollie” by someone he had approached. He checked himself in to Beth Rapha House of Healing in Observatory and is now the proud owner of The Good Stuff compost business, based at Oude Molen Eco Village . His compost is full of organic ingredients and earthworms and is in demand. Call him on 074 7658106.

Homeless man shines in Obsid’s internship Kevin was born in Manenberg in a large family and at the age of 15 years old, had to give up his ardent dream of a career in the Navy. As the eldest son, Kevin had to go to work to support his family, after his father died. The abrupt ending of his life’s dream and the crushing weight of family responsibility eventually drove him to drink and on to the streets . But in May 2016 he joined the Observatory Improvement District’s (Obsid’s) Job Shadowing program, encouraged by Loaves & Fishes where he stays. He has regained his confidence in his future. Kevin become a leader who the other men on his team respect and admire. During his time at the Obsid, he has been trained in computer and office work. He has also been a security volunteer and is now involved of the Environmental Street Cleaning team. He plans to do a Security Course and become a full time member of the Security Team this year. His most ardent wish at the moment is to give his two youngest children (14yrs and 12yrs) a

The OBS Environmental A-Team (L-R) Oscar, Renaldo, Master,Kevin (circled in picture above), Henry, Hough, Ibrahim. better chance than he had. Kevin said:“I am deeply grateful to Loaves and Fishes and to Obsid and in particular to Mrs Anderson in Dove Street, who has encouraged me to keep going”.

Want to help the hero’s?

More volunteers will be able to increase our impact massively. We welcome everyone. The big thing is having more eyes and ears and rapid reporting Volunteer opportunities include: Patrollers and patrol coordinators, Whatsapp group coordinators and monitors, Radio Operators, Office & research assistants Managers, Additional cleaning and greening hands Training and mentorship will be given.

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January 2017

The Clean-Team! Passers- by cuddle up to Obsid “Clean Team” member Hugh , as Peter Grobbler the driver gives a “Viva” from the cab and Henry looks on from the back of the truck, wanting to get on with the job of collecting all the litter bags that have been assembled by Kevin Andrews and his Environmental “ A-Team”

What you need to know about TRUP continued from page 2

that sets Oude Molen apart. It will prevent public access to the Oude Molen property In stark contrast, the CHTP will not allow open public access, nor provide affordable housing, or distribute profits for social development in the region and cannot produce the amount of employment opportunities to those that need it most. Another concern was that the OMEVTA submitted a Future Development Proposal to Provincial Government, which according to the Regeneration Program team could not be accepted due to its unsolicited bid status. But the CHTP expression of interest was accepted without any detail (i.e. income to Provincial Government, employment opportunities and other social and economic benefits to the region). These concerns led to the TRUP Association meeting with Minister Donald Grant (Department of Public Works) at the River Club in Observatory where he introduced the consortium appointed to investigate a development framework for the TRUP area. At this meeting Minister Grant assured the TRUP Association that no decision regarding the proposed CHTP medical park or Biovac being located on Oude Molen Eco Village had been made. He said the only decision that had been taken at that point was for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Headquarters to be located in the TRUP area. The TRUP Association, OCA, neigh-

bouring civics and the Development Action Group in Observatory believe that it is crucial for citizens to be proactive and involved in co-designing a development. This ensures that future generations can benefit from and enjoy the space rather than allow profits and greed, political expediency and vested interests determine the future of the TRUP area compromising a precious wetland eco system resource. Public participation meetings subsequent to meeting with Minister Grant have revealed that stakeholders, effected parties and citizens in general agree that a balanced development is necessary They are very much opposed to over the top development, prioritising profit at the cost of the environment, heritage, and culture. With the example set by the OMEVTA future development proposal. There has to be an emphasis on the an international best practice approach for a Planet People Profit development . This approach is advocated by the B Team initiated by Richard Branson and other top business leaders and provides a unique opportunity to co-design something. Something truly imaginative, progressive, visionary and inspirational, showcasing positive collaboration and constructive partnerships between government citizens and civil society for the benefit of the entire region and producing a lasting legacy for future

What’s your TRUP vision?

continued from page 1

there in previous generations. Hudson McComb, TRUP chairperson, asked the question: “What do Observatory citizens want for the future?” He encourages all residents to attend the OCA meeting on Wednesday, 18 January, to find out more about the proposed development of the TRUP area and give input and suggestions on how this land should be utilised. See the summary of the TRUP development on page 2.

Important safety numbers Obsid - 0214487090 Obsid Public Safety(OPS) Control Room- 0214471066 OPS SMS - 0720631653 Woodstock SAPS- 0214423121/ 0214423117 SAPS Patrol Van - 0823025525 SAPS DLO Sgt. Prins (Noise/Clubs/ Pubs) - 0824693158 SAPS Obs Manager - 0823025436 SAPS Duty Officer - 0824113092 Station Commander - 0214423101 Detective Commander - 0214862840 Anonymous SMS Tip Off - 32211

Obslife January 2017  

Community Newspaper by the people, for the people.

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