Report back – December 2020

Gardens Watch is celebrating success in 5-key areas, thank you to all those who have got involved in the last 5-months! Our security providers have also reported significantly fewer incidents in Gardens, as compared with our neighbours. With your active participation, greater success in 2021 is a given.  

We wish you and your families a very happy Festive Season!

  1. Patrols:
  • Successfully launched a patrol program with 10 potential patrollers.
  • Still need to increase frequency of patrols.

2. Social Outreach

  • Tested a poster campaign at Engen on Annandale Street.
  • Engaged with people handing out food so as to redirect their good intentions to support NGO’s working with the  homeless instead.
  • Tried to understand challenges and needs of local NGO’s in our area.
  • Spent an incredible amount of energy trying to engage with CoCT with ideas of repurposing Tuinplein. No results as yet.

3. Cameras

  • Installed Gardens Watch cameras at Glynn & Buitenkant. This had an immediate effect on antisocial behaviour and criminal activity.
  • Numerous people have approached us asking for footage but not as much enthusiasm shown for funding these cameras.
  • Private camera network still a work in progress – THANK YOU to those 5 or 6 people who offered to get involved.

4. Rebranding & Compliance

  • Many hours spent in applying for recognised status with SARS. Still waiting for final approval.
  • Attempted compliance with CoCT but the application process is too difficult for the benefits offered.
  • We have a new user-friendly website
  • New logo and branding complete

5. Cleaning (ongoing)

  • Improvements in terms of contracts, job descriptions and payment structure have resulted in happier and more motivated staff.
  • The attention to detail and number of bags collected has increased dramatically.
  • We have an excellent relationship with CoCT Solid Waste department and they have been invaluable in keeping Gardens clean.
  1. Without an incident being officially reported it did not happen and no resources will be allocated it. A WhatsApp group does not constitute an official report – emotional outrage means nothing if resources can’t be allocated to find a solution.

  2. Patience – The wheels turn unbelievably slowly when trying to action most requests with either SAPS or CoCT. There are plenty of well-meaning people trying to work within a broken system. We need to continue fostering good relations and build momentum.

  3. Our community does have a number of people who are willing to get involved but we all need to move in the same direction. A small but active lobby group within our community has different ideas on how to deal with issues. This further divides our limited resources. 
  1. SAPS – there are lots of good people trying to assist us:
  • Coal Face:
    Sergeants Machelm & Frank
  • Social Outreach:
    Constable Beukman
  • Communication:
    Captain October
  • Visible Policing:
    Col Stephen & Col Coetzee
  • Province:
    Brigadier Voskuil

2. City of Cape Town

  • Ward Councillors and their support staff: Matthew Kempthorn (Dave Bryant), Brandon Golding, Carolyn & Tarryn
  • Law Enforcement: Wayne Aldridge and Ismael Bagley
  • Solid Waste: Xolani Ngqakayi and Mr Titus (**who are both truly outstanding!**)
  • We have representation on the Ward Forum for both of our wards so we can engage on issues affecting our area.  

3. NGO’s – we’ve been talking to:

  • Hope Exchange: Charity & Peter
  • Service Dining Rooms: Karen
  • Safe Spaces: Erica
  • TB HIV cares: Shaun
  • Ons Plek: Pam
  • StreetScapes: Jesse

4. Other role players

  • Other neighbourhood Watches: DPV, OH and TBK
  • Community Policing Forum (CPF)
  • Watchcom
  • CT-CSI
  • CBAR

Gardens Watch is certainly a team effort. It is incredible how many wonderful people are involved in keeping our neighbourhood cleaner and safer, while still trying to care for our neighbours.  

THANK YOU to the Gardens Watch Executive Committee for volunteering so many hours of their time. Their efforts often go unnoticed or they are given abuse by community members for not performing miracles. 

We also want to acknowledge the many other role players whose work goes unnoticed. We hope we can build on the efforts from this year in 2021. 

The appeal for a Christmas bonus for our cleaners raised R5,365.00. Thank you to the 7 of you who stuck your hands in your pockets once again! We have distributed R6,300.00 to our cleaning staff as well as a token of appreciation to the Solid Waste department at CoCT. 

Christine has recently secured a new corporate sponsor – the Engen on Annandale Street. This extra cash is really appreciated as we struggle to come out each month. 

We will need to redouble our efforts to raise funds for Gardens Watch 2021.  While we provide incredible value for money, it really is difficult to do anything meaningful with the extra R300/month which is all that is left after paying for the cleaning project.

  1. Streamline communication with our members.

  2. Redouble efforts to get more patrollers involved.

  3. Expand our camera network and install community cameras – with a particular focus on Mill Street Bridge and bottom of Hope Street, if we can raise sufficient funds.

  4. Get smarter with our cleaning project so that we aren’t just cleaning up more mess but trying to change behaviour.

  5. Continue networking with role players and move together in one direction for the good of the community.

Financial Support