GPCID 24/7 emergency number: 082 214 3228

OKCID 24/7 emergency number: 082 217 1386

Our response to concerns regarding homelessness and illegal land invasions

The approach to finding sustainable solutions to help the homeless in Cape Town is shifting, especially in light of COVID-19.

The recent High Court judgement against the City and various other parties demonstrates an attempt by authorities to safeguard vulnerable persons across the metropolitan area while we endure this state of disaster. However, the judgement brings into question the impact of illegal informal occupation of land designated for public use.

The High Court interdict means that both the City and private landowners are prevented from demolishing unoccupied informal structures, or evicting people from them. The City are appealing the dangerous High Court interdict which prevents the protection of property from land invasion. They believe that changing this verdict is vital for them to uphold the Rule of Law and protect public land intended for services, housing, community facilities, schools and transport services.

What are we doing?

Our team and board of directors are reaching out to partners, landowners and concerned NGOs. We intend to coordinate a plan of action so that we can respond to, and rectify, the issue of the construction of illegal informal structures.

COVID-19 has taught us many things, not least the benefit of being more focused on our own communities. As the pandemic continues to affect the day to day activities and movements of the public under lockdown, there is growing concern over what our team are doing for the homeless and unemployed.

Our CEO, Marc Truss, explains how the GP/OKCID is dealing with the current homelessness situation in the Green Point and Oranje-Kloof areas: “Because of the High Court interdict preventing landowners from exercising their right to remove empty, unoccupied structures as a means of protecting property from invasion, we’re trying to work with, advise, and guide the homeless. We’re trying to communicate that we’re not hard and inflexible – we listen and offer solutions. We speak to the homeless and explain that we can’t give them a place to live, but to live on the street means they have to clean up after themselves. Those who don’t abide by this are warned, and as a final action, arrested. This has been working in the meantime.”

What you can do?

The most effective way for you to help the homeless is to give responsibly. Jane Meyer, MPRA coordinator, explains that giving responsibly means donating to NGOs and other organisations committed to helping the homeless, such as night shelters, rather than giving ad hoc donations to the homeless on the streets. By donating to shelters such as The Haven Night Shelter on Napier Street or the City’s Space in Culemborg and NGOs like Ladles of Love or RPJ Helping Hands, residents support assistance to, but also the continued social development, of the homeless. Read our recent blog post for more information on how you can help contribute to sustainable solutions.

Should you witness the start of illegal invasions of land or informal structures being constructed, please immediately call 107 (from a landline) or 021 480 7700 (from a cell phone) as the structure can only be removed if Law Enforcement arrive whilst it is being put up.

Set up the perfect home workspace

Working from home is the new way of life, forcing many to find a way to continue working at maximum capacity without a dedicated workspace. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but your surroundings have a big impact on your productivity. So, it’s worth spending time on creating the right setup that allows you to thrive. Even if that setup happens to be in your bedroom.

Now, onto the important stuff. If you find you’re easily distracted, possibly because of the pile of dirty laundry taunting you in the corner, or the dull light streaming in from half-opened curtains, tempting you to schedule in an afternoon nap, then read on – as we have a few tips to ensure that your environment is helping you maximise your productivity.

First and foremost, you need to keep your bedroom clean! A clean and uncluttered working environment can boost productivity in a number of ways, such as by boosting your motivation to work and creating a positive atmosphere. Then you’re going to need to ensure that you’re getting enough light. Open those curtains and let the natural light stream in, or if your room doesn’t get direct sunlight and is still a little dull, consider investing in a good side light, such as this tripod lamp from lim on Kloof Street.

Next, set the mood and create a Zen-like space with a little aromatherapy. Aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years, known to relieve stress, lift your mood and energize you. Treat yourself to this electric diffuser from Nap Living and burn essential oils like lemongrass to promote mental clarity or sandalwood to relax. You also might want to add a little greenery to inject some life into the room and ensure that you’re breathing in clean air. Palette De Fleurs Floral Studio in the Cape Quarter in De Waterkant supply bespoke floral arrangements for any occasion, and are guaranteed to brighten up your workspace.

You’re going to want to prepare yourself for that afternoon slum with a good cup of Joe. The caffeine in coffee works to block the adenosine, which is slowly released by our bodies throughout the day and make us feel sleepy. We recommend making a good cup of black coffee using this tea and coffee infuser found at Vendange in Lifestyle on Kloof.

Then, the most important piece in the puzzle that is working from your bed – a comfortable bed! Maybe your pillows are a little flat, or your mattress’s springs are starting to poke through? Thanks to Bed King in Green Point, there’s never been a better excuse to cash in on an upgrade! For the month of August 2020, Green Point and Oranje-Kloof residents get 10% off across all brands when you present the discount code LIVEWORKPLAY at their Green Point store (Bed King at 34 Somerset Road).

Finally, avoid unnecessary back pain with a comfortable pillow to relieve strain that may be caused by improper posture. Effective back support is so important if you’re going to be working from bed every now and then. Use a thin-to-medium pillow behind your lower back to maintain its natural arch, and then place a slightly thicker pillow on your lap to raise your laptop and prevent straining your neck by looking down all day.

Green Point City Improvement District celebrates 19 years of service

July 2020 marked our 19th birthday! The Green Point City Improvement District (GPCID), one of the first City Improvement Districts in the City of Cape Town, marked another year of service and success in the community.

In our 19 years, the Green Point area has evolved from a combination of partially empty warehouses, small cottages and a mixed-use business community into a prime area for retail therapy, an attractive place to have a commercial interest in, and home to a strong core of residential offerings.

The improvements we’ve brought about have helped attract billions of Rands of investment in the area. For almost two decades now, we have worked to tackle crime and grime, build strong collaborations and support social projects to improve the lives of all in our society.

At the most recent AGM, our GPCID Chairman Deon de Wet celebrated the transformation of the GPCID. He spoke of the newly planted trees and beds, refreshed street marking, repaired sidewalks and additional lighting on buildings. He reiterated that everything we do is to help people have that feeling of ‘Yes, I do want to Live, Work, Play here!’”

Each month, our teams collect and remove approximately 7 tons of street refuse. Every street in the area is swept and maintained by our cleansing teams, ensuring everyone has a clean and attractive local area.

We also employ Law Enforcement Officers who halt and inform members of the public who break the law. The aim of these encounters is to educate people so as to avoid repeat offences. Where citizens do not comply, however, our GPCID Law Enforcement Officers issue fines. They have written a total of over R11 million in fines the past financial year alone!

Safety in the local area is also protected by our GPCID security staff. They are employed by the organisation and provide both a lock-up vehicle and patrol service. This acts as a deterrent, ensures people can access a visible authority figure if they feel unsafe, and also allows us to respond faster to reported incidences.

We are proud to have collaborated with SAPS and other Law Enforcement Agencies over the past 19 years, and continue to do so on a daily basis, both in terms of fighting crime and in more positive endeavours. We are also committed to strengthening the working relationships we have built with many charities and support services for those struggling in society.

Chief Executive Marc Truss has been instrumental to our success and is proud of all that his extended team have achieved in the last 19 years. He continues to be excited by the GPCID’s potential: “The GPCID had to prove the value of such an organisation when it began. I believe we have truly done that. We provide extra security, cleaning, improvements and opportunities to make this a sought-after suburb to live, work and play in. I look forward to see what we can achieve as we begin our twentieth year of service.”

Help our local businesses survive COVID

SMEs have been hard hit by the pandemic, and provide employment to over nine million of the 10 million people employed in South Africa according to Stats SA. So what we can do to support them? Let’s start by shopping local – whether it’s in stores or online, and encourage our friends and family to do the same.

Here are a few favourites:

Daisy’s Deli

Visit their online shop for fresh farm produce which is ethically and locally sourced. All meat and dairy products are free range and pasture fed; they have a great vegan range; deli products and a bakery. They currently deliver to Cape Town CBD and surrounds, Atlantic Seaboard, Hout Bay and the Southern Suburbs.

Liquorice & Lime

Situated at the top of Kloof Street, this friendly neighbourhood café is open for table service again. They also have a ‘supper club’ – selling homemade family meals to be enjoyed at home.

Tanja Hagen

One of our local residents is making delicious lemony goods including lemon curd, gin lemon curd & a limited number of limoncello marinades, made with homemade limoncello, herbs, zest, honey and garlic. You can place orders via Facebook and delivery is free in the city bowl and Atlantic Seaboard.

Reader’s Warehouse

Next time you’re at the Lifestyle Centre on Kloof Street, pop in to the Reader’s Warehouse at the top of the escalators. Their staff are warm and friendly, and they have a wide array of well-priced books, board games and notebooks. They also have lovely recipe books which make perfect gifts!

Dish Food & Social  

The Dish Food & Social team create a weekly menu of wholesome dishes, which are priced at R250 for four, or R150 for two. They only charge R25 for delivery, and you can also collect directly from them, and they’ll bring your order out to your car. Don’t miss their Christmas in July feast, which will be delivered on 25 July. It’s a perfect way to treat your family or house mates.

Let us know what other local businesses you’re supporting through lockdown so we can feature them on our Facebook page.

REPORT A PROBLEM

If you have information about any suspicious behaviour or witness a crime please report it to us immediately. Please provide as much detail as possible.

CONTACT US

If you have any questions or feedback please do not hesitate to contact us using the form below. We will respond as soon as possible.