I remember a time when the aunties would “skinner” in their driveways and on their stoeps until the early hours of the morning on a beautiful December night in my home area, Northpine.
There, children could walk freely, and could arrange soccer “World Cups” with their “brasse” and not have to worry about being robbed while walking home after the title was won. That time has faded.
Due to various issues, including the vicious impact of drugs, Northpine has become a hot spot for crime, and vandalism has also tarnished the image of the neighbourhood I love so much.
Those plush green patches of grass and towering pine trees have disappeared too, as if autumn has overstayed its welcome.
According to police, since January 2016, there have been 155 criminal cases opened at the Kraaifontein police station (42 cases of assault, 11 of robbery, 11 of damage to property, 12 of motor vehicle theft and 29 for drug possession).
And it’s because of troubling issues such as these that the proposed Northpine City Improvement District (NCID) wants to implement a five-year plan to help evoke the memories of a Northpine that people can be proud of once again.
This NCID, which was started in August last year by interim chairperson Lindsay Schereka, but has yet to be fully constituted, will look to make Northpine a Special Rating Area (SRA). “After various issues arising, I want to see Northpine again become the place of old where people don’t have to look back over their shoulder while walking in the street. I want to see development and empowering of the youth taking place,” says Mr Schereka.
“There is a lack of infrastructure and facilities in the neighbourhood and that’s why I saw the need to create the SRA two years ago in Northpine.”
The special rating will include a top-up service of 24-hour security and the ugrading of recreational facilities in Northpine. The services will be covered by a minimal fee, to be attached to the residents rates and taxes every month.
Guided by the by-laws of the City of Cape Town, Mr Schereka and his committee will meet with the community with the proposal on Monday August 22.
“The purpose of this meeting is to explain what we’d like to implement and to get the approval of the community. We will then listen to concerns and any objections our Northpine community members might have,” he says.
“Should the members approve the business plan, there will be another process whereby the community will vote to do an application to the City of Cape Town which must be presented before the end of September 2016.”
The meeting will be held at the Northpine Technical High School Hall and Mr Schereka encourages all Northpinians to attend.
You can also find Lindsay Schereka on Facebook. For more information, contact on 083 584 0741.