The Salt River BID team would like to urge business owners not to give recycled material to homeless people and in the same light, also help to discourage members of the public to give money to beggars. “In both cases, this humble gesture causes more harm than good”, says Gene Lorentz, manager of Geocentric Urban Management.
Gene says that by giving money to people begging, in whatever form, causes them to stay on the street without trying to find jobs and create better lives for themselves. It is easy to collect money or material which they can recycle for money and live of that for a day. The next day they do the same. It is just not sustainable.
He is a great supporter of the Give Responsible campaign, an initiative of the City of Cape Town and the Central City Improvement District. The campaign urges the public to rather give their money or donations to NGOs such as shelters of halfway houses that are helping provide people living on the streets with warm beds, hot meals, family reunification services, trauma therapy and the necessary life skills to help them built a new life for themselves. For more information on the Give Responsible Campaign, go to www.giveresponsibly.co.za
Over the past few months, a lot of the local businesses in the area are taking an active role in making the area a much neater place, such as repainting or restoring parts of their business premises. Businesses in the area are benefiting from this new exciting growth and positive attitude shown of late in the Salt River BID and the team thank the people responsible for improving the look and cleanliness of the area.
One such example is the upgrading of Fashion Fabrics at no 33 Salt River road which is being restored and window frames painted. Another firm, Strandfoam on the corner of Birkdale avenue and Victoria road, deployed their own maintenance team to restore their building. Window frames were painted and broken windows and window sun shades were replaced
Although the SRBID cleaning and urban maintenance plan makes provision for only three urban management workers, Geocentric decided to employ a fourth worker at the company’s own cost to ensure that there is enough hands to cover the vast area and getting it into a better condition. This extra deployment coincided with the refinement of the urban cleaning plan for the SRBID which for now consists of four cleaning sectors, each with its own dedicated worker.
Gene Lorentz, CEO of Geocentric Urban Management, said with the 4th member of the urban maintenance team is another step in the right direction towards the overall improvement of the Salt River area.
The cleaning team takes on a huge array of tasks every day which includes clearing of illegal dumping and removal of illegal posters, general area cleaning and litter picking, dumping of collected waste at the designated drop-off facility and cleaning of public open spaces and parks (see photos below).
One of the priorities is to assist members of the public at large. The safety officers help with directions, vehicle break-downs, assist in medical emergencies or even finding lost children. There is a high number of visually impaired persons in the area and you regularly see the SRBID’s public safety officers assisting such people, especially when there are crossing busy roads and intersections.
We aim to have all businesses operating within the SRBID listed on the website directory. If you require any changes to be made to your listing or your business to be added please firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, the name of your company, your company’s address, company contact number and a brief description of what you manufacture, produce, provide as a service, etc. We will list your business free of charge as part of our campaign to promote the Salt River Business District.
During December 2014, Metro Police in conjunction with SRBID, Woodstock SAPS and the City of Cape Town Traffic Department launched Operation Awareness, an initiative to create awareness about safety in the SRBID amongst the members of the public.
Here are some tips to remember, especially when walking alone at night:
• awareness is your first line of defence – be aware of yourself and your surroundings
• avoid walking alone;
• trust your instincts: if something feels wrong, it most probably is;
• avoid headphones: you need your ears to hear what is going on around you;
• when walking alone, don’t talk on your cell phone – you will be distracted and not aware of what is going on around you. Also, keep your phone out of sight;
• strap your bag across your chest and hold it tight, without looking nervous. Keep the zip opening towards you. Remember, backpacks can easily be tampered without you noticing it;
• do not carry too many packages at once – you must always have clear visibility and freedom of motion;
• do not wear expensive jewellery;
• do not carry large amounts of cash and avoid to draw money when walking alone at night;
• stick to well-lit and busy streets. Avoid dark areas, parking lots or alleys;
• don’t wear shoes or clothing that restricts your movements; and
• carry a noisy friend – a whistle! Carry it around your wrist or in your hand, it will not be of any use in your bag.
The SRBID meets with all safety and security role-players once a week to share public safety and security information and concerns. Joint planning of actions and operations are also discussed and crime trends are shared with the members of the meeting. The SRBID in turn applies the information and actions to their own public safety plan for the week thereby proactively acting against public safety threats in the area.
The SRBID joined the Upper Eastside Hotel in conjunction with Woodstock SAPS and Metro Police in implementing a Whistle Blow Campaign. This venture aims to ensure a safe environment for the public within the boundaries of the SRBID, especially factory workers, hotel and restaurant staff that work different hours than normal daytime working hours. During the launch campaign members of the public were equipped with whistles which they can use when they find themselves in life threatening situations. Altogether 30 whistles were distributed to at the launch of the initiative. This is an ongoing campaign and whistles will be distributed on a monthly basis in the SRBID area.