As I am sure you all know, following the deadlock between the previously elected CCE board members and the subsequent establishment of the steerco, the current CCE board have had a fairly short stint in office, just under six months to be exact. It might have been short but I feel it has been fairly productive. As we have previously communicated in our various letters, we have spent a lot of our time and effort in laying the foundations and putting the framework in place to ensure the successful and sustainable running of the CCE.
Some feedback on what has been achieved and what we have planned for the year ahead.
The new Memorandum of Incorporation
As was agreed upon at the EGM on the 13th of February, we have formulated the proposed new MOI which includes the new Rules and Guidelines. We employed the services of a legal expert with experience in this area to assist us in getting something that it compliant with all legislation whilst taking into account the uniqueness of Chartwell. A copy of this document was included in the AGM pack that was distributed to all residents for your perusal and feedback. As mentioned the new MOI as set out will assist in ensuring that the CCE is run in a fully compliant way, adhering to all good governance practices whilst respecting the rights of every Landowner, Resident and Tenant. We will elaborate a bit more on this before voting for the adoption of the new MOI later in this meeting.
Financial & Contractual
We have taken steps to improve governance and financial disclosure in our accounts by appointing a new auditing firm for the 2019 financial year. The firm of Lochner & Associates was appointed to conduct the 2019 audit and will be up for re-appointment tonight for the 2020 audit. To strengthen oversight we have also formed an audit committee comprising of qualified chartered accountants who also happen to be Chartwell residents. Thanks to Melonie Fick and Dave Elmore for agreeing to serve as independent audit committee members.
The Board has also revised the CCE membership fees to lower costs. We have also scrutinised all the existing service providers and where necessary made changes to bring down service costs, we will be announcing further changes to ensure the Chartwell community receives quality services in exchange for the fees we pay on your behalf. Where possible, we believe in using local residents and businesses that support and contribute to the CCE as our service providers. In keeping with the principles of the new MOI, we remain very careful to declare and manage any conflicts of interest properly.
As we have previously communicated, in order to reduce the financial burden on all our residents by spreading the load and being more inclusive of every resident, we have formulated a new levy structure. We have removed the security component from the CCE levies, meaning that every landowner is free to choose which security The new CCE fee’s that have been reduced from the previous flat rate of R2180 (including security) are as follows:
Chartwell general property owner – R650/month + R350 security
Chartwell cottage tenant – R200/month + R185 security
Chartwell Riverfront properties – R1000/month + R350 security
Chartwell Business – R1000/month + R350 security
Looking at our current numbers and financial collections (taking the security factor out of the picture), we are currently collecting R59 000.00/ month, which is just over R16 000.00 more than the R42 500.00 which is what was being collected prior to the restructure. The monthly costs have reduced for now, but will increase again once the CCTV system come on line.
On the subject of security. When we took up office, one of our main considerations was how we could reduce the costs whilst increasing the services that we receive. One of the first things we did was, we decided to relook at the armed response security model that we had in the area. We engaged with Savika, Thompsons Security, TRSS and Adt. They all gave us proposals which have been circulated to all residents. The final result was that the CCE would no longer contract and pay any particular security company directly, every resident should choose which company they want to use for their own armed response and sign a contract directly with that company. To be honest, Adt’s overall proposal was by far the most professional, comprehensive and cost effective option that was put on the table. The proposal included the largely reduced armed response fee to individual residents, the rollout of the CCTV system around Chartwell as previously communicated, with no capital outlay required by the CCE and various other benefits that have been previously communicated. One of the requirements to get a dedicated vehicle in the area from ADT was that they sign up an additional 75 clients.
In terms of the general security of our area, Chartwell along with the surrounding area’s had a spate of some serious crime mainly along the river in the first half of the year. Things seem to have stabilised, over the past couple of months, but we need to remain pro-active and vigilant.
The CCE, in co-operation with ADT are in the process of formulating a comprehensive and sustainable security plan for the river. We will be calling a meeting with all river resident soon to present and discuss the plan.
The CCE continues to engage with SAPS where necessary and would like to build a better relationship and trust between the community and them over the next year.
The neighbourhood watch continues to be one of the most successful security and social projects in our area. We thank every resident who gives their couple of hours a month to make our area a safer place. We encourage every resident that is not involved to join in, not only are we taking back ownership of our area, making it safer, you will also get to know your neighbours that much better.
After carrying out a review process of our estate management service provider, we are excited to announce that KC Landscaping has been contracted to take care of the CCE landscaping maintenance and beautification. KC Landscaping is owned by Karen Cox, a longstanding Chartwell resident and CCE member. She has a passion for what she does and has a presented the CCE board with a comprehensive vision for the area’s gardens. She will be focused on the main entrance to Chartwell, all the existing gardens as well as keeping Chartwell looking good in general. A detailed outline of the plans was set out in the recent newsletter.
Environmental & Conservancy
The CCE board has over the past six months engaged with the various role players active in and around our area to ensure the conservation and preservation of our natural environment.
The CCE board is in ongoing discussions with the conservancy committee with regards to the approach that should be taken going forward. The CCE board views the function of the conservancy to be one that engages transparently with and educates landowners, residents, businesses and developers on issues surrounding the environment and the creatures that inhabit it. We will touch on the ongoing water issue under the topic of general.
Legal and development
As I am sure many of you have noticed there is a lot of building happening in and around our area. This is a good thing, in that people are identifying our area as a place they would like to live.
The CCE Board respects the individual property rights of every landowner in and around our area. We do not see our function as a policeman or law enforcement agency, we are a residents association, here to build and improve our community as far as possible. We have and will continue to engage constructively and transparently with landowners and developers that are busy in our area. We have reviewed most of the objections that the previous CCE board had lodged against various businesses, subdivisions and developments in and around our area. We have made what we believe to be well informed and fair decisions with the best interests of the greater Chartwell community in mind. This has been done on a case by case basis. Good neighbourliness, respect and transparency are the values that we wish to promote in our community. We have attempted, with greater and lesser degree to engage with our ward councillor, the current water issue is something that we have been speaking to him about.
We have continued to use whatsapp and email as our main channels of communication. In the next few months we will be streamlining the whatsapp groups to include only residents who want to be involved in the community. We have recently employed someone to do our newsletter which will be a monthly feature. We are also in the process of contracting someone to freshen up our website and re-launch our social media. For those that are active on face book and Instagram, watch this space.
We have taken the first steps in establishing the various social groups and initiatives for our area. The meet and greet in the park, the blockwatch socials, the sweepstakes, Old Cogs and the Chartwell walking group have all happened in the last few months. Now that winter is coming to an end, we hope that everyone will start coming out of their shells and joining in.
I would like to conclude by thanking all the board members for the time and efforts that they have put in over the last six months.
Rick Cooper – Vice Chairman
Brian Craig – Treasurer
Rob Erikson- Miller
And a big thank you goes to Jenni for all that she continues to do for our area.