Do you live in a Burglary Hot Spot or a Suburb Safe Zone?

neighbourhood“If property owners do not take collective action as a neighbourhood community, the affect on everyone’s property values in that neighbourhood could be very negative”, says Cape Town real estate broker, Andre de Villiers from Cape Town.

De Villiers was previously a Neighbourhood Watch Chairperson for a popular Cape Town coastal suburb. “My experience is that there are far too few residents prepared to get involved in neighbourhood security unless there is a dramatic spike in crime or a violent attack. The majority of residents it seems are only too happy to leave the collective security concerns to someone else”.

“As the owner of four real estate offices in Cape Town, I can confirm that buyers are increasingly asking agents for more details about security issues in the neighbourhood of the house they are interested in. The focus on the individual house’s security is correctly seen as something that can be resolved by the buyer, but the area’s reputation and crime statistics are a greater concern, as a buyer knows this will probably be an issue that falls outside their immediate control.”

There is certainly a demand for reliable data but this is not as easy to obtain as some may think. Many smaller incidents are not reported to the police and many private security services treat their information as confidential and many neighbourhood watch groups are understandably concerned that their neighbourhood could suffer if their efficiency in keeping records resulted in a negative message!

“I think any professional estate agent should have some reasonable methodology to answer security questions from buyers objectively about the neighbourhood. We can’t put our head in the sand over this issue and a lack of access to reliable data is certainly a challenge,” said de Villiers.

The message to property owners is to ‘buy in’ to the responsibility of keeping their neighbourhood safe and crime free through collective action, and thereby collecting a ‘collective security dividend’. “Imagine if you will, a pocket of houses that is able to claim and where the seller or agent can statistically show, that the subject area is the safest area in this suburb! If that’s not a great selling feature then, as a real estate professional with over thirty years experience, I am not sure what is!” said de Villiers.

Water Saving Tips

Cape-Town-Water-RestrictionsThe City of Cape Town is currently implementing Level 2 Water restrictions. This is due in part to the low dam levels. It is everyone’s responsibility to save water.

Here are some usefill tips on how you can save water:
Save water throughout your home
  • Ensure all taps are fully closed – a dripping tap at 1 drip per second wastes up to 30 litres a day – that is equivalent to 10 000 litres a year.
  • Replace tap washers regularly and fit tap aerators to restrict and spread the flow. This saves water yet feels like you are using the same amount of water.
  • Ensure your plumbing system is regularly checked for leaks and engage a plumber when necessary.
Save water in your garden
  • Water your garden before 09:00 or after 16:00 (or even later on hot summer days). Avoid watering during windy periods and only water your garden when necessary.
  • Re-use your bath and sink water to water plants and lawns. Professional greywater recycling systems are also available for purchase.
  • If you have an overflow pipe that drips into the garden, place a bucket beneath the drips and use the saved water to water pot plants.
  • Mulching flowerbeds keeps down the weeds and holds moisture in the soil for longer.
  • Use a mulching lawn mower that allows clippings to be finely cut and blown back into the lawn.
  • Don’t mow lawns below 4 cm in length, as this reduces root depth and lawns are more likely to burn in summer.
  • Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you wash your car, and use short bursts of water – this can save up to 300 litres each time. Or, to save even more water wash your vehicle using a bucket of water.
  • Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you water your garden.
  • Check and maintain your irrigation system regularly, to ensure no water is running to waste, or that paved areas are being watered.
  • Adjust your irrigation system for the season and switch it off during rainy weather – even if it is borehole or wellpoint water.
  • Watering the garden less frequently, but deeper (for longer) encourages a deeper root system, which results in stronger plants. This practice can make water-wise plants out of most established plants.
Save water in your kitchen
  • Ensure washing machines or dishwashers have a full load before running them.
  • Rinse glasses, cutlery and vegetables in a basin of water, rather than under a running tap, and reuse the water for pot plants or in the garden.
  • Rinse water can be reused for the next cycle of washing up before being discarded.
  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge so that you don’t run lukewarm water down the drain when waiting for it to cool.
  • Run tap water into a bottle when waiting for it to heat up.
  • Thaw frozen foods in the fridge, sunlight or microwave rather than placing them under running water.
Save water in your bathroom
  • Close the tap when brushing your teeth. This saves up to 20 litres per month. Use a mug of water to rinse your toothbrush.
  • Plug the sink when shaving rather than rinsing your razor under running water. This saves up to 45 litres per month.
  • A half-filled bath uses about 113 litres, a 5-minute shower uses about 56 litres. Shower rather than bath, if you have to bath make it a shallow one or share it.
  • Reuse bath water in your garden.
  • Install a new water-saving toilet or put a clean, sealed plastic container filled with sand in the toilet cistern. This could save you up to 7 300 litres each year.
  • A toilet leak can waste up to 30 litres an hour – check if your toilet is leaking by adding a few drops of food dye to the cistern. If the colour seeps into the bowl, you have a leak, which should be fixed as soon as possible.
  • Install a water-saving shower head, take shorter showers, don’t run the water at full force and turn off the shower when soaping or shaving.
Save water in industries, businesses and schools
  • Automatic flushing urinals are the ultimate water wasters. If they cannot be replaced immediately, turn off the water after hours and over weekends – schools doing this have saved up to R5 000 on their annual water bill.
  • Flush valves should flush for just two to four seconds and urinals for six to eight seconds.
  • Regular maintenance of toilet fittings will save unnecessarily flushed water.
  • Ensure your plumbing systems are regularly checked for leaks.
  • Use a broom to sweep forecourts and other paved areas. Do not use a hose for this purpose.
  • Potable water must not be used to dampen building sand or other building material to prevent it from being blown away.

Original Source: Cape Town Green Map

8 Home Security Mistakes you’re Making

mistakesEvery day we make mistakes that leave our homes vulnerable to a break-in. A burglar will always choose the easiest target and that’s good news for you – it means you have a lot of influence on whether you become a victim or not.

  • Hiding keys by doorways – leaving keys near door ways is very risky as you risk someone duplicating your key and breaking in whenever they want.
  • Leaving out mail – an overflowing mailbox is a good sign that no one is home as well as it allows criminals to steal your mail and gain personal information.
  • Open windows – windows are often the easiest entry point for burglars to access your home as doors can be sturdy and deadlocked.
  • Leaving valuables in sight – valuables should be left out sight so that burglars and stored away as expensive items signal that you have money and is a clear indicator to a burglar that your home is worth targeting.
  • No visible security – securing your home with burglar bars and visible security measures is a huge deterrent to burglars.
  • Not maintaining your yard – a messy yard is a signal to a burglar that you are an easy target as untrimmed trees and hedges make for potential hiding places.
  • Updating social media – avoid using social media to let strangers know your whereabouts as you never know who is following you online.
  • A lifeless home – leaving lights and the TV / Radio on a timer can signal to a burglar that someone is home.

Download eBook: 8 Home Security Mistakes you’re Making

Resource: Cammy

Cammy is an Australian company that captures motion detected events only, saving you from searching through meaningless footage.

Carols by Candlelight & Christmas Market

11221936_935649406482335_6700675048281712666_nJoin the Kirstenhof community for a festive Christmas Market followed by Carols by Candelight on Saturday the 5th December 2015 from 5pm – 8:30pm. There will be lots of crafts, food and fun activities for the children. Once the sun sets – the bands will start playing and we will light the Kirstenhof sky with our candles and sing Christmas carols together.

Level 2 water restrictions approved for Cape Town

100The City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee has approved the implementation of level 2 water restrictions.

The proposal will be deliberated at a council meeting on 10 December. The city imposes level 1 restrictions, which is a 10 percent saving at all times.

The City of Cape Town says the water restriction proposal comes because dam levels are about 15 percent lower than the norm for this time of year.

Level 2 restrictions equate to a 20 percent saving. That means residents could pay more for water.

The city says if customers reduce consumption by 10 percent, their bill should remain similar. However, if consumption stays the same, residents can expect to pay more for water if the proposal is approved by council.

Free allocations will not be affected.

LEVEL 2 RESTRICTIONS: WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU

– Residents may not water or irrigate their gardens between 6am and 6pm or fill up their swimming pools.

– Hose pipes may also not be used to wash cars or paved areas.

– Although water will still be available around the clock, pressure in the city’s taps will be reduced.

– If the situation worsens, more restrictions will be imposed, including supply cuts.

Source: EWN

TEARS Tree Project

kirstenhofTEARS Animal Rescue has put together The “TEARS Tree Project”. A Christmas Tree sits in the foyer of Kirstenhof Primary School and is covered in cardboard balls with a picture of a cat/dog/kitten or puppy who currently is waiting for their forever home at TEARS.

On the back is that animals Christmas wish for toys, blankets, food etc. Please visit Kirstenhof Primary School and choose an animal to either give a loving home too or provide much needed goodies for. The last day for drop off is Wednesday the 9th December at 13h00 and all items can be dropped off and placed under the tree.

Guy Fawkes Day in Cape Town

Don’t get caught on the wrong side of the law, there are safe sites to discharge and enjoy fireworks on Guy Fawkes Day 2015 in Cape Town!

On Thursday, 5 November 2015, we celebrate Guy Fawkes Day (or Guy Fawkes Night) in Cape Town with explosive displays of fireworks (at designated areas).

12196195_10153952525123268_5208180720258023610_nCELEBRATING GUY FAWKES DAY IN KIRSTENHOF

In recent years in South Africa it has become illegal to discharge fireworks displays in backyards for safety and regulatory reasons; however, City of Cape Town officials have deemed certain parks and public areas safe locations for setting off certain sparklers and crackers.

Members of the public are urged to purchase fireworks from registered suppliers who can produce their permits issued by SAPS. Shop-bought fireworks discharged at approved locations are done so at the owner’s risk.

PLACES TO WATCH & DISCHARGE FIREWORKS FOR GUY FAWKES DAY 2015 (BETWEEN 6PM AND MIDNIGHT ONLY!)

·  Tourism Centre, Athens Road, Table View beachfront
·  Wesfleur sports field, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis
·  Bishop Lavis sports field, Lavis Drive, Bishop Lavis
·  Metropolitan sports grounds, Melkhout Street, Bonteheuwel
·  Delft Central sports grounds, Main Road, Delft
·  Swartklip sports complex, Swartklip Road, Mitchells Plain
·  Athlone Stadium parking area (eastern side), Klipfontein Road, Athlone
·  Maiden’s Cove parking area, Victoria Road, Camps Bay|
·  Strandfontein Pavilion, Strandfontein
·  Sarepta sports complex
·  Blue Downs sports field
·  Macassar Beach parking area, Macassar Road, Macassar

Citizens are urged to not use so-called Chinese lanterns. These candle-powered airborne lanterns are not only illegal but also considered a fire hazard. What’s more, the floating lamps resemble that of emergency flairs, which the NSRI is required to investigate and thus is a waste of valuable and expensive resources.

Law enforcement agencies will monitor the aforementioned sites.

To report fireworks that are being illegally discharged, please notify the Metro Police Control Centre on +27 (0) 86 076 5423, or the SAPS Emergency Control Centre on 10111.

In the event of a fireworks-related emergency, contact the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 107 (or +27 (0) 21 480 7700 from a cellphone).

Halloween

Notice from the Kirstenhof Crime Watch:
Children in our neighbourhood often like to dress up for Halloween and go “trick or treating”. If you would like to participate and have them ring your doorbell, please decorate your gate with something “Halloween-ish” (e.g. an orange balloon, jack-o-lantern etc.) and get your bowl of treats ready.

While the Kirstenhof Crime Watch can’t prevent children from ringing your doorbell should you not want to participate, they are doing their best to spread the word that children should only visit the ‘decorated’ houses.

The KCW also suggests that children walk in groups, preferably with adults. Please remember that anything suspicious, apart from the Halloween monsters, can be reported to CVIC on 0860-00-2669 or to one of the community Whatsapp groups.

Motorists encouraged to renew vehicle licence discs online

licenserenewalMotorists whose vehicle licence discs will expire on 31 October 2015 and are renewable by 21 November 2015 will not be receiving renewal notices. The City of Cape Town asks motorists to act proactively to ensure that the necessary arrangements are made and to renew discs online.

The National Department of Transport’s (DOT) transfer of the Electronic National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS) to the Road Traffic Management Centre has also affected motorists whose licence discs expired at the end of September 2015 and are renewable by Wednesday 21 October 2015. This transfer has been the reason that motorists have not received notices to renew their annual motor vehicle licences.

Motorists are requested to check their current licence disc for the expiry date and if it is due to either:

Renew your licence online:

  • Please go to http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/eservices/Pages/default.aspx
  • Under the Motor Vehicle Licensing tab, click on ‘register’ (for new applicants) or ‘login’ (for those already registered for e-Services)
  • You will be prompted to complete an online registration form and will be required to upload the necessary documents
  • The application process takes three working days for new applicants and two working days for applicants who are already registered
  • Phone the City’s Call Centre on 0860 103 089 to find out the amount owing should you not know the licence amount due

Or

Renew your licence at your nearest vehicle licensing office:

Take your identity document, complete a green Application for Licencing of Motor Vehicle form (ALV form), and renew your licence at the counter.

As a rule, motorists receive a 21-day grace period in which to renew their licence discs from the end of their renewal period.

‘The City apologises for any inconvenience and is doing everything in its power to ease the discomfort of motorists. We ask that the DOT and the Road Traffic Management Centre resolve the transfer of the eNaTIS as soon as possible and that this problem is sorted out before November, which is traditionally the busiest month of the year for motor vehicle disc renewals,’ said the City’s acting Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Alderman Belinda Walker

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town