Message From Our Chairman, John

Hi all in CKN

CKN turns 24 this month, it feels like only yesterday I put together a newsletter for our 23rd birthday.

I was wondering about what to put down in a newsletter as something different for our 24th birthday and so I’ll be sharing some incidents I can recall from my time in the area and also some thoughts on what an association is and the difference it makes to have one.

Recovered vehicle – many will not know we had a caravan park where the Kia dealership is now, access via CKN. Well, one night I got a call of an abandoned car in Stamperboom. Took a walk and once there I asked the police to check on the registration. It came as wanted and belonged to a resident of the caravan park. The police arrived and the two of us set off to the caravan park. Quite a mission to navigate the park but we found the owner of the car. He had been hijacked, driven around, and dropped off (I can’t remember where), and for some or other reason, the car was left close to where it had been taken. One very grateful owner.

Three fires at once – It was a cold winter Friday night and I was collecting pizza. I got called that a house was on fire. Left the order and raced to the house to find we had three house fires. A lapa at a house in Boomgom had caught fire and as it was very windy, sparks had spread to two more homes. Fortunately, three fire engines arrived, and the fires were quickly extinguished. We had later supper that night.

Found child – I received a call from the police one night asking for help in finding a missing child that had gone missing from their home in Weltevredenpark. (this was the days before Whatsapp). I started phoning those on our patrol list (we as residents did patrol) and to meet at the vet. Once I finished phoning, I proceeded to the vet. It was amazing to see all the CKN residents that had arrived. After a briefing, we hit the road. Some hours later the young boy was found and reunited with his family. A proud night for CKN.

Whilst I did not want to go into some of the crime-related incidents we have had in the area, I thought I would share a little-known incident we had of a brothel that operated in Boomgom Street some years ago. Yes, I am sure many of you are surprised at the mention of that! Once it came to our attention we got the police involved and after much harassment from the police and having our dedicated cars give the house some extra attention, the occupants moved out one night without saying a word and leaving the house standing empty.

Then just some personal thoughts from my time as Chairman in the area and, from having worn several hats over the years, including CPF Chairman and sector chairman.

Many do not realize how powerful an association can be. What a difference we can make when we all come together as one. Hence our motto of “no man is an island” in CKN. CKN membership is at some 70 percent, very high for an association, so I must thank the many in the area that supports us and share our vision of a safer and cleaner neighborhood.

CKN’s crime-fighting model is unique in that the CKN members pay to have the cars you see actively roaming our streets with the instructions to stop crime before it starts. So many companies remain reactive and only respond to an alarm signal after the fact. Many companies do offer “dedicated” cars but remember for a company to do that, they need at least some 200 homes to break even on their costs. Many have said the more security companies represented in an area the better as you will have more cars patrolling. Not so. It’s a cost thing and for a company to have a car in an area is costing them a large amount of money. The “shotgun” effect does not work.

I have always been a firm believer in visible policing and hence the dedicated cars that do not leave the area.

Having a dedicated service provider that we get invoiced for gives us a greater say in what they do in the area and we are not just a number. I chat with the officers daily along with their manager and liaise almost daily with the head of Dowry. We have a good team that knows the area and does not change on a regular basis.

We can only keep these cars on the road with our financial help.

I have so often heard the statement of “I don’t need to belong to an association and crime will not affect me!” And when crime does come, I hear “I never thought it would happen to me and now, how can I get involved.” It is so sad that some want to make use of our cars without contributing to their running. I do not know of many areas across Johannesburg that have what we have in dedicated cars and a bicycle.

Have you ever wondered why the cars are marked CKN?

Also is the security company registered both with PSIRA and SAIDSA? If you have an incident at your house and the company is not registered, your insurance may not payout.

Being chairman for a long as I have in the area has also meant I have had a close interaction with the Honeydew Police Station. Unfortunately, Honeydew has been in the top 5 worst police stations in the country for many years now. If we take into account our crime-related incidents for CKN, we contribute next to nothing to the precinct crime stats. Crime stats for CKN can be found on our website. Is it not in the interests of all who live here to try and make the area safe for all?

Over the years I have seen so many traumatic and sad crime-related incidents. I still patrol with the police and for many years had a police radio as CPF chairman. Crime is real and closer than you think but as long as we can keep our area safe, we will continue our efforts. We can’t change the world, but we can try our best to keep our little piece of SA safe.

Coming back to my comment on an association, many see the benefit in joining in not only keeping the area safe but knowing one’s neighbor and being part of a community that cares. CKN helped feed some 8 families last year during the lockdown, thanks to the contributions of many in the area and our market days in the park have become a real talking point.

Again, it’s so sad there are some that still don’t know who or what CKN is or just don’t want to be part of what CKN has become.

Whilst CKN was formed many years ago to fight crime, it has moved from not only crime-fighting but to maintenance and beautifying of the area.

Have you ever wondered to why the area is so well maintained? Just have a look at Constantia Drive and the park in Kroton Street. There is a team of three gents overseen by a resident in Worsboom Street that work once a week in the area. They cut grass, clean pavements, and gutters and pick up litter. All this also from the monthly contributions of residents Did you notice the entrance at Albert Street got a facelift a few weeks ago?

The efforts of crime-fighting and area maintenance have made our little area a sought-after place to live. House prices have not lost value. It is sad though that estate agents use the CKN name to sell homes but give us no benefit from the sale.

In closing, I need to highlight to those that do not get our emails and are not on our WhatsApp groups the amount of time and effort that goes into the area by many of the residents and committee members. And please note, all with no remuneration.

We have people that log calls immediately water is off, or the electricity gets cut. Fortunately, we have a councilor that does a lot for us and we also have a resident on the ward committee. We have a fantastic website, people that run a lost animal group and they are very busy at times, and up to date database of the area, a bank statement that gets reconciled monthly, emails get sent out regularly, market days that are well planned and well attended, attendance of sector meetings with the police, regular meetings with Dowry and also CKN committee meetings and
I am sure there are other matters I have overlooked.

To all the family members of the committee and the ad-hoc committee members, thank you for allowing these great people the time they so gladly give to CKN.

To the many that make CKN a great place to live, thank you. 24 years is a long time and we have something we can be proud of.

Here’s to another 24.
Stay safe