May 2020 Newsletter
Posted 17 May 2020
The May 2020 newsletter, with lots of important info on the closure of the Norwood Pikitup Depot, fencing of the Pretoria Street Park, town planning matters, Shothole Borer, Recycling and more is available here:
Art Clinic opens at the Orchards Project
Posted 29 February 2020
THE ART CLINIC has been established in the multi-functional arts space, the Tipper building, at the Orchards Project. It will be opening its doors to residents of the area with the aim of developing an annual programme of multi-disciplinary production and learning.
Powered by the Trinity Session (a diverse team of artists, designers and curators) in collaboration with The Orchards Project Board and numerous active members of the neighborhood, THE ART CLINIC will launch its new production space in May, with a variety of events aimed at developing collaboration and a new and accessible programme of creative offerings, all under one roof.
Read more about this exciting project here:
We need your help on Garden Road!
Posted 30 October 2019
The presence of a liquor store at 265 Louis Botha Avenue has severely degraded the corner of Louis Botha Avenue and Garden Road. NORA has challenged a tavern liquor licence application with the assistance of attorney Leon Slotow, and have assisted residents coordinate efforts with JMPD, SAPS and Pikitup.
The matter will now be heard by the Gauteng Liquor Board on 7 November, and Leon Slotow will be representing NORA and residents. We need your assistance to cover these legal fees. ANY donation will be appreciated. To donate, please make a deposit into our bank account with the description: Liquor_Surname.
Norwood Oaklands Residents Association
FNB - Cheque Account
Branch Code: 254 005
Account Number: 62623487619
Garden Road Crisis Update
Posted 07 August 2019
The presence of a liquor store at 265 Louis Botha Avenue has severely degraded the corner of Louis Botha Avenue and Garden Road. NORA challenged a tavern liquor licence application with the assistance of attorney Leon Slotow, and have assisted residents coordinate efforts with JMPD, SAPS and Pikitup. The Sector 3 Crime Forum has also strongly driven this issue, and has made it one of the two priorities for the Forum.
We are thrilled to report that Norwood SAPS has supported our efforts, and has closed the establishment down since it is already operating as a tavern, without a tavern liquor licence.
This is a significant victory, but the battle is not over. We need to continue the process started to deny a liquor licence on this corner, and to continue our partnership with the Sector 3 Crime Forum, JMPD and SAPS to enforce the rule of law in our neighbourhood.
Oaklands Cellular Masts Update
Posted 28 July 2019
Dr Taddy Blecher has been leading our neighbourhood's engagement with Vodacom on cellular masts. In consultation with the NORA committee he has submitted sites to Vodacom where cellular masts could be erected without endangering our community's health or devaluing property values. These are now being considered by Vodacom's technical team.
He also has some suggestions for residents who are frustrated with poor cellphone strength:
To reduce pressure on the cellular voice and data network, install high speed fibre at home, for fast data, and to use voice over IP solutions.
Individuals wishing to boost signal strength further are advised to consider putting Vodacom boosters in their own houses.
Follow our news updates to keep appraised of developments.
NORA Committee Announces Priorities for 2019
Posted 20 June 2019
The committee of the newly established Norwood Oaklands Residents Association met on 11 June. These are the committee's priorities for this year:
1 - Cellular Masts
A subcommittee has been established to challenge the legality of cellular masts which have recently been erected in Oaklands. NORA fully supports these efforts and committee members Trevor Lunt and Dillon Swartz will be guiding the NORA response. Should you wish to support these efforts financially, please use the following description on your deposit: Address/Cellular. Banking details are as below.
2 - Garden Road Crisis
The presence of a liquor store at 265 Louis Botha Avenue has severely degraded the corner of Louis Botha and Garden. We are challenging the liquor licence application with the assistance of attorney Leon Slotow, and are assisting residents coordinate efforts with JMPD, SAPS and Pikitup. Committee members Brett McDougall and Bradley Janse van Rensburg are leading this effort. Should you wish to support these efforts financially, please use the following description on your deposit: Address/Liquor. Banking details are as below.
3 - Grant Avenue
You will have noticed a cleaner and more beautiful Grant Avenue of late. That is due to the efforts of committee member Brendan Lombard who manages two cleaners and has worked with businesses to place olive trees in pots on pavements. He will be focusing on a security strategy with CAP and the regularisation of car guards this year. Support his efforts by making a donation with the following description on your deposit: Address/Grant.
4 - We will continue to...
Beautify and maintain Norwood Park and The Gardens Conservancy (committee member Brett McDougall).
Run events that bring feet to Grant Avenue and activate Norwood Park (committee member Nadine Hocter).
Challenge illegal building and object to town planning applications that derogate from our neighbourhood (committee member Brett McDougall).
Escalate service delivery failures within the City.
We need your assistance! Please pay your subs or make a donation!
Norwood Oaklands Residents Association
FNB Cheque Account Number: 62623487619
Branch Code: 254 005
City Releases Properties in Orange Grove and Houghton for Development
Posted 03 April 2019
The City of Johannesburg has released a large number of properties in Orange Grove and Upper Houghton for development. An extract for these properties, the City's intention, and the development rights is available here: https://we.tl/t-Z67sEREtdQ
Oaklands Residents Vote to Join NORA
Posted 31 March 2019
At a well attended meeting held at Old Eds on Wednesday 20 March, Oaklands residents overwhelmingly voted to join the Norwood Orchards Residents Association. NORA has previously indicated three conditions for Oaklands joining the Association. These are:
1 - Oaklands residents will contribute subs.
2 - Oaklands residents will participate on the NORA committee.
3 - Oaklands residents will support the proposal in large numbers.
The intention to include Oaklands in the Norwood Orchards Residents Associaton will now be put to NORA at a Special General Meeting, to be held on 3 June. Should NORA vote to include Oaklands, then a new constitution will be put to the Special General Meeting for the newly combined residents association.
Further details will follow in due course.
NORA Reports Back on a Successful Year
Posted 20 March 2019
At last night's AGM Chairman Brett McDougall gave an update on NORA's activities over the last year. Here is the presentation:
Property Valuations - the Section 52 appeal process
Posted 08 February 2019
The City of Joburg's processes are confusing at the best of times, but the Section 52 Review process for property valuations takes the cake.
Many of us in the neighbourhood will have received inexplicably high property valuations in 2018. The valuation process was a mess, and the City was deluged with appeals. You should now be receiving the results of the appeals process in the mail.
But, here's the catch... If your appeal was successful, and your property valuation was adjusted downwards, you may now be subjected to ANOTHER review process.
This is an example of a valuation decision notice:
If the notice that you have received looks like this, and you have a Y in the Section 52 Review block, you MUST appeal the decision in order to avoid the Section 52 Review going ahead without your participation, and potentially resulting in the decrease in your valuation being reversed. If this happens, you will receive a backdated bill from the City in a few years' time that may amount to tens of thousands of Rands!
Here's what you need to do:
1 - Download the Appeal form here:
2 - Print it and complete it.
3 - Take the form with the original evidence used in justifying a lower valuation, and new covering letter providing context, to the Valuation Dept on the 1st Floor, Jorrissen Place, 66 Jorrissen Streeet, Braamfontein.
4 - Make sure you get confirmation that you handed it in and do not miss the deadline (stated on your Notice received from the City).
5 - Keep all your documents and receipts safe - you will need them in a few years time at the Appeal Board.
Somebody in the City is lying about property hijackings in Orange Grove
Posted 01 February 2019
Orange Grove is under siege as property hijackers occupy properties owned by the City of Johannesburg. There are hundreds of illegal electricity and water connections, and rubbish lines the street. So what is the City doing about it? It depends on who you believe... The Chief Executive Officer of the Joburg Property Company (who own and manage City properties) says that NO legal action will be taken. She is contradicted by the City's spokesperson. Who is telling the truth and who is lying? And do any of them care about our neighbourhood and its residents? Read The Star article published today, and then the follow up correspondence with the City's spokesperson to find out.
DA-controlled City of Joburg's incompetence and lies endanger our neighbourhood
Posted 15 January 2019
Our neighbourhood has been the victim of severe flooding since 2015. Homes in Orchards have been made uninhabitable, and erosion along the Orange Grove Spruit in The Gardens has destroyed infrastructure and threatens lives and property too. This has been highlighted to our councillor and the Johannesburg Roads Agency, and escalated up to Mayoral level with no success.
The matter of Hilson Bridge highlights the City's incompetence and lies:
Incidentally, the announcement of no funding was received a day after another devastating flood hit our neighbourhood. These pictures show how storm water drains have disintegrated, and how close the Hilson Bridge and The Avenue are to collapse.
Why should our neighbourhood be voting for the DA in the coming elections when we are treated with such disdain?
JDA Provides an Update on the Paterson Park Recreation Centre
Posted 05 October 2018
The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) provided an update on the redevelopment of the Paterson Park Recreation Centre on Wednesday the 3rd of October. The update was in response to widespread dissatisfaction on how long the redevelopment is taking.
The Paterson Park Recreation Centre used to be the vibrant heart of the community of Orange Grove and Norwood, and hosted community meetings, art and craft classes and various sporting disciplines. In 2014 the City announced that it would be redeveloping the Centre to accommodate the Corridors of Freedom initiative. The upgrade was promised to be complete by the end of 2016. Two years after that date the area is an abandoned construction site.
What went wrong?
The JDA's procurement policies and lax project management are to blame. Rembu, who submitted the cheapest bid to the tender, was appointed to do the construction. This relatively unknown construction firm, with offices in Bloemfontein and Polokwane and with a track record in winning government tenders, was deemed capable of delivering a project exceeding R150m in value. The JDA did not seem to question why more established construction companies had submitted bids at higher value, and appointed Rembu.
Three years later the JDA presentation of work performed to date is littered with defects. In the case of the historic pavilion, the construction firm and architects could not read their own plans and removed and destroyed historic door frames. Very little remains of this heritage building.
Where to from here?
Another construction firm will now be appointed to complete the work. The JDA estimates this will be completed by the end of next year, but we have lost faith in their ability to estimate anything with accuracy.
The disaster at the Recreation Centre is just one in a series of disasters the JDA has been associated with in our neighbourhood. At the Orchards Clinic, the engineer appointed under-designed the building resulting in it being structurally unsafe. Remedial work has had to be done and the building will now only be complete in early 2019, several years behind schedule. In the meantime, building rubble lines pavements on BOTH sides of Oaklands Road, making it impossible to use by pedestrians.
At Paterson Park North, the historic stone gate posts were damaged by a construction vehicle. The JDA assumed these could be removed even though no heritage impact assessment indicating the intended removal existed.
Work on Louis Botha Avenue by the JDA resulted in huge mounds of sand being pushed to the edge of the Orange Grove Waterfall. Not only did this threaten to destroy the Waterfall, but erosion would have silted up the Orange Grove Stream in Paterson Park where the JDA had spent millions of Rand daylighting the stream. When this was brought to their attention, no response was received, and the matter had to be escalated to obtain acknowledgement from the JDA.
In Norwood the JDA created huge expectations with a Grant Avenue Precinct Plan, and then abandoned the neighbourhood, with no funding in sight.
Perhap our neighbourhood would be better off if the City did not spend any money on projects here!
Norwood honours the spirit of Nelson Mandela
Posted 17 July 2018
On Sunday the 15th of June, the Norwood Orchards Residents Association honoured the spirit of Nelson Mandela by renovating the ablution block in Norwood Park, and giving the Park some TLC. Look at the amazing results!
The High Street Canyon is finally fixed, and there are now lights in Norwood Park!
Posted 12 July 2018
After over 6 months of logging calls, constant follow up, and two letters to the Mayor, the canyon in the pavement at the corner of High and African has been repaired, and Norwood Park lights are now working. See the letter that got the job done...
NORA requests the Mayor's intervention to reinstate pavements on The Avenue and African Street
Posted 3 April 2018
Having exhausted all other channels open to us, we have been forced to request the Mayor's urgent intervention in having pavements on The Avenue and African Street reinstated. Read our letter here...
An Open Letter to Councillor David Fisher
Posted 13 January 2018
The areas that NORA represents – Norwood, Orchards, The Gardens and Cheltondale – fall under two wards, 73 and 74. Councillor Fisher was elected to represent Ward 74 in the 2016 local government elections, and Councillor Huggett was elected in the Ward 73 by-election in early 2017. Dealing with two councillors is not necessarily ideal, but it has brought into relief their relative performance. While new to the job, Councillor Huggett has made every effort to get up to speed on neighbourhood issues, to attend our monthly meetings, and to escalate all matters brought to her attention until they are resolved. We, unfortunately, cannot say the same for Councillor Fisher. While we regret having to expose these matters in an open letter, we have been left no choice as Councillor Fisher and his political head, Mervyn Cirota, have been unresponsive to our concerns.
On his election in 2016, we briefed Councillor Fisher on issues facing our neighbourhood and asked that he tackle these as a matter of urgency. Most important of these is the impact of flooding in Orchards and The Gardens. We had first highlighted serious erosion at the Hilson Bridge on The Avenue in January 2015. In correspondence since then, and which I will gladly make available to anyone interested, we brought the matter to the attention of our Councillors (first Cooper and then Fisher), the JRA and City Heritage (as the Bridge is a heritage structure), and raised it in the City’s IDP sessions. Erosion has worsened after each flood, and the floods of November 2016 and November 2017 not only almost destroyed the Bridge, but made as many as 15 home between Louis Road and Oakland Road in Orchards virtually uninhabitable.
We were heartened when the City agreed to allocate an amount R7.5m to the erosion issue at Hilson Bridge in April 2017, but every month since then has brought just broken promises. And until December 2017, there was no response from the City to the plight of residents whose homes have been ruined in Orchards.
So where has Councillor Fisher been in all of this? I’m sorry to say – Absent. Here are the facts:
This is not what we expect of our publicly elected representatives.
We are no longer politely asking Councillor Fisher to represent those that voted him into power, here are our DEMANDS:
If these demands are not met, NORA will be encouraging residents of Ward 74 to make their unhappiness known at the next opportunity at the ballot box. We are not voting cattle. We will not vote for representatives and parties that do not treat us with respect and do not serve us.
I look forward to a positive outcome on the matters raised.
Councillor Fisher responds to our open letter
Posted 2`1 January 2018
Our response to Councillor Fisher's letter
Posted 2`1 January 2018
We have attached two sets of communication with Councillor Fisher, who claims to be unfairly accused of neglect of his duties in the NORA suburbs in Ward 74. The first is e-mail correspondence expressing frustration on lack of response on matters brought to his attention, and includes Councillor Fisher's "pro-poor" defense of his position. The second is extracts from WhatsApp conversations in which Councillor Fisher regularly just ignored reasonable requests.
You be the judge...
NORA Connects Local Suppliers with our Community
Posted 14 November 2017
The Norwood Orchards Residents Association has partnered with Versofy to connect our community to local suppliers. Finding a supplier has never been easier - simply describe the service you're looking for and the price you're prepared to pay, we'll find the suppliers that match those requirements! No more sifting through pages of results to keep track of contact details and quotes! Versofy's quality rating, negotiation and messaging systems will help you choose the best person for the job. Finding a supplier has never been easier!
Excited as we are?
Need to know more?
Want to register as a Supplier?
October News Update
Posted 22 October 2017
The Norwood Orchards Residents Association has been hard at work since Love Norwood Day!
Here is a summary of what we have been busy on:
We have unfortunately had to appeal the Paterson Park Municipal Planning Tribunal decision.
We have made a number of improvements to Norwood Park.
We have three exciting events lined up this week: the launch of Short Road Park, Grant Avenue Clean Up, and Halloween on Grant.
Paterson Park Planning Tribunal set for 13 July 2017
Posted 20 June 2017
The long awaited Tribunal for the proposed rezoning applictions to allow for the residential development of Paterson Park has been set out for 13 July. All the information needed including the 'Power of Substitution Document' can be found on the event link below:
Tribunal Details are as follows:
o A site inspection commences at 09h30 on 13 July 2017, from 6 Pine Road, Orchards.
o The Tribunal commences later in the day at the Metro Centre in Braamfontein.
o All other important details are contained in the notice itself.
NORA Annual General Meeting - 27 March 2017
Posted 9 March 2017
Residents of Norwood, Orchards, The Gardens and Cheltondale were invited to join their neighbors for the annual NORA AGM.
Date: Monday, 27 March
Venue: The Factory, corner of Nellie Road and Grant Avenue, Norwood
1 – Presentation of the Chairman’s Report
2 – Presentation of the Annual Financial Statements
3 – Election of Committee Members
4 – Fibrehoods Progress Update
The Chairmans Report and Annual Financial Statements have been prepared and are published to our AGM event page.
NORA Public Meeting - Paterson Park Update on 23 January 2017
Posted 7 January 2017
Be an informed and involved resident, and have a say in your neighbourhood’s future by attending this meeting!
22 December 2016 Update and Public Meeting
We are pleased to report that our engagement with the City on the proposed development of Paterson Park has been productive. Our input into the proposals has resulted in many important changes to the plan.
The changes demonstrate our communities concerns about the proposed development and are now more sensitive to the existing urban fabric of Norwood.
NORA will be holding a public meeting on Monday, 23 January 2017 at 18h00 to update residents on the development application changes, and to provide a roadmap of future activities.
We have published a detailed summary of the changes on the Paterson Park plan.
NORA Call to Action- Flood Response Meeting
Posted 18 November 2016
We invite all residents of Norwood and Orchards directly affected by the recent floods to join us for a Closed Community Meeting. We will discuss the impact and possible collective responses that we as a community may take to ensure the future safety of our homes, our loved ones and our beloved neighbourhood.
Date: Monday, 21 November 2016
Time: 18:30 for 19:00 – 21:00
Location: 59 Grant Ave. (Fight Sports Centre) - above the butcher next to the Super Quick.
Agenda to come. Contact: RSVP or send queries to:
High Speed Internet Roll-out Update
Posted 10 October 2016
Fibre hoods has now planned their rollout of the Fibre network to our suburbs.
The targeted date for first home to be live was met at the end August 2016 and it is anticipated that all homes and businesses will be passed by the Fibre network by March 2017.
Click here to follow the network deployment progress.
Love Norwood Day - A great success
Posted 11 August 2016
This year’s Love Norwood Day, proudly brought to the neighbourhood by Community Active Protection (CAP) and the Norwood Orchards Residents Association (NORA) on Sunday the 31st of July, was a huge success!
Through the generous support of our sponsors and the hard work of the fundraising committee, the day raised R25,000 for the continued maintenance of Norwood Park!