Save Our Berea campaign steps up efforts to achieve targets

2014-03-05 00:00

THE Save Our Berea campaign, which was launched at a “Monster Meeting” last November is gearing up for another public meeting to be held before the end of the month.

At the November meeting the Save Our Berea working committee were given a mandate from Berea residents to engage with city officials and raise concerns on a number of local issues.

Cheryl Johnson, a committee member and a driving force behind the campaign, urged those present to become involved in the fight to save “our once beautiful Berea”.

“We set out to engage with senior city officials to work out solutions to various issues raised at the meeting by the 400 residents who attended,” Johnson said yesterday.

Since that first meeting the working committee has either met with or had communication with a number of city officials, including senior manager in the city’s Land Use Management Branch, Lekha Allopi, to discuss various issues of concern to Berea residents.

Yesterday the working committee met with the city’s deputy head of architecture, Jonathan Etkins. “It was an uplifting meeting,” said Johnson. “We felt he really understood Berea residents’ problems and ‘spoke the same language’ as we do.

“We feel we can work with him for the betterment of our Berea — in fact our entire city.”

Some of the issues taken up by the Save Our Berea working committee to date include:

• The new development at 240 St Thomas Road where building was halted until plans were properly approved;

• 10 Poynton Place campaign to oppose a re-zoning application. The committee helped in getting 45 objections lodged against the re-zoning application;

• 340 Stephen Dlamini (Essenwood) Road, where deviation from approved plans and other issues are currently under intense investigation.

“We also made it our business to openly support, highlight and praise residents and city officials alike when they get things right,” said Johnson. “We are sensitive to us not just becoming another group only criticising without acknowledging the good by offering some solutions.”

The campaign working committee is meeting with city manager Sibusiso Sithole on Friday, March 7. “After that meeting we will announce a date for our next Monster Meeting to provide feedback to residents,” said Johnson.

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