GSCID reflects on its progress

2018-12-04 06:00
Gregg Huntingford.

Gregg Huntingford.

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The Groote Schuur Community Improvement District prides itself on the progress it has made in curbing homelessness and crime within its precinct.

Chairperson Gregg Huntingford accredited the good work to the management and its team during the annual meeting held at Belmont Square Conference Centre in Rondebosch on Thursday 22 November­. The GSCID has dedicated the past financial year to empowering the homeless using different approaches, which are believed to have also impacted on the decline in crime.

This goes along with their “crime and grime” slogan which promotes security and cleaning.

As part of their long-term goals of providing security and performing to the best of their abilities, the GSCID has launched an advanced camera system monitored by a specialised team.

“Additional cameras, horseboxes and items that focus on a visible presence remain key focal areas. We have used additional foot patrollers and horseboxes to ensure that we aid in our crime-combating modus. The statistics show the GSCID to have seen continued improvement in these statistics,” he says.

Huntingford says that as a non-profit organisation it is their mandate to minimise expenditure.

“Cost escalations have been monitored with scrutiny, and operational efficiencies continue to be the focus. The financial statements for the year under review reflect a business on a solid footing with ample reserves.”

He says the objective is to minimise expenditure and match this with income by way of a levy on the rates base. “In an ideal world, we should not make a profit. Currently we have an annual cash flow of approximately R7m which is focused entirely on running costs of which circa 70% is spent on security and cleaning.”

The GSCID reportedly made a profit of R900 000, made possible through a large contribution from the recovery of arrears and tight control on operating expenditure.

There are currently nine homeless people working in the Straatwerk programme who sleep within the GSCID boundary. At the meeting, Nina Farrell, the GSCID manager, gave the highlights of their successes, saying that no children are permanently sleeping in the GSCID precinct. When found they are sent home immediately and, as for the adults, the GSCID creates piece jobs through the Straatwerk programme and has been working closely with nine of the 23 homeless people sleeping in the area. The programme has given these homeless persons access to food hampers and clothing items to keep them warm during the winter season.

During the course of the year, GSCID also did charity work including painting the Gingerbread House Crèche, gardening services in the areas surrounding Rondebosch Library, and the removal of a total of 678 graffiti works.

They are also in the process of empowering six Chrysalis Academy interns to undertake a variety of useful tasks under the direction of the GSCID’s social outreach manager, Ingrid Frieslaar.

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