Tag Archives: geocentric

Q1 REVIEW, WINTER PREPARATION & WHEELIE BIN SAFETY

As we move into the cooler months, we’re looking back and highlighting the efforts made during Q1 to keep the Beaconvale City Improvement District a safe and clean place to live, work and visit. At this time, we also start preparing for winter with all the necessary maintenance to public space, and we ask you to take care of your property and business by doing the same. Lastly, we offer our safety tips for your wheelie bin, which can become a security hazard, especially as our daylight hours decrease.

Looking back at Q1

For Quarter One 2024, we focused on maintaining a safe environment through our security initiatives, which include ensuring bin-pickers and loiterers are monitored and dealt with.  Additionally, the Beaconvale City Improvement District’s cleanliness was a priority, with our cleaning services ensuring a well-maintained space through initiatives such as emptying public bins on time and cleaning public gutters when needed. You can learn more about what we accomplished this quarter below.

On the ground report from our CID manager

Our CID manager shares a positive incident dealth with by the CID this quarter below.

“We noticed on camera a commotion in front of Liquor King 22 Connaught Road. Zero dispatched both response vehicles to check. We noticed a man with a knife in his hand fighting with a lady, who was already bleeding from his stomach. Response informed us that both the man and woman were drunk and fighting over money. Zero informed the police and obtained a reference number. The man refused medical attention for the wound. Police took too long to respond. Our officers managed to get the knife out of the man’s hand and calm him down. We also managed to calm the situation down and they decided to leave.”

wheelie bin safety + how to replace your wheelie bin

Wheelie Bin Safety

Learn how to keep your wheelie bin and property safe, or replace a lost bin, with these helpful tips.

Keeping your wheelie bin secure benefits both you and the community. Clearly marking your bin with your house number or address increases the chances of its safe return if it gets misplaced. But security goes beyond just the bin itself. To ensure your overall safety, be mindful of what you throw away. Avoid discarding medication bottles with your name or address visible. Shred any personal documents before disposal to prevent identity theft.

Bin placement also plays a role in security. Leaving your wheelie bin too close to walls or fences creates a potential climbing aid for trespassers. Ideally, store your bin in a designated area, like a garage or shed, whenever possible. If not, position it in a well-lit, open area away from fences and walls. By following these simple tips, you can keep your wheelie bin secure and reduce potential security risks around your property.

Winter Readiness

The crisp air and cosy vibes of winter are fast approaching, but so are the challenges of rain, wind and potential disruptions. Don’t get caught off guard! We’ve got you covered with essential tips to navigate the season seamlessly. 

From keeping your property prepared and business functioning smoothly, to staying safe on the roads, these handy suggestions will help you embrace the winter flow. 

Welcoming 2024 – Let’s Create a Better Beaconvale Together

Working together with residents, local businesses and urban management specialists to create a rich urban environment where the Beaconvale community can thrive, we – the Beaconvale Improvement District – welcome 2024 with the new challenges and opportunities it will provide. Together with the City of Cape Town, our partners, outreach initiatives and you, we will continue to strive towards reinvigorating our urban environment.

Aligned in our collective mission, we are committed to cultivating a thriving urban ecosystem that is safe, accessible and inviting to all the workers, visitors and community members of our district. We are unwavering in our commitment to the property and business owners of our area and intend to consolidate and elevate our services based on the successes of last year.

Please feel free to contact us at any time with queries or concerns and be reminded of our 24-hour security control room number for public safety incidents.

For Public Safety Emergencies Contact

24-hour Geocentric Control Room: 021 565 0900

Let’s embark on this journey together, embracing the challenges and opportunities that 2024 presents, as we collectively shape the future of our Beaconvale community. Together we can create a stable, safe, clean area that is prosperous for our community both economically and socially.

Safety & Fire During the Hot, Dry and Windy Cape Town Summer Months

Cape Town fire season occurs from November through May. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe.

Cape Town is notoriously prone to wildfires that occur in natural vegetation when it is hot and dry in the summer months, which coincide with the windy season – creating ideal conditions for wildfires to occur and quickly get out of control. This season has already been earmarked to be the worst fire season in 8 years.

Cape Town fires are particularly common in the Table Mountain National Park due to the natural conditions in our fynbos ecosystem. But, homes and businesses are not exempt from danger, as any fire can spread quickly and far – up to tens of kilometres from the source. It is most important to keep your home, family and business safe, protecting life and property, as our urban living spaces share a boundary with the national parks in many parts of Cape Town and the Western Cape.

By 18 January 2024, there had been a total of 22 new fire incidents, with SANParks firefighting teams demonstrating swift response and effective containment. This influx has occurred particularly in the southern section of Table Mountain National Park, in Kalk Bay, Oceanview and Red Hill areas, as well as in the north of the park, in the Signal Hill and Pipe Track areas, posing significant risk to the communities living adjacent to the park, particularly with hot temperatures and strong wind conditions being experienced.

Fire Safety Precautions & Interventions

In Cape Town, there are various organisations in place to manage fire safety and interventions that should be taken, both to avoid fire and to control it when it happens. 

Home and work checklist for fire safety

  • Always have a “grab bag” with your important documents in it such as birth certificates and passports.
  • Make sure that all your insurance documents and other important documentation are backed up securely to the cloud.
  • Assign tasks to family members or staff such as placing pets or kids in the car and driving them to safety at a friend’s house out of smoke danger.
  • Run fire drills so that everyone is prepared in an emergency.
  • If you need to stay and help fight fires, cover your head, nose and mouth and protect your eyes with goggles. Wear good shoes and gloves.
  • Wetting the roof and gutters can stop hot ash from burning the roof.
  • Keep grass cut as short grass helps slow down fire.
  • Keep a hose pipe rolled up and ready to put out fires.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in kitchens and train staff or family members how to use it.
  • If you volunteer on the mountain in a wildfire, take a spade  –  this helps to beat out fire or throw sand on smouldering grass tufts.
  • Always remember, your safety is first and if you are not properly trained, call for assistance. 

Each year, the City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service contracts the use of two Huey helicopters and a Cessna 182 spotter plane to support its firefighting efforts. These aircraft allow for mountain wildfires to be combated in inaccessible areas that pose a serious risk to property and life.

For the first time since using the aerial appliances, they are now branded this season, clearly identifiable as City resources.

Emergency & Contact information

Fire and Rescue Service Department

24-hour emergencies:

Telephone: 107 (landline) or 021 480 7700 (cellphone)

General fire safety enquiries:

Telephone: 021 590 1971 / 021 590 1975

To report a fire in the Table Mountain National Park

Please call:

  • Hotline: 086 110 6417 or
  • The City’s Regional Fire Control No: (021) 590 1900
  • Newlands Fire Base: Tel: +27(0) 21 689 7438

Fire Prevention Tips

There are simple preventatives we can all pay heed to – such as not lighting a fire or braai on a hot and windy day, and never extinguishing a cigarette out of doors, such as out of a car window, in grass or when hiking.

For property owners, ember-proofing any area requires the removal of all flammable plants up to 7m from a building, as well as overhanging branches. Checking and cleaning gutters and roofing for debris is important too. 

Other interventions that you can implement on a larger scale include considering your construction materials if you are remodelling and supplementing them for fire-resistant alternatives. You should also ensure full continued compliance with all local and national fire safety codes and think about installing fire protection systems such as overhead sprinklers. 

Unfortunately, despite all the precautions, a fire can happen to any size business at any time. That is why protecting your employees and your property should be a top priority. Following the above steps will help you avoid any fires breaking out and minimise fire-related damages. While there may be no such thing as truly “fireproof,” these guidelines are an excellent starting point for safeguarding your business. 

Resources

Western Cape Government

City of Cape Town

Sanparks

Facebook

Beaconvale Improvement District 2023 Roundup

It’s been another year of successes and tackling challenges head-on for the Beaconvale Improvement District. As part of our renewed commitment to public safety and urban cleaning and management, we persist in leading the way toward the continuous improvement of Beaconvale as a thriving business hub.

Our CID team has increased their presence on the ground, resulting in improved statistics across the board for 2023. We’ve driven more kilometres in our patrol vehicles, engaged with more members of the public and attended to more service requests and urban defects than ever before. We’ll continue with this increased presence in the community in 2024 and the years beyond.

This year, with 51 CIDs now in operation in the City of Cape Town, the new CID by-law and policy has come into effect. Geocentric, who has now been working with city improvement district initiatives for more than 2 decades, is proud to be responsible for over 25% of the total CIDs in operation. 

In addition to taking care of the public’s safety and urban cleaning, our CID placed a focus on greening areas across Beaconvale in 2023. These urban beautification projects will be continued throughout 2024, in line with the goal of continuously upgrading our community. 

2023 Beaconvale Improvement District Stats

“Despite the challenges of a struggling economy, ongoing load shedding and higher fuel prices, the aim of the BVID remained focussed on delivering top-up services to the public spaces of Beaconvale throughout the year,” says Gene Lohrentz of Geocentric Urban Management, tasked with the delivery of our City Improvement District services.

The BVID Board and Geocentric management team is committed to finding innovative, efficient and cost-effective ways to continue delivering on the vision for a safer, cleaner, well-maintained and vibrant community.  We look forward to more opportunities to make a tangible difference in 2024.

Meet Our New Manager!

Meet our Beaconvale Improvement District manager! Anton Nell is committed to making Beaconvale better for our community, working tirelessly in his key role at the BVID.⁠

Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

As the festive season approaches, it is essential to prioritise safety at this time, as crime, accidents and fire hazards are usually on the rise during the holiday period.

Being mindful of potential risks and hazards can help safeguard you, your business and your property – from road safety considerations to vigilance against petty crimes in crowded business premises to more serious crimes such as hijacking and robbery. 

Along with keeping your personal safety in mind, if you are a business owner, it is imperative to be vigilant and proactive in implementing strategies that protect your assets, property and staff during the busiest time of year. 


Prevention is better than cure. That’s why we urge property and business owners to make every effort to prepare their properties, businesses, staff and themselves against opportunists and criminals with our safety tips below:

Emergency Numbers

Quick access to relevant emergency numbers can be the difference between life and death. We have compiled a comprehensive list for you to save and share for easy access to these numbers.

Once again, our 24-hour security control room is always available for your public safety emergencies.

Whatsapp group info 

If you’re interested in staying informed about our initiatives, as well as the newest developments in your improvement district, you can become a member of our BVID business WhatsApp group by:

• Sending a WhatsApp message to 081 869 8911.

• You will need to include your Name and Surname or the name of your business

• You will need to include your street address, which should be within the boundary of the CID

• We will add you to the relevant CID Community Group

Rules and regulations for communicating will be stipulated in the group.

Trial By Fire – Fire Safety In Cape Town’s Summer

Cape Town’s fire season occurs from November through to May which are our hottest, and driest months. Together with our beloved south-easterly “Cape Doctor” – which adores clearing our city of pollution – these arid conditions create ideal opportunities for wildfires to spark and quickly rage out of control. 

From our homes and businesses to our beloved Table Mountain National Park, there are various organisations in place to manage fire safety and intervene both to avoid fires and to control them when they happen. 

It’s true that fires are a part of the South African landscape and occur naturally in grasslands, woodlands, fynbos, and sometimes in indigenous forests. However, there has been a disastrous loss of natural diversity in our fynbos ecosystem and an invasion of Australian wattles, Eucalypts and Mediterranean pines. Now, our fires burn hotter for longer and each fire destroys more than the last. Meaning it’s more important now than ever to actively keep your home, family and business safe and to protect the life and value they hold. 

Home and Work Checklist for Fire Safety

  • Ember-proofing any area, requires the removal of all flammable plants up to 7m from a building, as well as overhanging branches. Checking and cleaning gutters and roofing for debris is important too. 
  • Always remember, your safety is first and if you are not properly trained, call for assistance. 
  • Make sure that all your insurance documents and other important documentation are backed up securely to the cloud.
  • Assign tasks to staff and run fire drills so that everyone is prepared in an emergency.
  • If you need to stay and help fight fires, cover your head, nose and mouth and protect your eyes with goggles. Wear good shoes and gloves.
  • If you have access to water, wet the roof and gutters to stop hot ash from burning the roof.
  • Keep grass cut as short as possible as it helps slow the fire.
  • Keep a hose pipe rolled up and ready.
  • Keep fire extinguishers around that are regularly maintained and train your staff on how to use them safely and correctly.

Other interventions that you can implement on a larger scale include considering your construction materials if you are remodelling and supplementing them for fire-resistant alternatives. You should also ensure full continued compliance with all local and national fire safety codes and think about installing fire protection systems such as overhead sprinklers. 

Unfortunately, despite all the precautions, a fire can happen to any size business at any time. That is why protecting your employees and your property should be a top priority. Following the above steps will help you avoid any fires breaking out and minimise fire-related damages. While there may be no such thing as truly “fireproof,” these guidelines are an excellent starting point for safeguarding your business. 

Additional Resources

Preventing fires in the Western Cape

City of Cape Town  –  Basic Household Fire Safety

Fire is Everyone’s Fight Toolkit of guidelines and posters with lesson plans

Sanparks  –  Fire management / Table Mountain National Park Fire Management Plan

Contact information for  the Fire and Rescue Service Department

24-hour emergencies: 107 (landline) or 021 480 7700 (cellphone)

General fire safety enquiries: 021 590 1971 / 021 590 1975

To report a fire : Hotline: 086 110 6417 or The City’s Regional Fire Control No: (021) 590 1900

Top 10 Tips To Keep Your Store Safe This Festive Season

While many of us see the festive season as a time to kick back and relax, for the retail sector it is the busiest time of the year. With high volumes of high-value stock, seasonal staff and more capital flowing through our premises than any other time of the year staying safe is a definite priority. 

Maintaining visibility throughout your store, being alert to suspicious activity and taking precautions during the opening and closing of your facility are excellent places to start. However, there is more you can do to keep yourself, your business and your employees safe this festive season. 

10 Things To Keep Your Store Safe:

  1. Suspicious vehicles  – Be vigilant of what is around your business, especially at opening and closing times.
  2. Suspicious persons – People who intend to shoplift often wear inappropriate clothing for the weather – such as heavy coats during hot days.
  3. Be prepared for a crisis – Having a list of emergency numbers clearly visible means your employees know who to call in an emergent situation.
  4. Be prepared for crime – Placing static panic buttons in strategic areas of your store, like in the cash office, storeroom, or under the till register can help employees call for help in armed robbery scenarios.
  5. Shine a light – Keep the premises well-lit, both inside and out, especially at night so that patrols and security can clearly see potential intruders. 
  6. Travel together – Two or more staff members should leave the premises together at the end of shifts.
  7. Stay visible – Use a clearly public entrance to the business and avoid any secluded entry points not covered by surveillance cameras.
  8. Clean your cameras – Make sure all individuals can be clearly identified by the cameras as the video footage assists the SAPS with investigations.
  9. Test your cameras – Inspect your CCTV cameras regularly, ensuring they are fully functioning without any blind spots.
  10. Deposit cash ASAP – Do not keep a large amount of cash inside the store and change your pattern of banking to avoid being tracked and targeted. 

Sustainable security is a balance between a safety-conscious employee culture, a properly equipped property and employers who prioritise creating a safe working experience. Letting your customers and staff know that you care about their safety this busy season will make your customers feel safe and your staff feel valued – both of which boost your confidence and your bottom line. 

If you have any safety concerns to share, please contact one of the following numbers:

·       10111 – SAPS (South African Police Services)

·        107 – City of Cape Town Disaster Management

·        021 565 0900 – Geocentric Control Room 

Geocentric Launches New App

“As Geocentric we are very proud to launch our new mobile phone reporting application,” said Gene Lohrentz of the urban management company recently. “This is another way in which we are enabling our CID business and property owners to interact with their City Improvement District Management. 

“We want our CID contributors to become part of our family by interacting with us about issues they might encounter.  The mobile application makes that possible on the devices most people have with them every day.” 

Geocentric Reporting App 2

The Geocentric app allows users to easily report issues in the City Improvement Districts managed by Geocentric Urban Management based in South Africa.  Currently the areas covered by this Application include Beaconvale Industrial Area, Elsies River Industrial, Glosderry, Maitland, Salt River, Somerset West CBD, Stikland Industrial, Strand CBD and the Tygervalley CBD.  

With this application users can report urban defects, crime incidents, public safety issues and general comments.  “We will acknowledge your report and provide you with feedback throughout the process.  We will also send you ‘Alerts’ of problems in your CID area, such as water leaks or power outages and we can even send crime alerts and safety tips to your mobile phone. 

The Geocentric Reporting Application is Free of Charge 

Simply install it and register as a user when using it for the first time.  If you need any help, please contact support@geocentric.co.za 

Geocentric Reporting App 1

Let’s get started! 

  • Simply download and install the App from the Google Play or Apple App Store  
  • Register as a user, using the app when you open it for the first time 
  • We will send you a confirmation email and you will have to activate your app by clicking on the activation link in the email – this is to ensure we are dealing with people and not spammers. 
  • Go to your email and verify your email address 
  • Log in and you are ready to go! 

 

Urban Management Trolley Introduced

The Geocentric Urban Management Trolley Project was initiated in 2017. 

The aim of the project is to provide urban cleaning and maintenance teams with a platform to improve their daily tasks, assist with moving of equipment and tools and enable recycling while performing their tasks. 

A few design considerations were introduced into the design of the trolley including 

  • The ability to move heavy loads of litter or recycling from one point to another without effort or potential injury 
  • Create high visibility for the cleaning and maintenance teams 
  • Have quick and easy access to tools and equipment 
  • The ability, even when fully loaded, to easy ascend and descend kerbs and sidewalks 
  • Be able to separate waste as they work to support the recycling initiative 

To achieve some of these design principles, Geocentric looked at simple solutions from other designs, for example, the stair-climbing suitcases used by so many travellers.  By scaling up the design for the urban management trolleys, we could produce a sidewalk and pavement climbing trolley where the urban management worker needs minimum effort to get onto and off pavements to perform their duties.  

(See photos of step 1, 2 and 3 illustrating this concept.) 

step1

step2

step3

The trolleys were also designed to be pushed from any side with key tools located in the middle so that it is in fact easy to use it for a two-man team operation.  On each side of the trolley a plastic tool box allows storage for small tools. 

Recyclables like tin cans, glass and plastic bottles are collected by the urban management workers throughout the day as they clean the streets and public spaces and at the end of each day they separate the items into baskets whereafter Geocentric recycles the items. 

trolley 4 trolley 5

This is another way in which we make CID operations more sustainable and environmentally friendly as we prevent a vast amount of waste from simply going to landfills. 

trolley 6

Geocentric have rolled out these trollies in the Elsies River and Beaconvale City Improvement Districts and plan to roll them out to all the other CIDs under Geocentric management through the course of 2018. 

Beaconvale gaining ground

Thanks to the commitment of all who are involved in the Beaconvale Improvement District drive, strides of progress are being made in various ways. 

The accompanying images tell the story of how problems like illegal dumping and the confiscation of stolen trolleys and wheelie-bins are successfully addressed by the teams. 

The Public Safety issues that are addressed during the day-to-day activities, include problems related to the following:  

  • Illegal Dumping 
  • Engaging with the public (public safety officers engage with all people in the public space to ensure that everyone is aware of the BVID’s presence and activities. This is done in conjunction with and in support of the law enforcement officer seconded to the Stikland CID, who oversees such activities. If something suspicious is found, the Law Enforcement Officer and/or SAPS act accordingly. 
  • Bin scratching  
  • CCTV visuals followed up if necessary  
  • Trolley and wheelie-bin confiscation 

 trolley abuse1 trolley abuse2

The Cleaning issues include: 

  • Litter picking 
  • De-weeding 
  • Sweeping streets 

cleaning1 cleaning2 cleaning3 cleaning4

On the Urban management side, the BVID Management continues to log all urban and infrastructure defects as C3* notifications with the City of Cape Town for correction. (*This is a system introduced by the City of Cape Town by which the public can report urban defects / problems / law enforcement issues – to them via various platforms, such as sms (31373 – all issues except electrical and 31220 for electrical issues), call centre (086 103 089) and e-mail. (https://www.capetown.gov.za/en/ServiceRequests/Pages/default.aspx) 

collaborating with CCT(2) collaborating with CCT(1)