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Our lockdown response and meeting another member of our community

Crime reported in March 2020

Housebreaks (residential)
Benade Drive
Van der Linde Street
Willie du Plessis Road
Amie Pretorius Road

Housebreaks (businesses)
Usmar Street
George Smetham Street

Theft from motor vehicles
Gustav Crescent

Theft of motor vehicles
Benade Drive

What we did in 35 days of lockdown

During this challenging COVID-19 pandemic, our FNA structure that we built over the last 10 years, served us well. Our security managers gave us peace of mind during this lockdown. We thank Vicus, Malcolm, Marius and Jeandré for attending to 81 cases, including assistance with two medical emergencies.

The FNA did preventative maintenance on problematic sewer systems in Fichardt Park. The following streets were serviced: Du Plooy Crescent, Fonternel Street, Van Rippen Crescent, Benade Drive and Stollreither Street. We extend our gratitude to Drain Busters for providing this service.

On 6th April the FNA removed twelve loads of illegally dumped waste in Fichardt Park. Thank you to Waste Retrievers who assisted the FNA with this task.

The FNA, in co-operation with Ryan Hamaty from Saverite, are reaching out to the community in Fichardt Park during the lockdown period. We’ve put together a R250 food hamper and request residents to contribute to this important initiative which was launched on the 25th of April 2020.  We have started to distribute these food hampers amongst the people in Fichardt Park who are in need of essential goods. For more information, visit our Facebook page

Those who received love are invincible.

Thank you for your continuous support.

Fichardt Park is a place to be!

Jacques Meiring

COVID-19: a look into the future (opinion piece)

As we enter level four of the COVID-19 lockdown, we are not much closer to a cure or vaccine. There is a lot of false information in circulation and people are getting desperate. There is both fear and frustration in the air and maybe a bit of despair for the dream of a return to normalcy becomes ever dimmer. However, this article is not about cabin fever, poverty, economic ruin and death but rather about what we’ve gained and learned as we head into the next phase of lockdown.

Our leaders

Citizens of the world have become heavily reliant on their leaders for guidance and reassurance during this time, and South Africa is no exception. Our government reacted quicker that other countries after the first reported case – this showed that our president puts citizen’s lives above the economy and, in large part, continues to do so.

Where many have despaired in the past about our government’s incompetency in service delivery, corruption, crime, poverty and homelessness, the government’s actions during this crisis paint a different picture. For example, municipalities across the country have shown that they have the ability to house thousands of homeless people within 21 days – either by constructing or identifying shelters. According to the Daily Maverick “Lesufi (Gauteng acting social development MEC) said it would be “a miscarriage of justice” if people were put back onto the streets after the lockdown.” An attitude sorely absent from public rhetoric about the homeless in past years.

Positive impact on the economy

Things are looking pretty bleak for our economy because of the lockdown. Many of you will not be receiving a salary this May and the new three-phase economic response might not instil any immediate feelings of relief. However, the lockdown has presented an opportunity to restructure our economy as a whole – but this is not all. An organic boost to the economy has come to the foreground – the technology industry.

Technological innovation and development have been forced to accelerate due to the nature of the COVID-19 crisis. Virtual service delivery and tools, such as online medical consults and online learning, are now in great demand and as a result, various industries have needed to develop and employ this technology earlier than expected. In the long run, this means job creation. In February of this year, before a state of disaster was even a thought, SADA (South Africa in the Digital Age initiative) estimated that 500,000 new jobs in the tech-industry will be created over the next 10 years. This timeline might be accelerating; we might soon be seeing a larger tech work force that does not exclude low-skilled labourers (a general misconception). 

The new normal

I think we’ve learned that people in general have a greater capacity for kindness and compassion for their fellow citizens than previously thought. Communities have come together regardless of race or religion to help those in need and gang leaders have even called truces to provide support to their communities. All violent crimes have dropped; crimes such as murder and rape have dropped between 70-90%. Police Minister Bheki Cele attributes this, in large part, to higher police visibility, the ban on alcohol sales and a drastic decrease in the distribution of illegal substances. This is not the new normal but it shows our potential. Additionally, we’ve learned that working from home for some is not impossible and this greatly benefits our planet. We’ve gained some perspective on the plight of others in our community. We’ve been forced out of the daily hustle and bustle and gained a lot of time for introspection. Moreover, we’ve become conscious of things and people we’ve taken for granted.

It’s easy to get caught up in conspiracy theories, the words of doomsayers, the struggles of the here and now, and the fear of the future’s worst-case scenario. However, sooner than you think, we’ll be hugging and shaking hands again and thinking back on that time the whole world was on lockdown.

Chanté van Biljon

Member profile: Palesa Ranchobe

FNA members are our foundation; they allow us to ensure the safety of our neighbourhood, keep our streets and parks clean, and assist those in need. Therefore, we love to share their stories with our community.

Meet Palesa Ranchobe. She’s a wife, mother and aspiring fashion designer. In 2018, Palesa started at Bloemfontein Fashion Academy. She enjoys designing clothing for women and children, especially for her daughter. Furthermore, she has a taste for colour and pattern.

The FNA wishes her all the luck in the pursuit of her passion.

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