EMERGENCY: 0762773022

Member stories

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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Members with incredible stories

Crime reported in October 2019

Amie Pretorius Street
Schickerling Street
Van der Linde Street
Steenkamp Crescent

Theft of motor vehicles
Corners of Ferreira and Van der Linde Street

Theft from motor vehicles
Stollreither Street

Attmpted theft of motor vehicles
Saverite (Le Clus Street)

Attempted theft from motor vehicles
George Smettam Street

Municipal fault report and emergency numbers

Sewerage, Water leaks, pipe bursts, Conventional water meters, open manholes, drain covers, Traffic lights, Potholes, blocked stormwater drains, Fallen trees: 0800 111 300 or 051 412 4000

Any Prepaid water meter fault: 076 342 1314

Any Prepaid Centlec meter fault: 051 430 9050 or 051 412 2600 or 051 409 2334

Centlec Call Centre, for any other electrical fault or power outage: 0860 076 937 or 051 409 2345

Noise disturbance: 051 406 6452 or 051 405 8771

Municipal Police: 051 405 8771

Park Road Police Station: 051 507 6000

Reaction Squad: 051 412 6800 or 051 412 6801

Traffic Department: 051 409 0444

Fire Brigade Control Centre: 051 406 6666 or 051 409 9600

MMM Disaster Management Control Centre: 051 409 9107

Rosepark Ambulance Service: 051 505 5200

Environmental Health Department: 051 400 5300 or 051 400 5301

SPCA: 051 447 3801

Report any service delivery issues directly to the Free State Public Protector, Adv. Erika Cilliers

Tel: 051 448 6172
Cell: 081 015 9888
Fax: 086 626 0773
Email: erikac@pprotect.org

The second saga for one of Fichardt Park’s triplets

The residents of Fichardt Park can hardly be blamed if they start to think there is a superhuman in the neighbourhood named Deacon; a type of manic “over-achiever” who excels at everything from book writing and education, to wildlife and pasture science, while at the same time being renowned for his practice as a medical doctor. Could it be that one person has already achieved so much?

But of course, there is not just one Deacon in the Fichardt Park area. And would you believe it, there are not only two, but three! And they are all brothers – medical and academic doctors. Look, it is impressive, and as if that wasn’t enough, all three brothers stay right next to each other (our condolences to the poor postman who has to deal with these three brothers!)

In a family of achievers, it’s hard to stand out but the Deacon family is not your everyday family, and Jaco Deacon is definitely not an everyday person. So, it’s no wonder he just received his second (his first award was in 2017) Education Leadership Award at the World Education Congress for Excellence, which took place earlier this year in Mumbai, India. But this is not just any award; nominees are made up of the world’s most renowned experts. It is carefully judged by an international panel of education experts, who designate the winner for excellence in educational leadership and teaching. This year, representatives from 32 countries attended the conference.

Of course, Jaco has long been involved in education as Deputy CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS), although he has been a labour law practitioner for the past 11 years. FEDSAS is a voluntary association of school governing bodies of more than 2 000 public schools.

But Jaco, who is increasingly making an indispensable contribution to education, took a long detour to end up in this field. He received his law degree from the University of the Free State, focusing, in particular, on labour law and alternative dispute resolution. Jaco served as a senior lecturer in labour law at the UFS Law Faculty at one time and is still involved with the Centre for Labour Law.

And of course, he handles all these responsibilities while fully involved in FEDSAS – and receiving international awards. His expertise and reputation actually extend so far that in 2008 he was appointed by the Minister of Labour to serve on a task team to review labour laws.

Dr Jaco Deacon is married to Tamari, a teacher, and lives together with their three children, Franco (14), Sune (12) and Hannes (8), right next to his two brothers! Jaco is also the chair of the governing body of Fichardtpark Primary School.

We wish Dr Jaco Deacon and his family all the best for the future. But our sympathy still goes out to the poor postman who has to provide these three brothers with their mail.

65 years of Tienie and Adelaide

Tienie and Adelaide Bierman celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on 2 October. After being contacted by Elsa Vermeelen who took their anniversary photos, I was allowed the opportunity to sit down with the couple and their daughters (Lize and Alda) to talk about their life and love.
Fresh out of high school, Tienie (from Harrismith) and Adelaide (from Vereeniging) fell in love. It started off as a workplace romance in 1950, where both Tienie and Adelaide did clerical work at the Receiver of Revenue in Vereeniging. And about two years thereafter, the two were married.

Tienie’s occupation moved them to various towns around the country from 1968 until they finally settled in Bloemfontein in 1982. They moved into their Fichardt Park home that year and still reside there today. They recalled that during that time there were only a few houses in Fichardt Park and that the Pick ‘n Pay Hyper that we know today was still under construction.

In commemorating such an anniversary, the question on everyone’s mind is their secret to success. For Tienie, the key to a long and happy marriage is patience and mutual respect. For Adelaide, their marriage was bound by teamwork. She emphasised that everything they did, they did as a team. Furthermore, for her there was never a time where they were so upset with each other that one wanted to kick the other out of the house. In Adelaide’s words: “Jy loop dikbek tot julle weer vriendelik is.”

It was indeed an inspiration to meet two such people and the FNA wishes them many prosperous years together.

Chanté van Biljon

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Fichardt Park’s fight against crime

We all need to live and work in a safe environment. In 2014, the Fichardt Park Neighbourhood Association launched our 100% Crime Free Plan. This plan has grown so that we have service level agreements with 7 different security companies today. The cornerstone of this crime plan is the South African Police Service Parkway’s Community Police Forum. This is where crime information is shared and patrols and roadblocks are planned.

It is precisely during these crime prevention patrols that it became clear that much can still be done to create our own crime-free environment. There are too many open gates and garages observed during these patrols. It is each resident’s responsibility to protect his property against crime. This includes movable property such as motor vehicles. Our residents can help by getting involved in our patrols.

Most crimes are committed throughout the day and are opportunistic crimes. Fichardt Park’s crime pattern clearly shows that where there is a lot of human movement there is a higher crime risk. Our malls, hospital and social venues are targeted by these opportunity criminals.

Patrols are the backbone of any good crime prevention plan. Our security team drives an average of 25,000 km of patrols per month. There has been a sharp decline in Fichardt Park’s crime rate since 2014. This is clear evidence that Fichardt Park Neighbourhood Association is doing everything in its power to secure Fichardt Park. Our security team is working on our dream every day to make Fichardt Park a 100% crime-free neighbourhood.

High risk areas currently:

  • Outside Rosepark Hospital: Theft of motor vehicles, theft from cars and the illegal parking of cars.
  • Pick ‘n Pay Southern Centre: Bank Card Theft.
  • Home burglaries: Homes that do not have active alarm systems are targeted.

Do not become part of the crime statistics! Take preventive action by:

Park vehicles in visible and controlled areas to prevent criminals from having an opportunity to commit their crime.

Be mindful when loading or unloading valuable items in your car to people watching you.

Store valuables (such as handbags and laptops) in the boot instead of on seats or where they can be seen with the naked eye.

Keep items that stand around and have value (such as bicycles, garden tools, electronic and mechanical devices) out of sight.

Be careful when using the ATM, do not allow anyone to assist or even see what is happening on the ATM.

Get a security company to improve visibility and safety at your home.

Ensure that all security measures are in place before resting (security gates, garages and windows).

Place lighting around the home, activate alarms.

What influences emergency response time in an emergency?

  • Traffic Conditions
  • Road rules to obey
  • Weather conditions
  • Communication between the client, the control room and the response officer

Malcolm Mostert

FNA’s oldest members from 2010: Uncle Lappies and Aunt Nella Labuschagne

They have been living in Fichardt Park for 32 years and Uncle Lappies was a printer at “The Friend” for 30 years, 23 years of which he worked night shift to under pressure to meet the newspaper’s deadlines to get in on the street the next day.

After 30 years at the newspaper, he switched jobs to run the supplies at Sukofs for 13 years.

Uncle Lappies and Aunt Nella were school-time sweethearts from the ages of 10 and 12 and are blessed to be together for 58 years.

Aunt Nella is the hub for the whole family with a total of 24 grandchildren, including her own children and grandchildren, got their backbone from Grandma Nella who spoiled everyone with her delicious cooking and baking and tons of games.

Uncle Lappies and Aunt Nella agree that the FNA is an excellent organisation that always has their members’ interests at heart and makes sure everything is clean and problem-free and cannot thank Dr David du Toit enough for suggesting them as members.

Alma Fourie

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