THE Greendale Residents and Ratepayers Association is on a drive to boost its membership and recently appealed to residents of Ward 9 to become members of the association to help improve service delivery.
The GRRA took advantage of the virtual platforms created last month for the purposes of conducting City of Harare pre-budget consultations to appeal to residents to sign up to be members of the association.
According to information supplied by the GRRA, the annual membership fee is currently ZWL$850 and it can be paid in instalments.
Payments for membership can be made by transfer or Ecocash to the following account details:
Account name: GRRA
Account Number: 1130152626
Ecocash 0780248095 — P Paradza.
GRRA member Ms Noma Nkomani said those who would have paid can send their proof of payment to the treasurer Mr P Paradza on 0773215671 or email on [email protected]
“Let’s work together to improve our community,” she said in the appeal.
Residents responded to the appeal by seeking clarifications on what benefits they would derive from being members of the GRRA.
“I already pay Greendale municipality for rates, water etc. so I don’t understand why I need to join this and become a GRRA. What is this money for can you explain please?” queried one resident.
Ms Nkomani said the GRRA has over the years been working with the City of Harare to help improve service delivery in Ward 9 which covers Greendale, Mandara, Shawasha Hills, Chikurubi Maximum, Training Depot, Support Unit, Msasa industrial area, Msasa Police Camp and Zimphos. The new low density suburb of Sunway City, which borders some suburbs of Ruwa, is also part of Ward 9.
“Over the years a small team with the GRRA has been working with relevant authorities to push for road repairs, protection of water sources to mention but a few things. Council doesn’t collect enough money to run its operations and as a result service deliver is suffering. We have options as residents. The first is to sit back and do nothing to improve our community,” she said.
Ms Nkomani said Ward 9 residents had the option to be active and get involved in the affairs of their ward in the same manner Ward 18 residents do under the Borrowdale Ratepayers and Residents Association.
“The second would be to gather funds as residents to start to improve our community e.g. the Borrowdale Residents and Ratepayers Association collection 12 000 USD and refurbished two council trucks which are being used exclusively for refuse collection in Borrowdale. The same association has two pensioners on a small monthly stipend to assist the committee with the day to day activities required to effectively manage the association and improve on service delivery in the area.”
Ms Nkomani said the GRRA could do a lot in terms of service delivery but needed the financial support of residents.
“There’s a lot the GRRA could do if funded, for example fund or partly fund the recycling centre targeted for Kamfinsa shops and others. There are a number of working groups tackling areas highlighted in the constitution of the GRRA that will be coming up or have come up with community improvement activities that require funding,” she said.
Some residents said it was unclear as to which roads or area of Greendale the GRRA covers with others expressing willingness to join if their neighbourhoods are covered under the association.
“I am happy to pay and join up if this Greendale residents group is covering Greendale North. Area north of Arcturus Road. I have asked before and I know others have as well. No replies ever,” said a Greendale North resident.
Responded Ms Nkomani: “The Association covers the whole of Greendale/Mandara area and in parts we would cover the ward as demarcated for council purposes, for example if (we) raise for fixing the truck to collect refuse for the ward. Our ward is the biggest in Harare when it comes to the area covered.”
But residents maintained the GRRA member was not stating the exact areas covered by the association.
“I have asked this several times and been given very vague details. I am very keen to join but I can’t be joining something that I shouldn’t be joining because (its) in the wrong area. As the biggest association surely you know exactly which roads are covered?”
Added another resident: “Does it cover from North Road area towards Arcturus. We are part of Greendale but a different police area. Please clarify. We do get our refuse picked up by the truck that does Greendale.”
The residents requested Ms Nkomani to help them with the boundaries of Ward 9 by providing a map of the ward.
She said she had noted the concerns of the residents and would revert with all the information they were requesting but gave no timeline.
“Will respond with text and a map. Allow us some time to get that map together and to engage with community leadership of other areas that are in Ward 9. Input and concerns on the boundary have been noted with thanks and we will respond with the suggested map as soon as possible. It’s not easy to determine when we can do so. My thinking though is that we cover Ward 9 as council does. Will revert,” she said.
Residents said the information would be helpful to many people in the Greendale/Mandara area as some were not even aware of the number of households in the area.
“So how many houses are in this Greendale area that you are talking about.
“I have lived in Greendale 40+ years. I have tried to start neighbourhood watch on three or four occasions, secure our Zesa (power) lines etc. but when you ask for assistance nobody comes to meeting’s only a handful of people pay and only one pay so me I don’t know about this issue. It will only be a handful maybe again.
“I would like to help but not until I see commitment. Lots of people have and lots to say but that’s about it,” read one of the observations from residents.
Ms Nkomani also shared the GRRA constitution with the residents which states the association objective as “to mobilise residents to participate in the development of the Ward, its improvement and ensure the provision of quality services to residents by Harare City Council and other service providers. To improve the quality of life for residents by ensuring quality services in areas of security, health, sport and recreation, education, infrastructure development, roads, water supply and sanitation, electricity, social services etcetera.”