There is a new force out in Southfield and they mean business.
The newly-formed Southfield Eyes aims to mobilise neighbours, uplift the community and keep the area clean and safe.
The NPO, founded by Glen Kannemeyer in March, held a clean-up campaign on Saturday, May 19.
Residents rocked up outside the shopping complex in Victoria Road for a meet and greet and to receive black bags for the rubbish.
They were also issued with an orange ribbon to wear and show they were proudly representing Southfield.
The 40 residents then went to their own streets where they cleaned up along the pavements and even helped elderly neighbours tidy up.
People of all ages and as young as 4 could be seen helping to get the area in tip-top condition.
Mr Kannemeyer said an invitation to join the community clean-up went out on the Southfield WhatsApp group just over a week ago and more than 700 residents responded positively.
The long-term goals of the NPO are to work with other stakeholders, such as the police, ward councillor, security providers, neighbourhood watch and law enforcement, to focus on upholding law and order, and to support safety and security in the community.
Mr Kannemeyer said the NPO was “practically established” however, there will be more fund-raisers and community projects to get it off the ground.
He said Southfield Eyes was a community awareness programme that has now been established into a NPO to help with raising funds to create a safer Southfield. “The funds would go towards installing cameras in the community and equipment for the neighbourhood watch.”
Southfield resident Greg Bezuidenhoudt, who also serves as a member on the neighbourhood watch, said besides focusing on the safety and security aspects, he feels that the community should be united.
He said even though Southfield residents are in a WhatsApp group as aform of communication, this should not be the only way they engage with each other.
“Everyone is caught up with Facebook and WhatsApp but they are forgetting the real things in life. We are cutting out a big social part of our lives and interacting with people, this should not be.”
Mr Bezuidenhoudt said he liked the idea of residents cleaning their own streets as they would have the opportunity to engage with neighbours.
“Yes, it is a simple thing to be picking up the papers or sweeping but this gives people the opportunity to speak to their neighbours or someone further down the street. At the end of the day, this is going to pull the community together.”
Ward 72 councillor, Kevin Southgate said Southfield Eyes should be commended for the work they did in the area on Saturday.
He said he receives numerous complaints of illegal dumping in streets and parks in Southfield and is proud of the community for taking the initiative to clean the area and feed the homeless.
Mr Southgate said if another clean-up day is being arranged he could have rubbish bags supplied and the refuse collected by the City’s Department of Solid Waste.
He encouraged residents to submit a service request on the City’s website, SMS their query to 31373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org