New block watch has big plans

Following their accreditation, a local block watch has big plans to assist in the improvement of their community.

With the membership growing steadily, the Portland Block B Watch is set to launch their own hub that will serve as a community complaints centre and control room and which will be manned 24 hours a day, ensuring someone is always on call in a time of need.

The base will be situated at Montague Drive Primary School, says Abdoraof Ismail of the block watch. “We are planning to launch the base on Saturday 27 October as part of our annual family fun day,” says Ismail.

The event will be free to the public and will see a community anti-drug march starting at the Welkom Street park at 09:30. The march will be lead by the Montague Drive Primary School drill squad and will proceed to the school for the official launch and ribbon-cutting ceremony, Ismail continues.

“We have completed our accreditation and we are fully registered with the Department of Community Safety,” says Ismail. “We have grown in numbers since and we have our neighbours also assisting us. The base is a container donated to us from a local business.”

The container has been at the school for several months and members have been actively busy with renovations, making it more inviting.

The base will also assist the school with security, and the members will man the existing security cameras at the school.

Ismail says they are also in the process of securing more CCTV cameras that will assist them in keeping the block crime free.

The members operate in the borders of Spine Road, Merrydale Avenue, Montague Drive and Eisleben Road.

This is the eighth year that the block is hosting the family fun day. It serves to bring residents together, with entertainment, including local acts and an anti-drug play, and serves as a fundraising opportunity for organisations and residents as stalls are available.

The event is free of charge and open to all residents.

The event starts at 09:30 with the anti-drug march, followed by the opening at the base and then the return to the park at around 10:00. The event will run until late afternoon­.

Guests will include the MEC for community safety, Dan Plato, and Mayco member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith.

“There are stalls available. The family fun day is also our way of giving back to the community,” says Ismail.

The fun day, hosted at the Welkom Street park has grown steadily every year. There will be stalls, a jumping castle and entertainment­.

Artists wanting to showcase their talents on stage for free are also welcome.

V To book a stall, to perform or for more information, call Ismail on 082 647 3665.