The focus of CARING AND SHARING remained the focus for the year under review.

Crime trends continued showing a rather alarming increase in scamming and on line fraud incidents. The crimes continued being committed in the safety of our homes and the need to develop internal panic buttons to these threats remained so important.

We continued hosting our series of smaller workshops to become Cell Savvy. Opportunities arose allowing Onverwag to address larger groups such as Seniors of Mount Pleasant and a workshop hosted for Ladies on Women’s Day.

As shared with our members, the safety of the Coastal Path is one of our priorities. In line with this, we have installed cameras which monitor the Southern Point of the fence of the Nature Reserve – the exit and entry point for the coastal path.

Ensuring Safety and Security of the neighbourhood has been in the form of High Viz Foot patrols over the Festive Season and Public Holidays. Patrols took place mainly during the early hours of the morning or early evening as well as later during the night. The focus of the patrols has been the Coastal Path and the immediate area around the Onrus Caravan Park. The OVSRA Eco Patrollers and response vehicle were included in the patrols.

Onverwag, once again was able to assist the Eco Patrollers of the OVSRA with bicycles and boots. Thanks to assistance received from the Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety (POCS) we donated the use of 3 Bicycles for the Eco patrollers so as to respond faster to reports received as well as covering a greater area with general patrols. Thank you for the generous donation received from Basson Protective Clothing, we were able to equip each patroller with a set of boots which can endure the distances to be covered each day. The patrollers have a vast area to cover each day be it on foot or bicycle.

Breakfast Bay and the dunes are included as part of the safety of the Coastal Path. The area had become overgrown with aliens providing good hiding spots for perpetrators and poachers. Alien clearing will commence in the new financial year with the support of Vermont Conservation Foundation.

Towards the middle of the year, unrest surfaced in Zwelihle. It came to our notice that several staff members employed in our community suffered  trauma during the unrest. We were fortunate to have the services of a Trauma Counsellor available to the community. We put out an appeal to staff who had suffered some form of trauma to come forward and make use of our services. Thanks to the NG Kerk offering a venue, we were able to offer services at no cost to everyone who responded. Most importantly, knowing that staff’s Mental Health is being seeing to in our community.

The Overstrand suffered severe storm damage on 23 September 23 resulting in no power or water, all access roads damaged or closed. The impact of the storm affected everyone in the community. The interactive whatsapp groups sprung into action keeping members up to date for several weeks on access to power and water, roads open or closed and general progress to normality.

Onrus Beach and the coastline was damaged and covered with debris washed down by the Onrus River during the storm. No beach or coastline was visible. Realising that the summer season was on our doorstep, the community sprung into action to start with the Big Clean Up of Onrus Beach known as ORRG – Onrus River Restoration Group.  A committee was established consisting of home and business owners, representatives from various organisations operating in our community as well as OM representatives from the various departments. Residents gave of their professional skills to oversee the project. The job seekers standing at the 4way stop were offered an opportunity to assist with the manual clean up of the beach and rocky coastline. Tswelopela, meaning empowerment and education, was created. While job opportunities were created for 3 months, the job seekers received ongoing education on work ethics. The project came to an end mid December as funds ran out but several of the job seekers found other forms of employment. It is our hope to create work preparedness with a data base of skills available to be called on when needed by community members.

The Western Cape Liquor Board with all the relevant role players, held a workshop in Hermanus. Onverwag was invited to be part of the workshop as an accredited Neighbourhood Watch with Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety. At the conclusion of the workshop, the Liquor Board committed to be more active in the area. The results have been seen in our community.

Onverwag has remained part of a Safety and Security Management Team created by the Onrus Vermont Special Ratings Area (OVSRA).  Communication is by means of a whatsapp group and Radio contact with the Control Room.

The Protocol Onverwag agreed on with DEFFE (MCS) is to, via a direct, secure 24/7 reporting channel update all poaching activities as seen and reported by members. They then, where and when possible assign resources to act on our information.

Onverwag has attended the weekly JOCOM Security meetings held at SAPS, Hermanus.

The Ward Committee of Ward 13 has continued t meet every 6 weeks and bring various issues to the attention of the Ward Councillor. Great input has been given to the IDP needs of the ward. During the year, a water pipeline was replaced but the standard of work often led to water outages which required prompt responses from Onverwag to the municipality.

Housekeeping continued throughout the year.  Cloud storage of documents  migrated from Dropbox to Google Drive so as to reduce costs.

The bulk of funds raised are through our annual membership fee. The Sage One Accounting package was implemented for invoicing purposes.  Thank you to members who have willingly responded by paying their fees timiously or alerted us to errors with regard to the invoicing.

Our social media maintained its online presence, especially just after the floods in Septembers. Posts ranged from encouraging members to save water, power saving tips, how to avoid scams and online fraud as well as safety in general.

We have leant to live with power outages and the necessary steps to be taken to communicate with Eskom. Our members need a high five for managing this process so successfully.

The committee elected in May 23 are as follows:

Chair:                                    Anne Droomer

Vice Chair & Security:          Eddie Holloway

Treasurer:                             Gray Thomason

Secretary:                             Vanessa Sutherland

Patrols:                                 Coenie Groenewald

Membership:                        Zahn Du Toit

Communication:                   Jean Orban

Community:                          Michiel De Kock

Thank you to the committee who have volunteered tirelessly and assisted to keep Onverwag evolving as circumstances presented us with challanges throughout the year.

Onverwag is only possible due to the support we receive from our members. Thank you to each one of you. Special thanks to:

The NG Gemeente for always allowing us to make use of their facilities.

Our auditors, Pragma Konsult, who for the second year, have offered their services pro bona.

Our partners, SAPS Hermanus, OVSRA and other accredited Neighbourhood Watches.

Stay Safe.

Anne Droomer

Chairperson

March 2024