“We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next door neighbour.”
The Ridgeway Community Forum’s (RCF) roots started off in the cul-de-sac of Davina Street, with 15 houses, after a letter was dropped off at each home, requesting each neighbours attendance. The councillor, Sergio Isa Do Santos, was also invited. The primary aim was to create awareness among neighbours. A ‘get to know your neighbour’ meeting was held, with 13 residents and the ward councillor in attendance, at a neighbour’s house, who kindly offered to host the meeting. A ‘group’ was formed, using the old Blackberry BBM platform, with a set of rules.
Soon more meetings were hosted at other homes in the adjacent streets. Letters were distributed by residents of that street, to other residents and a meeting was hosted by one of the homes in each street. The initiative lead to a more neighbourly environment, with some neighbours meeting each other for the first time, after having stayed in the same street or close to each other for up to 15 years. Townhouse complexes residents also came board. As the forum grew over the years, the switch was made to WhatsApp, from the BBM platform.
The RCF underwent a few changes over the years and its vision kept expanding. It also received a new logo along the way and spawned a neighbourhood watch. Today the Ridgeway Community Forum serves to take care of many aspects of the neighbourhood and beyond.
We chat security, water, potholes, trees, not to forget the occasional cat & dog. We chat litter, dumping, rodents and schools. We chat drug awareness, blood donations, snakes and birds. We chat traffic, accidents, squatters and lights. We chat drains, Doctors, WiFi and Dentists, good news stories, bad news stories and so much more. We have give-aways and recommend contacts for just about anything. We have the occasional banter and a laugh, with weather reports and extra-bits, but most of all, we look out for our neighbours. The RCF has also partnered with various charities and NPO’s, and with each collection drive, the community has opened their hearts and dug deep into their pockets. From water for drought stricken areas, to clothing and food for abandoned babies.
The RCF structure is as follows. The group number and the streets it covers.
- RCF1 – Susanna, Faan, Fiona, Letitia, Davina, Elria, Egbert, Elmoa, Swartgoud str
- RCF1a – Overruns Susanna, Faan, Fiona, Letitia, Davina, Elria, Egbert, Elmoa, Swartgoud str
- RCF2 – Brietta str, Jansje Str, Sarah str, Swartgoud Str
- RCF3 – Elaine, Denton, Ethna, Karen, Jeanette, Burkes close, Lambert, Swartgoud str
- RCF4 – Donovan, Faan, Berrymead, Jane, Liezel, Letitia, Bonham, Belham, Riverside road, Swartgoud str & some Mondeor homes.
- RCF5 – Old Ridgeway, Winchester Delphinium, Swartgoud str, ex residents and any overruns from the above groups
The groups are apolitical (not politically aligned or meant to promote any political party either). They are also non-religious, but wishing people well for their religious holidays are in order, as it creates neighbourliness. Questions on religion are answered, if asked.
We celebrate and congratulate successes of people aligned to serving our community or simply resident in the community. Whether it’s an active citizen, our local councillor, the security companies that operate in the area, or the local Police or neighbourhood watch. Whenever there are successes, we should look at those successes and elements to celebrate and build on, to ease the daily burdens we are all afflicted with as South Africans remembering that, as bad as you think things are, there are always people that are far worse off than what you are. They would give anything to be in your shoes.
I’d like to think that we’ve achieved much and that it’s still only the beginning. I always maintain that we have more that unites us, then what divides us. Looking forward to continuous service, to a great community.
If you would like to host an RCF meeting in your street/complex, kindly give me a call.
Ridgeway Community Forum