I have always been a firm supporter of my city and love calling Durban home.
Florida Road has been a stalwart when it comes to our social scene and businesses like Spiga, Sidebar, Mozambik, El Hombre and more have made our city a cool place to live – but we’re all aware of numerous issues which the area has faced and we can either support initiatives to improve it, or carry on turning a blind eye. I choose to support these initiatives and look for ways to improve the community around me.
So the announcement recently of a Florida Road Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP) was one that I was delighted to hear about. You may have heard of the Umhlanga UIP and when visiting that area always been a bit jealous of how clean it is – it doesn’t get that way overnight and has the support of a community. I especially like that when I’m in that area I’m not accosted by a car guard every ten metres, who is clearly going to do the opposite to that of watching my car.
Florida Road has had its fair share of issues over the last few years, least of which was being harassed by car guards, but most infuriatingly the number of illegal activities, car thefts, remote jammings and vagrants.
We all love sitting at Spiga or Sidebar, or grabbing a quick takeaway from El Hombre, or visiting one of the numerous places up and down Florida Road, but sometimes it’s like running a gauntlet and it’s pretty dangerous after hours to be walking alone.
The Florida Road UIP has been formed with the support of the municipality, metro & Berea police and it deploys distinctive red and black branded uniformed monitors, who wear photo-ID name badges and are managed by the UIP and its service provider, Enforce Security.
Before you whinge and say they tried this once before and failed, please be aware that the UIP has actively engaged with the City and Metro Police to secure support for the Sidewalk Monitor programme and they’ve now secured a dedicated police contingent, which will include 2-4 officers patrolling on foot daily and a vehicle patrolling at night. They’ve been tasked to assist the red-uniformed monitors in the area, as part of the city commitment to renew the Florida Road area and they’ll be policing amongst other things, illegal vendors, hawking and businesses operating outside their licensing regulations.
An initiative of this nature needs the support of a community and it’s for this reason that you’re encouraged to only support the men in red if you are going to be tipping – this is your small task and is so easy to do and it’ll go a long way towards assisting to make Florida Road a better place to visit. With our support the initiative could even roll out to other less desirable areas…
They’ve already replanted the Gordon Road Park, cleaned up a fair bit of graffiti and repainted fences and post boxes and requested that businesses along the road clean up their areas. So do your bit Durbs and start being part of the solution too…
Main pic of Sidebar by me.
Others supplied by UIP.