Good Afternoon everyone!
I am communicating with you today with a heavy heart as I believe we have taken a step backwards as a community.
The Greymont Residents Forum has always, since its inception, tried to build the community and unify it around certain values and principles. We even adopted a slogan for our community – “ A community that cares”.
Since 2012 when we were formed we mobilised our community around problems and challenges in our community. We had many who volunteered to be on the Executive and to work in uniting and bringing together our lovely suburb. We achieved a great deal and the spirit was high. It was not uncommon in the early days to have over 70 people attending our meetings held every second month.
The participation of community members and residents have dropped over recent times but the core work that we do re: the maintenance of our suburb continues with Mike our worker keeping Greymont looking stunning- also thanks to a small group who contribute monthly towards expenses and wages of the GRF.
There is a notion, a wrong one, I feel, that we can run the suburb and our Forum through a variety of Whatsapp groups. This notion has led to people not wanting to attend meetings and not to volunteer for any leadership role in the community. I have in the last few years tried to keep the Forum going and to keep motivating residents to get involved and to contribute to the essential work that we do. A whatsapp group, however popular, is merely a communication tool that should assist in the GRF’s day to day work and provide important information to the community.
In the last few days these whatsapp groups and new ones, have become divisive and counter- productive. The whole purpose as I have said of these groups is to enhance unity and participation in our community through the Greymont Residents Forum. There has been a lot of anger, finger pointing and blaming individuals. It is sad that something like a whatsapp group/s could really be so negative, undisciplined and divisive. All of these groups started out wanting to give information, advice and education in serving a particular need. Some residents abused this and thought this was a good idea to have a chit chat about anything and everything. There are too many groups now in Greymont!
The main whatsapp group was being abused by about 20 people out of 200 participants who decided not to follow the guidelines. This caused much frustration to the many. To blame certain administrators in trying to get compliance is disingenuous!
I will not endorse or be joining any new whatsapp groups but I will keep “GRF – Serving all” group for the committed, loyal and dedicated residents of Greymont informing them what we are doing as the Greymont Residents Forum. This group’s membership is limited to the financially paying members and those who cannot ( pensioners, unemployed) who have shown interest and commitment to Greymont over the years.
I assure you of my continued commitment and activity in co-ordinating the maintenance work we do in Greymont and I will keep a financial record (which I always have done) of daily and monthly income and expenses of the GRF. You are free to ask me at any time for financial statements.
I truly hope and urge all residents to come together in a spirit of togetherness and unity once more and put the needs of the suburb ahead of individual agendas and egos. We are here to serve all residents. Perhaps we need to get back to meetings again? What do you think?
I would love to hear from everyone on the state of the GRF, the community in general and the whatsapp groups. WE ARE ALL BETTER THAN THIS!!
Clive Patrick Malherbe
Greymont Residents Forum (Founding Member)
35 3rd Street Greymont
083 969 7747