The UIP has 3 core functions, all aimed at ensuring the quality of public spaces in Florida Rd and an exceptional experience for locals and visitors alike. Working with the eThekwini Municipality and contracted service providers, the UIP is mandated to provide:
- Supplementary services such as security; cleaning; greening and maintenance; as well as other special adhoc projects.
- Marketing and communications to members and the local community at large
- Place-Making projects that focus on driving the brand identity of Florida Rd and bringing the p;ace to life.
- UIP/Municipal partnerships; optimising service delivery and lobbying for investment in infrastructure
Supplementary Service – Safe and Secure
The UIP has a proactive approach to security, with the focus of indentifying possible criminal intent before it occurs and taking corrective action. It does this by deploying two capacitated security officers in a dedicated vehicle that patrols the area 24 hour, 7 day a week in public areas.
An extra weekend foot-patrol-service of two officers take to the street from 6pm-6am on Friday and Saturday nights and there is direct links to private patrols who manage the residential initiatives in the surrounding areas.
Building partnerships with the SAPF, Metro Police and the Community Policing Forum is critical in ensuring effective management. The UIP has a strong working relationship with both Metro Police and SAPS, resulting in a Safer Florida Rd for All.
The UIP fulfills a vital role by integrating the various security entities and resources in the precincts, a key component of which is the UIP Monthly Security Forum attended by private security companies servicing UIP properties and property managers. The aim of the forum is to proactively improve the level of security in the UIP precincts through integration, sharing intelligence, and ensuring operational assistance in emergencies. These meetings are minuted with a monthly UIP crime report and crime statistics.
Sidewalk Monitor Programme
The issue of ‘car guards’ and vagrancy was one of Florida Rd’s biggest challenges, affecting every aspect of the road from perceptions of safety to the quality of the experience when people visit the area. In October 2015, the UIP rolled out the Florida Rd Sidewalk Monitor Programme, with the support of the eThekwini Municipality, Metro Police and SAPS Berea, as a way to counter this challenge and the success has been palpable.
Although prevalent in Durban, ‘car guarding’ is illegal, and poses a number of challenges in terms of undesirable people ’guarding’ cars and the illegal activities they are sometimes associated with, such as intimidation, selling drugs, remote jamming and vehicle theft.
In contrast, the Sidewalk Monitor Programme is a carefully planned initiative aimed at ensuring a uniform and well-managed Sidewalk Monitor service that deploys vetted individuals whose strong presence have discouraged that of the vagrant car guards.
The monitors report for roll-call each morning and are dispatched to their “section” of road. The monitors are identifiable by their distinctive red and black branded uniform as well as the photo-ID name badges they all wear. They have all had background criminal checks and are managed by the UIP and its ‘service provider Enforce Security.
The monitors are extra eyes and ears on the road, alerting the UIP patrol and/or the authorities to any criminal activity or bylaw infringement, and adding another layer to the crime prevention initiatives undertaken by the UIP. Additional duties include litter picking their area of operation, removal of outdated advertising boards and the reporting of faults along the public open space.
The UIP pay them a subsidy to relieve some of their financial burden but they rely on the public for tips.
UIP Security Resourcing
The UIP security provider is Enforce Security Services who were appointed in September 2013 after a tender process. Enforce Security’s performance is actively measured against a Service Level Agreement, which is amended as the needs of the precinct change. Reporting crime or suspect behaviour is essential – Report a fault here or call 086 111 6113
Supplementary Services – Clean and Maintained
The UIP has a team of three cleaning and greening staff working on a rotation basis seven days a week. Added to this, the UIP co-ordinates cleaning blitz operations where large groups of cleaner come in to undertake major clean-ups. These services do not replace those of the municipality, but rather supplement what is being done, with the objective of setting the service standards of public areas at levels expected of Florida Rd property and business owners.
Besides day to day cleaning of public areas including streets, pavements and parks, and greening routines, which include grass cutting, watering and planter bed maintenance, the UIP is consistently working at improving the quality of public areas. Maintenance and cleaning projects are captured in the monthly operational reports and focus on:
- General maintenance requirements to public area infrastructure
- Identifying and executing greening and beautification projects
- Removing graffiti
- Ensuring maintenance of pubic area signage
Marketing & Communication
Since its inception the UIP has recognized the importance of financial sustainability to service the growing demands of Florida Rd Rocks. The first priority of delivering the basics a safe, clean and green Florida Rd – has been achieved and will continue to be consistently delivered.
In terms of marketing, Florida Rd UIP has focused on communicating with levy paying members, businesses and the broader local community through social media, newsletters, the website and press. The story told has shown the value of the UIP by highlighting its team’s operational successes, as well as UIP motivated infrastructure and service delivery successes from the eTM.
While this is member communication is critical to sustaining the success of Florida Rd UIP, the focus has now shifted from marketing the UIP itself, to marketing Florida Rd – the place, with the UIP and its work as one of the cogs that keeps the Florida Rd wheel turning.
It was with this in mind that in February 2016, the Florida Rd UIP initiated a brand DNA process that was completed in June 2017 with the launch of THE VIBE, a quarterly publication dedicated to serving the dynamic Florida Rd community, a place to share the news and views of the roads’ food, culture, work, family, design and party happenings, a space to keep in touch about this rapidly evolving place.
Developed by the Florida Rd Place-Making Committee and UIP, with input and guidance from the eThekwini Municipalities Transport Authority (ETA) and Economic Development Unit (EDU), THE VIBE was created to re-ignite the fire in those that may have left the road, while delivering on promises made to the die-hards for their commitment to keeping this place relevant and uniquely Durban.
A whirlwind summary of THE VIBE….
We start with hard-core strategy, summing up the Florida Rd brand DNA and urban development programs and sharing some of the key points from this discovery. Some of the influential voices on the road give us their insight into the future of the place, and then we reveal the new Florida Rd brand ID before telling you where to next and explaining how you can get involved. Read THE VIBE here.
Over and above the daily services provided by the UIP, there has been a strong focus on visibly improving the look of Florida Rd in order to inspire confidence and trust in the UIP structure. To this end, the UIP has:
- Implemented a car guard management structure which included a security vetting process, new uniforms and ID cards
- Undertaken a series of cleaning blitzes with a team of 20 UIP staff who, with the support from Durban Solid Waste, have eradicated weeds and overgrown vegetation along verges and roadways; removed graffiti, broken bricks and rubble; removed illegal posters and cleaned-up legal posters falling off poles.
- Got commitment from Durban Solid Waste to add an extra pick-up to the Florida road route and to add more staff to help in the general clean-up of the area.
- Requested for and received the full re-tarring of the upper section of Florida Rd by the municipality roads department
- Undertook an audit of damaged paving and tree planters, submitted it to the municipality and is overseeing the current repairs of these areas
- Undertook an audit of defective and missing street signage, submitted it to the municipality for repair and replacement and is overseeing the team that has started working on the signage.
UIP/Municipal Partnerships: Optimising Service Delivery
Optimising municipal service levels and lobbying for investment in infrastructure is a core focus of the management team. For this reason, the UIP conducts an audit of infrastructure faults: lights out, damaged signage, blocked sewers, potholes, etc. on a daily basis.
The faults are reported through the municipal fault reporting call centre and, if relevant, a photo of the fault is emailed to the responsible person at the municipality. If it is an urgent matter, it is also followed up telephonically.
Faults are logged on a UIP management system and followed up on a regular basis until repaired. For this reason a large proportion of the UIP management time is allocated to optimising municipal service delivery.
The UIP, on behalf of members and associated members, actively participates in the Municipal Planning Forum to ensure that property owners’ interests are brought to the fore at the planning phase of public area infrastructure. Importantly, the UIP experience gained from servicing public areas is fed back into design phase of upgrades with the aim of ensuring functionality and aesthetic design which is cost effective to service and maintain.