GEORGE NEWS - WRRA (Wilderness Ratepayers and Residents Association) held its 50th annual general meeting on Wednesday 28 April.
Despite the pandemic which slowed down most activities worldwide, 2020 was a year of achievements for the association which consistently lives up to its slogan, 'A Community in Action'.
At the start of lockdown, WRRA members personally donated nearly R100 000 to Covid relief, most of which has been spent on helping feed those hardest hit by the lockdowns and ensuing unemployment.
This triggered a new Community Care portfolio that is now also involved in helping develop an interest in sport amongst the youth of the Heights Village community and in assisting those settlement dwellers without ID numbers to obtain ID cards.
WRRA also ran appeals for blankets for Kleinkrantz informal settlement residents last winter and stationery for township children going back to school.
Building regulations, development and protection of the unique Wilderness environment are the focus of the Development Diligence and Environmental portfolios.
WRRA is becoming increasingly protective of Wilderness' rare natural assets and is working with the municipality and local environmental organisations to establish zoning regulations that will hopefully prevent the destruction of the very reason why people choose to live in the "wilderness".
Security is another WRRA focus. As Wilderness grows, so will crime. A network of CCTV cameras is being put in place starting in the main tourist areas and spreading to cover the N2 and suburbs.
WRRA's Fire Forum is the umbrella body that links seven fire management units in the greater Wilderness area. Their role is to extinguish or control start-up fires until the George or Garden Route fire services arrive. Manned and equipped by volunteers, these FMUs have proven their worth on countless occasions.
Perhaps the most visible of WRRA's actions are the team of Wilderness monitors who keep the Village streets swept, collect the litter from the WRRA litter bins and deter beggars and vagrants.
Praised by Province, this initiative could possibly be copied countrywide. WRRA also maintains the Village gardens and repairs paving and more.
But even the most active association needs fresh blood and new ideas. So, should any Wilderness resident want to enjoy helping their community towards a better future, they should please contact WRRA chairperson Pierre Durant via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. WRRA would most welcome a treasurer, someone interested in security and a public relations volunteer.
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