Mutual Heights News

Mutual Heights News

There are 16 News items to read from the last 12 months
News items inform you about living and working at Mutual Heights - click a headline to see the details of the news

There are now 40 people in the WhatsApp group discussing a variety of issues, and interacting with Jose the concierge. One focus is on the need to help anyone with special needs in these difficult circumstances, so please do not hold back. Join the group, and join in the conversation(s):

To: Mutual Heights owners, residents and others involved with the Mutual Building

During this challenging time we thought it might useful for us to create a space on Whatsapp to connect and help each other. Please feel free to join and kindly introduce yourself once you're in.

You can join by clicking this link on your mobile device (or on your PC, if you have installed the Whatsapp Messenger utility).

Please mention If you have any specific needs or can help with anything during lockdown, for example:

  • you are more vulnerable and could use help with over the counter medication and/or groceries.
  • you are willing to help in a specific way.

Jose the concierge will be joining the group, and he will keeping an eye on things continuously, so you can direct messages for Jose to the group and then everyone will see them. Or contact him direct if you wish, using his cell: 067 027 5411.

Take care everyone, and feel free to keep in touch.

We received the following message from Chad Scalzini <>, on behalf of  the organisers, providing some advance information:

Good day Residents, Businesses and Retailers,

Kindly be advised that the annual Cape Town Cycle Tour will take place on Sunday, 8 March 2020. This iconic event attracts thousands of cyclists to the beautiful city of Cape Town to take part in this 109km road cycling event which holds the title of being the “World’s Largest Timed Cycle Race”.

As per last year, the start of the event will be taking place from the Grand Parade precinct in Cape Town CBD. In order to ensure the safety of the cyclists and general public, various road closures will be implemented for this event the day prior to (minimal closures) as well as on event day.

Once all road closures have been signed off by the City of Cape Town, a final e-mail will be circulated towards the middle of February with the roads and times of closures attached.

Please be advised that there will be amplified noise at the start venue from 05h00 – 10h30 on event day. The sound levels will be monitored by an accredited Sound Engineer.

We thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this regard.

Kind regards, The Cape Town Cycle Tour Organisers

Renown South African author Dr Dan Sleigh is hosting a VOC-themed walking tour of the Company's Gardens at 10am on Saturday 25 January. The walk is on behalf of the Friends of the Company's Gardens.

The walk is open to all members of the Friends at no charge. Anyone wanting to join the walk, will please need to sign up as a member - which is easily done. Simply fill in the attached document and complete the steps. Annual membership is R100.

The Friends will be hosting several excellent walking tours of the Company's Garden throughout the year. Please contact Alan (alan@placesplus, for any further details.

Newsletter 44 (May 2019) is now available. Click on the image to download it, or go here to see all the newsletters:

The Mutual Heights web site's new front page is still at the same URL:

Sorry about that!

In one of our surveys about living and workikng in Mutual Heights, some time ago, a respondent said that the Web site was "Old tech". Ouch!

Responding to that comment requires that we look at different aspects of the web site. Let's talk tech for just a moment:  the quality of the underlying data structures in the database is definitely NOT old tech - there are 178 tables in five different schemas; the implementation of the web site functionality using PHP5 and MySQL5 - well OK - they have a point there, this stuff was the "latest thing" years ago; finally, the style of the programming, which is definitely procedural, not OOP - whether that is old tech is arguable). So, clearly, they actually had a point.

In fact, the web site just LOOKED old in style. It made too few concessions to the needs of different kinds of users, and it made no effective use of style controls in order to achieve a modern style that can respond to the size of the device that it is being viewed on.

We have sorted that out, and you are invited to go and have a look at the ONE page - the new front page - that evidences our new approach:

The new front page on the web site

We will now continue to add more responsive pages behind this frontage, but this seems like a good time to ask whether anyone wants to be involved? There is work that we can do:  we need to organise a full review of the facilities in the present "Legacy" web site and prioritise the further work - will you come and help us? If there is anyone already involved with web site development who would like to help out, we might be able to do a deal.

Let me finish by listing some of the facilities that the web site supports - it does much more than what you will see from a quick glance at the new front page menu:

  • All involved in living or working in Mutual Heights can register and manage their personal profile and preferences.
  • Owners and their agents can register their visitors ahead of arrival, so that they can be sent a welcome message with information about security and access to the building (that message now includes QR codes that will identify visitors and speed their "check in" at the desk).
  • Anyone registered as a web site user can request maintenance and submit community reports (we also had community advertisements but there was little interest).
  • Every day security staff get a forward list of visitors that have been registered, to avoid the time needed to fill in forms.
  • All security incidents are now recorded on the web site so that trustees and the management team can see them and act on them at any time.
  • News, notices and advisories (like this one) can be posted to the web site (see the lower section of the new front page) and - where appropriate - they can be broadcast as an email to selected categories of involved people (owners, tenants, visitors, management and so on).
  • All maintenance work items are logged, with the documentation that supports it.
  • Trustees (and other) meetings can be initiated, documents lodged, actions and resolutions are recorded and progress chasing is facilitated.
  • Trustees and the Management Team have a discussion area where the many matters that we have to work on, on behalf of the whole community, can be discussed and recorded so that the emergence and management of problems can be tracked.

And so on. This has all been voluntary work so far, but if anyone in the community wants to come and discuss the wider potential for this portfolio of facilities, please tell me.

I wish everyone a progressive and fulfilling New Year. On my side, I will be pressing on with the web site as long as it is useful to do so.

Warm regards,

Today is the day to enjoy the music and marching of the famous minstrel groups, and celebrate the New Year with the people of Cape Town. There will be traffic restrictions around Darling Street but we have spoken to the traffic attendants on duty and they know to allow access to the garage.

The march takes place between Keizersgracht Street in District Six and Rose Street in the Bo-Kaap; the main entertainment is on the Grand Parade.

This is from Kate Crane Briggs - Mobile +27 (0)72 377 8014,  Landline +27 (0)21 286 5546, Web

Company's Garden Trees Culture Connect
Friday 13 September 10am-12pm

Company’s Garden is full of extraordinary history, plans and features – find out more with awarding winning landscape architect and lecturer, Clare Burgess. For her tour she is in conversation with esteemed arborist Riaan van Zyl and bird expert Linda Hibbin. At the start of the tour, Principal of Gardens Commercial High School, Dylan Tommy, will say a few words about the new Company’s Garden Friends, which he chairs.

Afterwards enjoy an optional home-made lunch, with fynbos touches, at the Garden’s Heritage Shop and café.

Cost: R250 pay beforehand (R350 on the day), includes info pack and fynbos flavoured drink at the start by Cape Town Fynbos Experience (lunch at your own expense).

Pre-booking essential 072 377 8014

The 59 respondents provided 1751 opinions and a considerable number of written comments. Overall, the result can be seen in this aggregation of all the "agree-disagree" questions - green is good news, red is bad news!  Neutral is shown grey.

Summary result

This result is slightly down on last year: if we exclude the ‘Neutral’ votes in order to gauge the balance between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, the result is 82% positive; last year the result was 87% positive.

One of the clear messages received concerns communications, including clear suggestions that our "News" and "Notices" items need to be broadcast by email, as well as posted on the web site.  If you do NOT want to receive them, and you are a registered Mutual Heights web site user, then you can opt out from your "Personal data  |  Manage your personal profile" page. If you are not a registered web site user, then please consider joining in.  You can register from the Log-in page.

The full report, including all the substantive comments that were made, can be accessed here. If you want to look into all the detailed data just let us know. The management team will be contacting the 22 respondents who asked to be contacted directly, and a plan for appropriate improvement actions is being prepared and will be circulated.

Three bidders - WAC, TUV and THC Consultants - were interviewed for about an hour each. The prepared questions were asked and discussed, and then there was open discussion. After extensive discussion between the trustees and contacting references TUV Suid will act as project managers and THC will perform the task of peer reviewer to the lift replacement project.

Meeting details
17h30 - 19h00, Monday 27 May
Where: The Ballroom, Mount Nelson Hotel
RSVP: Please email Alan for planning purposes:

Alan Cameron observes that occasionally we all need a Friend. Join him and others at the Mount Nelson Hotel on Monday 17h30 to discuss how you can be a Friend of the Company's Garden in deed!  It's a place to walk, picnic and either increase or decrease your property value. We're starting the Friends of the Company's Garden and you are invited!

Please note that the meeting will now be held at the Mount Nelson Hotel who have kindly agreed to provide the Ballroom as a venue for the meeting.

Here is a brief survey to understand members' priorities for the Company's Garden:

Here is a draft copy of the constitution to be adopted:

Contact Alan Cameron <> if you have any questions.

Stillwater Sports will be hosting the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN on Sunday, 19 May 2019, starting at Woodbridge Island on West Coast Road and ending at FNB Portside in Bree Street in Cape Town CBD. There will be road closures including:

  • Hertzog Blvd. - Between Civic Ave / Heerengracht St.  Inbound Closure  Sun, 19 May  08h45  Sun, 19 May  12h00
  • Heerengracht St. - Between Hertzog Blvd / Strand St.  Southbound Closure  Sun, 19 May  08h45  Sun, 19 May  12h30
  • Adderley St. - Between Strand St. / Wale St.  Southbound Closure  Sun, 19 May  08h45  Sun, 19 May  12h30
  • Darling St. - Between Adderley St / Parliament St.  Full Closure  Sun, 19 May  08h45  Sun, 19 May  12h30
  • Spin/Bureau St. - Between Adderley St / Plein St.  Full Closure  Sun, 19 May  08h45  Sun, 19 May  12h30
  • Wale St. - Between Adderley / Bree St.  Westbound Closure  Sun, 19 May  08h45  Sun, 19 May  12h30
  • Loop St. - Between Wale St / Dorp St.  Full Closure  Sun, 19 May  08h45  Sun, 19 May  12h30
  • Wale St. - Between Buitengracht / Bree St.  Full Closure  Sun, 19 May  08h45  Sun, 19 May  12h30

Traffic will be managed  by Traffic  Officers and  Event Marshals to ensure the safety of the participants and the
public. There will be light entertainment at the start area (06h00 – 09h00), at the finish area as well as along the route for the duration of the event from 07h00-14h00.

You are welcome to attend this event and enjoy the festivities. For any queries or concerns please contact us on 082 991 0045 (before the event) and on 063 447 0081 (race day emergencies only)

You can find out more about the event at

Newsletter 44 (May 2019) is now available. Click on the image to download it, or go here to see all the newsletters:

Newsletter 44


If you live or work in the building you will be aware that the lifts are increasingly unreliable.  Trustees anticipated the need to replace or refurbish the lifts some considerable time ago, and a project to replace and/or refurbish them is now proceeding.

The project

The project is proceeding in stages:

  1. Establish the lift replacement/refurbishment project and plan financing and budgets
  2. Appoint an experienced project manager to develop specifications and manage the tendering process
  3. Issue an ITT (Invitation to Tender) for the work to viable lift contractors
  4. Evaluate tenders and appoint the contractor
  5. Manage the progress of the project and assure quality
  6. Oversee the commissioning and acceptance of the new lifts
  7. Monitor the operation of the new lifts during the warranty period

We are currently at Stage 2. 

Impact on life and work in the building

This project will take time, and there will be disturbance to those of us using the building, of course.

We have prepared notices for the lifts that make clear the procedure if there are problems, and we have made serious representations to OTIS headquarters in the USA protesting the poor service that we have been getting.  The quality of service has improved in that response times are shorter but, as we all can see, the frequency and severity of faults is increasing.


Safety is a primary concern, of course, and with OTIS we will do whatever is necessary to make sure that the lifts are safe, or taken out of service for the necessary period.


Dayyaan Ismail, our building manager, is your primary point of contact in matters relating to the lifts:
Cell:     067 027 2447

We have received the following, which may be of interest to Owners and Residents:

Dear Companys Garden stakeholder

Many of us have wonderful memories of the Company’s Garden and understand the benefits that a vibrant, safe public space offers to everyone who uses it.

As a neighbouring property or business concern, institutional partner or interested user, I would like to invite you on behalf of the Cape Town Heritage Trust to meet together to discuss the Company’s Garden and the opportunities there are to improve how we all experience this famous landmark.

Meeting details
When: 12h00 – 13h30, Tuesday 30 April
Where: Company’s Garden visitors centre (click here for directions)
RSVP: Please confirm your attendance, email

The City of Cape Town Steering Committee for the Company’s Garden has asked the Cape Town Heritage Trust to facilitate the formation of a Friends group for this important and influential public asset.

This meeting would be the first to map out the way forward for this community group.

The Cape Town Heritage Trust is a PBO and an established heritage body that has partnered with City authorities on a wide variety of impactful projects.

Please contact me (082 727 3516/ with any questions you may have. Please download a further letter of introduction: Letter of introduction from Cape Town Heritage Trust.

Kind regards
Alan Cameron

Mutual Heights Community Website

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Last updated:
06 January 2020
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