A new sliding gate in record time


It’s been a hectic two days. Yesterday morning (Sunday) at 6.30, I got an SMS telling me that the 5.3m sliding gate on the Yeoville sportsground had been stolen. This left the field open and exposed and difficult for the kids of the school and the community soccer teams to use safely. I went and opened a case of theft at the Yeoville Police Station and then fired off a number of emails to some corporates with outlets in Yeoville Bellevue and to the Johannesburg Development Agency who installed the original fence for us. I was hoping one of them might be able to make a quick decision to help us by sponsoring the procurement and installation of a new gate – we had no money to pay for it ourselves.

Sometime in the early afternoon today, I received a call from a steel company who said they were in the process of making a new gate and would be installing it this evening and to whom should they give the keys for the locks? After telling them I would come and get the keys, I asked them to say again who they were because I didn’t recognise the company name at all. Turns out that the regional manager of Shoprite, one of the people to whom I had made the appeal, has opened my email early this morning and instructed these guys to make us a gate, without even calling me to say so.

So, as you can see from the second picture, the new gate is in. That’s a record 10 hour turn-around from the time of the regional manager opening my email to the handing over of the keys. Good stuff, Shoprite.

What was interesting was that while I was waiting for the guys to finish installing the gate, a number of people walked past and expressed their anger at what had happened. Somehow they had heard that the gate had been stolen and they were saying that they couldn’t understand who would steal a gate from a community facility, from a facility used by the kids of the area. I found this very heartening, that ordinary people living in Yeoville Bellevue with no direct links to the school or the sportsground had this reaction. Maybe, slowly but surely, we are indeed consolidating into a community, a community that cares.


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