Contact Us

 
Download the Connected Living app.
 
 

 

ESTATE LIVING
1st Floor Lona House
212 Upper Buitengracht
Bo Kaap, Cape Town, 8001

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Jaime-Lee Gardner
jaime@estate-living.co.za
072 171 1979

CREATIVE, DESIGN & CONTENT
Louise Martin
louise@estate-living.co.za
073 335 4084

All rights reserved © 2019 Copyright Estate Living.

Our site uses cookies and other data to improve your experiance.
Please read our privacy policy to familiarise yourself with how we use this information.

WATCH:

Umhlanga Arch KwaZulu-Natal and Kansai Plascon

< 1 min read Umhlanga Arch on the KZN North Coast is a triumph for the professional teams that worked tirelessly to create this soon-to-be iconic landmark. For the paint finishes, the developers elected to use Kansai Plascon’s 360 Professional Pledge offering, a premium paint range and application. The Kansai Plascon Preferred Applicator was Smith and Winfield.

WATCH:

Hibiscus Retirement Villages presents Widenham Retirement Village

< 1 min read Widenham Retirement Village is the latest edition to the Hibiscus Retirement Villages. Located on the south coast of Kwazulu-Natal, the village, when completed will house 600 1- 2- or 3 bedroom cottages, clubhouse and sport facilities, medical facilities and frail care. Widenham is based on a life right purchasing model and cottages in the new phase starts at R1,1 million.

WATCH:

Azuri – The perfect combination of luxury and simplicity

< 1 min read The beating heart of Azuri is its market place. It is a place where neighbours can come together and build a happier, stronger, and safer community. The village offers the convenience of a city—a café, restaurants, boutiques, a delicatessen, an ATM, a farmer’s market—without the hustle. And all this, by the sea.

WATCH:

#WhatAzuriansSay – Michelle Carney

< 1 min read Azuri meets, without an ounce of doubt, the growing demand for prestigious island living opportunities. The Luxury Residences are part of a real estate program that allows foreigners to acquire property in Mauritius by offering unique investment opportunities. 

WATCH:

#WhatAzuriansSay with Ashley & Chloé

< 1 min read Investing in a villa at Azuri allows you to reside in Mauritius and create your ideal lifestyle: the climate is tropical and pleasant, its inhabitants are welcoming and harmonious, and the island’s infrastructure is modern.

WATCH:

#LiveTruly @ Azuri

< 1 min read Azuri is much about living truthfully. The splendid ocean and golf village is built around a community that is welcoming, caring and vibrant.

WATCH:

Development Funding and Risk Appetite

< 1 min read Estate Living joins Karl Bishop Head of Real Estate at Santam and Dr Roelof Botha and we discuss SA economic outlook and the important issue of development funding and real estate guarantees.

WATCH:

Love Your Neighbourhood – St Francis Links Jeff Clause

< 1 min read Learn more about the St Francis Links lifestyle through the eyes of CEO Jeff Clause. And what a Lifestyle it is. Located in the seaside town of St Francis Bay, St Francis Links is renowned for it warm and hospitable staff, well-run facilities, top rated golf course and spectacular views.

WATCH:

COLAS SA – Micro Surfacing Slurry Overlay

< 1 min read Colas SA offers a wide range of road installation and maintance solutions. Working closely with Property Developers, Residential Estates and Sectional Title Developments, Colas has developed and adapted products that work for community living spaces in an affordable, aesthetically pleasing and durable manner.

WATCH:

Anahita Mauritius offers rental properties for visitors on a long stay visa

< 1 min read Mauritius welcomes you for stays up to 1 year with the new renewable premium visa! Come live and work remotely in a country with no local coronavirus cases boasting all the modern facilities to carry on your professional activity. Rent a property at Anahita estate as from € 2,150 per month and relish an exceptional lifestyle by the golf and the lagoon.

WATCH:

POPI Compliance and Sectional Title Development

< 1 min read Marina Constas from BBM Attorneys is a specialist in sectional title scheme, she share insight on the POPI Act and how BBM can assist sectional title developments and trustees be POPI compliant.

WATCH:

Estate Living 2020 Educational Webinars

< 1 min read Thank you to everyone who participated in the educational Estate Living webinar series this year. There has been great engagement across all of our audiences – Property Developers, Community Managers, Residents, Homeowners and Property Investors local and abroad.

WATCH:

Peter Rawson introduces Trellidors new lifestyle range

< 1 min read Trellidor’s new lifestyle range focuses on both safety and access control. The range of products take into consideration residential community aesthetic guidelines, security needs and act as a deterrent to animals and insects.

WATCH:

BMI Coverland and Waterkloof Marina Estate

< 1 min read Waterkloof Marina Estate is the new exclusive development focussed on an over 50’s market. One of the key features to the development is the elevated position of the homes that overlooks the Lake. This feature is enhanced by the use of BMI Coverland slate tiles that create movement and enhance a outdoor lifestyle.

WATCH:

South Africans looking at International Property. Compare Cyprus, Mauritius and Portugal.

< 1 min read Over the last few years, a number of countries have structured residency programs and investment opportunities that South African’s find enticing. With an eye on three popular destinations for South African investors, Mauritius, Cyprus and Portugal, we have invited the experts to unpack what each country has to offer – the location, property opportunities, how do you qualify for a permit, what are the benefits of moving your business and how should you manage your funds.

WATCH:

Technology for Effective Communication and Management of Residential Community Spaces

< 1 min read One of the bigger lessons learnt in 2020, within community spaces, is that without effective and transparent communication things can go wrong and quickly! This lack of information is offen misconstrued as meaning a lack of action and, in many communities, this has lead to the management teams taking the hits.

WATCH:

Live on the Beach at Kabeljauws Beach Estate Jeffreys Bay South Africa

< 1 min read Priced from R 1,250 Million, Kabeljauws Beach Estate comprises of 43 units, made up of apartments, penthouses, freestanding homes and rowhouses. Offering all the makings of a successful development which includes a beach cafe, pool terrance, security and most important, direct access to the beach.

WATCH:

Fibre pre-deployment Collaboration Framework Episode 3

< 1 min read Working in collaboration, the Property and Building sector, Local Government, Telecommunication Operators, Estate Living and the Digital Council Africa have discussed the collective agreement between industry leaders that identifies the need for a decisive approach to the provision of fibre infrastructure in all new builds.

WATCH:

The Home, The Estate, The Precinct – Which security measures drive property investment.

< 1 min read Community Living environments are enabled through security measures, however, over the last 25 years communities have evolved and so have the needs of potential investors and homeowners.

WATCH:

Renewable Energy – Navigating the Landscape for Developers, Community Managers and Homeowners

< 1 min read Estate Living, Green Housing Compnay, eThekwini Energy Office, ST Solutions, PEC Utility and Teljoy navigate the landscape of green infrastructure and renewable energy. Looking at how new developments and existing estate, can be planned in a manner that ensures security of supply of services to residents, in a financially sustainable manner.

WATCH:

Fibre Pre-Deployment – Building a Framework of Collaboration

< 1 min read Through a series of webinars, Estate Living and Huawei are discussing and have launched a collaborative agreement between the property and building sectors, Local Government and Telco’s that supports provision for fibre infrastructure in all new builds. On the panel: SALGA, NHBRC, Hauwei, Openserve, Digital Council Africa, eLAN Group

WATCH:

Beau Plan Mauritius

< 1 min read From offices to residential neighbourhoods, the city’s Creative Park to its Lifestyle Village, and Greencoast Elementary School to African Leadership College (ALC), Beau Plan has imagined the city of tomorrow, in which everything is possible.

WATCH:

Estate Living introduces the Association of Residential Communities ( ARC )

< 1 min read Jeff Gilmour, President of ARC, discusses the benefits for Community Management, Trustees and Director of community schemes to join ARC.

WATCH:

Ranesh Ranjith, Sales and Marketing Director, highlight the benefits of Thorburn Security Services

< 1 min read Thorburn Security a division of Tsebo Group offers various security services designed for community living environments. Estate Living and Ranesh Ranjith unpack these benefits.

WATCH:

Invest or Emigrate to Mauritius – Financial Focus for South Africans

< 1 min read For South Africans looking at investing or emigrating to Mauritius, in this discussion webinar we cover tax consideration and Trusts, Setting up a Mauritian Bank Account, property financing and Off plan property payment structure.

WATCH:

Mauritius North Islands View

< 1 min read North Isands View is a new development launched in the north of Mauritius, an area called Grand Gaube. The development is on one of the few raised landscapes and 1st, 2nd and Penthouses have spectaular views of ocean.

WATCH:

Greenhill Estate in Waterkloof Heights in Pretoria celebrates its off-grid​ status.

< 1 min read Greenhill Estate celebrates their OFF-GRID approval by City of Tshwane, launching the Estates solutions for Power, Water and Sewer and enabling the development to be self sustaining.

WATCH:

Tsebo Group Facilities Management Solutions

< 1 min read Tsebo’s facilities solutions group sales director, Andile Mgudlwa and Louise Martin from Estate Living, discuss Tsebo’s Facilities Management service and the value it offers residential communities.

WATCH:

Introducing a South African Pre and Rapid Deployment Strategy for Fibre Infrastructure

< 1 min read Join Estate Living and Huawei, along with leaders in the SA Fibre Industry; the Digital Council Africa, Openserve and Ellipsis Regulatory Solutions, as we discuss the importance of a pre-deployment strategy for fibre infrastructure.

WATCH:

Your Journey to Mauritius

< 1 min read Join Estate Living Mauritius as we discuss emigrating or investing in Mauritius. Unpacking everything from permits, managing South African assets, moving or starting a business, Tax emigration and exchange control emigration, looking for the right residential or commercial properties and what school options and medical facilities are available.

WATCH:

Trellidor Clear Guard features

< 1 min read These are sophisticated woven steel mesh panels inside a neat frame, so discreet that you hardly notice they’re there. You can see right through the mesh screen and it allows some airflow into your home.

WATCH:

Trellidor Burglar Guard features

< 1 min read All Trellidor security barriers are custom-made to fit the opening and its specific requirements, so there is no standard price. Trellidor security barriers are available through authorised Trellidor franchises countrywide and they will gladly measure the opening and give a quotation.

WATCH:

Trellidor Retractable Security features

< 1 min read All Trellidor security barriers are custom-made to fit the opening and its specific requirements, so there is no standard price. Trellidor security barriers are available through authorised Trellidor franchises countrywide and they will gladly measure the opening and give a quotation.

WATCH:

Trellidor Polycarbonate Bar features

< 1 min read You may have seen these before, but not quite like this. This is not just Polycarbonate strips nailed to your windows. The Trellidor version is fully framed and attached to the wall inside the window reveal for a neat, strong fit. It is satisfyingly refined and barely there, keeping the monkeys out and protecting you from petty theft through your windows too.

WATCH:

Trellidor Cottage Guard features

< 1 min read These do verge on looking like conventional burglar proofing. But they’re worth a mention because they can be made to match cottage pane windows perfectly. This means that the gap sizes will be the same as your windows, so you can’t see the Cottage Guard at all. They’re immensely strong burglar bars and excellent for high crime risk windows.

WATCH:

Trellidor Rollerstyle Shutter features

< 1 min read Manual and automated rolling shutters that are completely invisible when you don’t need them. Made from aluminium, they have a slim profile and don’t require a bottom track so there is no cutting into your floor.

WATCH:

Trellidor Security Shutter features

< 1 min read All Trellidor security barriers are custom-made to fit the opening and its specific requirements, so there is no standard price. Trellidor security barriers are available through authorised Trellidor franchises countrywide and they will gladly measure the opening and give a quotation.

WATCH:

Crossways Farm Village – South Africa’s first AgriHood

< 1 min read Crossways Farm Village is a ’Town’ with its own municipality, water and electricity management, agricultural land, commercial offerings and residential opportunities. Dr Chris Mulder the visionary behind Thesen Islands and the Eastern Cape Provincial Government collaborated to develop South Africa’s first Rural New Town outside the conventional “Urban Edge”.

WATCH:

BMI Coverland new product launch – A South African First

< 1 min read From humble beginnings BMI Coverland has developed into the largest roofing business in the world. With their confidence in their product and 70 year track record, BMI Coverland introduces a exciting new offer on their concrete range. This industry-disrupting offer enables developers of residential and commercial properties to offer their buyers long-term strategic value that equates into real savings, which makes their properties more desirable to investors. This is a game changer in the construction industry.

WATCH:

BMI Coverland 30 Year Guarantee

< 1 min read BMI Group supports property developments, through scalable and sustainable roofing and waterproofing solutions

WATCH:

Fanie Loubser from Colas SA discusses road maintenance in residential communities

< 1 min read Fanie Loubser from Colas SA and Louise Martin of Estate Living share updates on Colas’s Covid-19 company protocals. We breakdown a road maintance plan and look at how cost saving can be taken into account through road resurfacing products.

WATCH:

Estate and community branding understand how this effects property values

< 1 min read In the #BestOfCommunity series, Jeff Gilmour of ARC, Jaime-Lee Gardner and Louise Martin of Estate Living discuss community living spaces in South Africa. In the 3rd episode we look at the estate and community brand. Understanding how public and homeowner sentiment plays role in the value of the collective community and individual properties.

WATCH:

Shoba Govender from Tsebo Cleaning Solutions discusses the advanced approach to Covid-19 Cleaning

< 1 min read Emerging from a single contract in 1999, Tsebo Cleaning Services now has over 500 contracts across South Africa and a staff complement of over 13,000 cleaning professionals.

WATCH:

Understanding new financing tools like FLISP and Rent to Buy

< 1 min read Meyer De Waal of MDW Inc and Louise Martin of Estate Living discuss buying into a sectional title development or residential estate understanding the difference and what opportunities each offer.

WATCH:

Property Investment opportunities in Mauritius

< 1 min read Estate Living and Andrew Thompson of Keller Williams One, discuss investment opportunities in Mauritius. If you are looking at off-shore investment or contemplating emigrating, Mauritius offers South Africans many advantages.

WATCH:

Santam Real Estate – Risk Appetite within property sector

< 1 min read Karl Bishop, Head of Santam Real Estate, and Louise Martin of Estate Living discuss Santam’s risk appetite within the property sector as it applies to property finance and development guarantees.

WATCH:

Let’s Talk Property: Episode 10 – Mauritius Property: Live, Work, Invest

< 1 min read We look at various Mauritian Developments and how best to approach a Mauritian property investment and/all emigration of family and business.

WATCH:

The Evergreen Business – An Overview

< 1 min read This is a short overview of the Evergreen business, its vision and approach to the future.

WATCH:

Evergreen Noordhoek village walk-through video with Phil Wilson

< 1 min read In this video Phil Wilson takes us on a walking tour of Evergreen Noordhoek village. He is also joined by one of our exceptional Village Managers, Bronwyn Davies.

WATCH:

Estate Living and Atlantic Beach discuss Community Apps

< 1 min read Estate Livings, Louise Martin and Atlantic Beach Estates CEO, Harry White, discuss the importance of effective communication within an estate and how community App’s play a valuable part of this strategy

WATCH:

Let’s Talk Property Episode 7: Which North Coast Developments are set for success

< 1 min read We’d like to invite you to join us for Let’s Talk Property Episode 6. This week more prominent members of the property community discussed which North Coast developments are set for success. Let’s Talk Property is sponsored by eLan Property group and hosted be Derek Watts, Carte Blanche anchor and prominent member of the South African media.

WATCH:

Unpacking the community rules with ARC and Estate Living

< 1 min read In the #BestOfCommunity series, Jeff Gilmour of ARC and Louise Martin of Estate Living look into community living spaces in South Africa. In the 2nd episode they discuss the importance of rules.

WATCH:

#InsideAzuri with Hans & Varinka!

< 1 min read Since its inception five years ago on a large estate on the north-east coast, Azuri Ocean & Golf Village has metamorphosed into a vibrant and tight-knit community.

WATCH:

Estate Living on #RealEstate Ep 24 Investing in an estate

< 1 min read Jaime-Lee Gardener & Louise Martin of Estate Living provide their expert insights on #RealEstate Ep 24around investing in an estate.

WATCH:

What to do if you feel harassed by the trustees

< 1 min read Estate Living and Marina Constas of BBM Law, have collaborated to provide accurate information on what levy contributions mean to the success of a development or estate, understanding your rights and obligations, and navigating community relationships.

WATCH:

What are the different services and costs that my levies pay for

< 1 min read Estate Living and Marina Constas of BBM Law, have collaborated to provide accurate information on what levy contributions mean to the success of a development or estate, and understanding your rights and obligations around these contributions.

WATCH:

What services does the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) provide?

< 1 min read Estate Living and Marina Constas of BBM Law, have collaborated to provide accurate information on what levy contributions mean to the success of a development or estate, and understanding your rights and obligations around these contributions.

WATCH:

Let’s Talk Property Episode 5: Six of SA’s Top Estate Success Stories

2 min read We’d like to invite you to join us for Let’s Talk Property Episode 5 where panelists will share six of SA’s Top Estate Success Stories. Learn who’s part of this weeks panel and register now!

WATCH:

Introducing the intricacies of community living with ARC and Estate Living

< 1 min read In the #BestOfCommunity series, Jeff Gilmour of ARC, Jaime-Lee Gardner and Louise Martin of Estate Living look into community living spaces in South Africa. In the 1st episode they discuss; levies, technology, community harmony and security.

WATCH:

Let’s Talk Property Episode 4: What are SA’s current and future property hotspots

2 min read Let’s Talk Property is sponsored by eLan Property group and hosted be Derek Watts. This weeks webinar will be paneled by South African property experts such as Samuel Seeff, Director of Seeff Properties; Louise Martin COO of Estate Living; Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts South Africa and more esteemed property professionals. Learn more about the panelists and register now.

WATCH:

Let’s Talk Property Episode 3: Politics, the Ecomony and Buying a House.

< 1 min read Property finance has always been one-part mystery, one-part theory, one-part luck – to the uninformed. But it is in fact a science based on very set ideals with an unenviable reliance on circumstance. It is this reliance on circumstance that dictates the degree of risk and that determines failure or reward.

WATCH:

Lets talk Property Episode 2: Mauritius

< 1 min read Hosted by Derek Watts, Episode 2 of the “Lets Talk Property” webinar features insights from various experts in property and across relevant fields. The focus for each episode is different, for this week’s focus will be on property investment in Mauritius.

WATCH:

Lets Talk Property hosted by Derek Watts Episode 1, sponsored by eLANS Property Group

2 min read In these unprecedented times we are all looking for some degree of financial security. One of the go-to pillars in this field is property, as this investment historically holds its value.

WATCH:

Estate Living multimedia platform

< 1 min read Estate Living provides insight into community environments. As the leading multi-disciplinary and multi-channel platform, our goal is to assist our audience to make informed decisions, inspire investment and professionalism. By sharing knowledge, Estate Living is a catalyst for economic opportunity.

WATCH:

Evergreen Lifestyle Villages

< 1 min read Established in 2008, Evergreen is South Africa’s premier retirement lifestyle brand with a reputation for developing and operating exceptional retirement villages.

WATCH:

BMI Group Roofing and Waterproofing Solutions

< 1 min read BMI Group supports property developments, through scalable and sustainable roofing and waterproofing solutions

WATCH:

Estate Living talking levies with Marina Constas BBM Law

< 1 min read Understand your right and obligations when it comes to levy payment. The community living levies series with Marina Constas aims to assist owners and tenant with sectional title developments and homeowner associations.

WATCH:

Estate Living talking levies with Marina Constas BBM Law Pt2

< 1 min read Understand your right and obligations when it comes to levy payment. The community living levies series with Marina Constas aims to assist owners and tenant with sectional title developments and homeowner associations.

WATCH:

Estate Living Developer Event JHB 2019

< 1 min read With this years property developer focused morning coming up on the 19th of March 2020, take a look back on our wildly successful Durban event held last year

WATCH:

Estate Living Developer Event Durban 2019

< 1 min read With this years property developer focused morning coming up on the 19th of March 2020, take a look back on our wildly successful Durban event held last year

WATCH:

Colas SA Community offering

< 1 min read Estate Living and Colas introduce a new solution for road surfaces repairs and maintenance. Watch the implementation on Blair Atholl Estate.

WATCH:

Walkthrough Video of Brettenwood’s Palm Swift Development

< 1 min read Brettenwood’s latest development has been enhanced and is now offering single-storey homes! Brettenwood Coastal Estate’s latest sectional title development has launched 2 and 3 bedroom free-standing, single-storey homes priced from R 2.5 million!

WATCH:

Malcolm Samuel, Simbithi Eco Estate, on the value of community social investment

< 1 min read Estate Living chats to GM of Simbithi Eco estate, Malcolm Samuels about the value of community.

WATCH:

Association of Residential Community Annual 2019 Conference

< 1 min read The 2019 Annual ARC Conference hosted at the stunning San Lameer Estate in KZN, brought together 150 residential community leaders to learn and grow as an industry.

WATCH:

Association of Residential Communities ( ARC ) and Estate Living partnership

< 1 min read Onsite at the pristine Steenberg Estate, we chat with Jeff Gilmour around what a chapter meeting is and how Estate Living and ARC bring communities alive.

WATCH:

Zimbali Lakes Resort – Development Site available for development

< 1 min read Estate Living discusses opportunities for development at the gorgeous Zimbali Lakes Resort

WATCH:

Servest Landscaping – What makes a great community landscaping partner

< 1 min read Sebelo Khoza from Servest Landscaping chats to Estate Living about what makes a great community landscaping partner.

WATCH:

Arthur Case of Evergreen discusses Evergreen offering

< 1 min read Estate Living sits down with Arthur Case of Evergreen and discusses the support Evergreen offers residents with selling their home and moving into an Evergreen village

WATCH:

Estate Living chats to Joan, a resident at Evergreen

< 1 min read Estate Living and Joan Misplon, discuss the Evergreen lifestyle

WATCH:

ProjectProp Leloko Eco and Lifestyle Estate

< 1 min read ProjectProp presents Leloko Eco and Lifestyle Estate, development sale opportunity.

WATCH:

Greenhill Estate – Launch Event

< 1 min read Greenhill Estate in Waterkloof Heights is Pretoria’s new premier off-grid​ estate. Conceptualised and developed by the Green Housing Company, the estate features insulative advanced tech buildings , ensuring that the contemporary-styled homes will require minimal (if any) heating and cooling, and more.

WATCH:

The Rive Droite Show villa will soon be ready

2 min read Things are moving in Azuri Ocean & Golf Village in Mauritius on the new neighborhood of Rive Droite, with an exquisite villa that will soon be revealed.

WATCH:

Estate Living interview with Santam

< 1 min read Louise Martin, COO of Estate Living, interviews Santams Head of specialist real estate, Karl Bishop, on Santam’s development guarantees.

WATCH:

Estate Living and Openserve interview

< 1 min read Estate Living interviews the team from Openserve at Kyalami Estate. Discussing Openserves experience within residential communities

WATCH:

GreenHill Estate in Waterkloof Pretoria

< 1 min read Fabulously positioned at the top of Waterkloof Heights, Greenhill Estate offers 360-degree views and energy-efficient, sustainable living in an exclusive, secure lifestyle estate.

WATCH:

Estate Living Interview with Dirk Uys from Arabella Country Estate

< 1 min read Watch: Louise Martin, COO of Estate Living, and Dirk Uys of the magnificent Arabella Country Estate discuss three of the challenges estates and their management team face today with Dirk Uys

WATCH:

Estate Living presents Arabella Country Estate

< 1 min read Watch: What do you look for in a top-class, well-aged red wine? Style, certainly; body and taste, definitely; but also the subtle, understated excellence that comes to great wines only when they begin to mature; an excellence that reflects an impeccable track record.

WATCH:

Builders DIY: How to Make a DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray

< 1 min read In this video we show you how to make a DIY chalkboard serving tray that’s cute and easy to make.

WATCH:

Arc Conference 2018

< 1 min read The Association of Residential Communities (ARC) helds its 2018 Annual Conference, Expo and Golf Day at the beautiful Serengeti Estates. The Association of Residential Communities (ARC) has been in existence for over 10 years, with 11 founder members, 10 chapters around the country and over 300 member estates, home to over 200,000 residents and representing 58% of the market in respect of number of homes.

WATCH:

Builders DIY: Geometric feature wall

< 1 min read Transform a bland white space into a stunning feature wall in a snap with this short and sweet DIY video!

WATCH:

Builders DIY: Paint your ceiling with Fired Earth Ceiling Paint

< 1 min read It applies pink and dries white – so you’ll never miss a spot again.

WATCH:

Builders DIY: DIY Kitchen Stand

< 1 min read Andrew Donkin and Builders Warehouse show you how to build your own DIY kitchen Stand.

WATCH:

Builders DIY: How to build a Kitchen

< 1 min read Creating a kitchen with off-the-shelf units not only makes building your kitchen a breeze, but is really affordable too.

SARS is pulling the plug on 12J

4 min read We’ve always known that the popular Section 12J had an expiry date, but we assumed (hoped) it would be extended. Well, it won’t be. So, if you want to take advantage of it, you had better move very, very fast to get in before the 30 June cut-off. But it’s not all bad news. While 12J is on the way out, Lucky 13sex is still around.

New Work

7 min read Most of us work because we have to, not because we want to. But New Work, as defined by Frithjof Bergmann, is work that we do because we want to – because it enriches our lives, not just our bank balances. Until recently, it’s only been artists, hippies and new-age hunter-gatherers who have managed to step off the conspicuous consumption–conspicuous busyness roller coaster, and just live. But, with new technology and an open mind, this option is open to more of us. Maybe it will, one day soon, become the new normal.

Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires

4 min read When wildfires swept through the hills near Santa Cruz, California, in 2020, they released toxic chemicals into the water supplies of at least two communities. One sample found benzene, a carcinogen, at 40 times the state’s drinking water standard.

Mauritius is on track to achieve herd immunity

2 min read Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, Mauritius has upheld the sanitary safety of Mauritian nationals and that of visitors as a topmost priority. The island nation has been widely recognised as exercising one of the best responses to the pandemic – a strategy that has resulted in a surprisingly low incidence of the disease.

Facial recognition

6 min read Whether it’s unlocking your phone or accessing your banking app, facial recognition technology is everywhere. It’s a tool that is rapidly gaining popularity with banks, security companies, law enforcement, retailers and – of course – social media platforms. And, like every tool from a claw hammer to a chainsaw or a steamroller, this tool can be used constructively or destructively. Or, if not actually destructively, at least creepily.

The CSOS is engaging legal counsel for recovery of investments made in “VBS” Bank

2 min read In its audited financial statements for the reporting period 2017/18, the CSOS recognised an impairment loss of R80 million, as a result of unlawful investments into VBS Mutual Bank (“VBS”).

Ageing infrastructure: a risk to developers

3 min read Before starting projects in areas with ageing municipal infrastructure, developers should beware of the indirect – or, in some cases, direct – costs.

The Swiss cheese model of risk management

4 min read Whatever your field, whether you are project managing a multibillion-rand development, overseeing the security on a small estate, getting the kids to school on time, or running a large hospital, you need to manage risk, minimise accidents, and ensure the smooth flow of a number of related tasks. We all have different ways of ensuring that this happens, but one brilliant model is as simple as a slice of cheese – or, more accurately, a lot of slices of cheese.

UK introduces additional stamp duty land tax to increase for foreign investors

2 min read The UK government is introducing an additional 2% stamp duty land tax (SDLT) surcharge for foreign investors purchasing property in England and Northern Ireland from 1 April 2021. It will apply to purchases of any freehold or leasehold residential property in which the purchaser, or one of the purchasers, is deemed to be a non-UK resident. The only exceptions to this rule are if one of the purchasers is an employee of the UK state (the Crown), or if the non-UK resident is married or in a civil partnership with a UK resident.

Choosing a residential estate

3 min read There are so many fabulous residential estates from which to choose that you can be forgiven for feeling a tad overwhelmed. But, don’t be intimidated by the cornucopia of choice. Many of them will suit your needs, but some may be just perfect for you. It’s worth doing your homework.

Changes to Portugal’s Golden Visa

2 min read Portugal’s Golden Visa citizenship by investment programme is one of the most accessible ways of obtaining Euro citizenship. And a nice place on the Atlantic or Mediterranean coast is an added bonus – or at least it was until the Portuguese government amended the legislation to exclude coastal properties and properties in the main cities of Porto and Lisbon.

The world’s first 3D-printed, zero net energy, residential estate

3 min read The Palari Group, in conjunction with Mighty Buildings, is planning the world’s first zero net energy, 3D-printed residential estate in Rancho Mirage, California, USA. It will be a small, low-density, upmarket estate but, perhaps, the ease, speed, efficiency and sustainability of the construction process may lend itself to rapid deployment of affordable housing. Or not.

Your privacy vs your security

4 min read They know everything about you. They know who you are, where you live, who your friends are, what their names and ID numbers are, what car they drive … and they have hours of video footage of you entering and leaving your home. ‘They’ are not some shady government agency. They’re the security company that guards your estate’s front gate, and the information they’re collecting about you – and about your visitors – is increasingly coming under the microscope.

Mauritius goes into lockdown following 15 cases of COVID-19

2 min read On 10 March 2021, the government of the Republic of Mauritius implemented new COVID-19 public health protocols, and placed the island nation on temporary lockdown until 25 March 2021. This follows the reporting of 15 cases of COVID-19 in the community. All international and domestic passenger flights have been suspended until 25 March 2021, but cargo flights will continue.

Energy crisis

3 min read Slowly, your eyes close, your head droops – and then you jerk awake just before your chin hits your chest – that awful feeling when you just can’t stay awake. We’ve all experienced it – whether it’s trawling through the minutes of the latest board meeting, or trying to look (and be) alert at the entrance gate. How do we deal with those mid-morning slumps? (Or mid-afternoon, or mid-evening, or even midnight.)

Africa’s data centre boom

3 min read You may have noticed that we’ve all been using the internet a lot more than we used to. The global shifts towards remote working, online learning, cloud-based business operations and streaming entertainment – all of which were gathering steam before 2020 happened – have been propelled forward by the local lockdowns of COVID-19. That spells opportunity for developers who can meet the growing demand for South Africa’s internet backbone infrastructure needs.

Cooking with gas

3 min read Many serious cooks swear by gas hobs. They’re reliable, incredibly controllable, efficient, cost-efficient and – best of all – they work during load shedding, as long as you have a box of matches nearby. And you can’t beat the aesthetics of a gleaming stainless steel gas hob. But how safe is cooking with gas?

Tiny houses

5 min read Unless you’ve been living under a rock with no internet or cell reception, you will have been bombarded with cute, adorable, clever tiny house ideas. But is there any place for the tiny house movement here in South Africa, where most of the population live in ‘houses’ that would make a tiny house seem uber-luxurious? Perhaps the most important thing the tiny house movement can do is to get people to rethink what is necessary, and what is possible. And that’s just what any smart developer should be doing.

Look around, look ahead …

2 min read There is so much day-to-day pressure in managing an estate or sectional title development that it’s easy to become bogged down in mundane admin, and – when things don’t go smoothly – in not-so-mundane firefighting. But it’s essential to maintain the broad vision and the long view.

Hotel rooms as investment

3 min read Who’d have thought it? Between them, property and tourism – two of the industries that have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 crisis – are creating one of the year’s most innovative investment opportunities.

England does away with ground rent

4 min read The government in England will give leaseholders the right to extend their leases by up to 990 years and pay no ground rent under major new changes due to become law later this year. We take a look at what effects, if any, the new changes have for foreign investors.

The legal rights of trees …

3 min read We are all aware that we need to do an environmental impact assessment before we embark on any large-scale (or sometimes even small-scale) endeavour like mining, new building, landscaping – even farming. But this is – in the scheme of thing – relatively recent, so it is still seen by many as an inconvenience imposed by tie-dye-clad, lentil-eating tree huggers. But how did we get here? How did trees get legal standing? (And rocks, and bunnies and other natural things.) And why should we comply with the spirit of this legislation rather than trying to circumvent it by manipulating the letter?

Azuri Homeowners’ Benefits

3 min read If the promise of the sweet island life doesn’t seal the deal, here are ten more perks of living or purchasing property in this unique seaside setting.

Between Luxury and Simplicity

7 min read Island living evokes balmy weather, tropical gardens, beautiful homes, sandy beaches, lagoons, and above all, space. Living on the edge of a golf course means you are surrounded by greenery and lush vegetation, peacefulness and beauty. Having the freedom to choose to live by a golf course is the epitome of luxury.

Azuri’s Golf Lifestyle

< 1 min read Island living evokes balmy weather, tropical gardens, beautiful homes, sandy beaches, lagoons, and above all, space. Living on the edge of a golf course means you are surrounded by greenery and lush vegetation, peacefulness and beauty. Having the freedom to choose to live by a golf course is the epitome of luxury.

Island Living @ Azuri

3 min read Since its discovery by Arab sailors in the 16th century, Mauritius has been coveted by powerful nations because of its strategic position on the Spice Trade Route. People from all corners of the globe continue to be drawn to its natural beauty, ideal location at the crossroads of Africa and Asia, and time zone that allows round-the-clock transactions with all major markets. Who doesn’t love the sweet life of living in the tropics?

Life in a degrowth economy

6 min read What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever, and academics, economists and activists have, for decades, been exploring ways of moving beyond growth economics and towards a ‘steady-state’ economy.

The extraordinary sex life of Victoria amazonica

4 min read The giant water lily, Victoria amazonica, is bizarre. It’s the biggest water lily in the world, and its leaves are so big and buoyant that a small adult can sit on one and read a book. However, what’s really unusual about them is their sex life. But don’t worry, we’ll keep it PG.

Open door, healthy boundaries

3 min read Managing a residential estate is different to managing most other businesses because your clients are part of your product, and what you do affects them – not only in a business way but also as humans and families. And what they do affects you, and your other clients. It’s quite a juggling act.

Two sides of offshore property

3 min read Investors who’re looking to access the international property market have two main choices: individual, physical properties, or a diversified portfolio with exposure to the real estate market. Which option is best for you?

Horror story

4 min read Usually, when you review a book that you think is good, or even – as in this case – excellent, you wax lyrical about how much you enjoyed it. Well, this was not the case here. Reading this book is not enjoyable. Every page you turn feels like being hit over the head with something big and heavy – perhaps a book, but definitely a hardcover one. Seriously, it’s a traumatic read, but a very important one, especially for developers with a social conscience who are hoping to create something sustainable.

Rules and regulations

3 min read If you are living in a residential estate, you probably know that there are a host of rules to which you have to adhere. Most of these you will find quite reasonable, and probably appreciate how they protect you from minor (and some major) nuisances. But you may find some a bit onerous so, if you are thinking of moving to, or buying into, an estate, make sure you know the rules before you sign on the dotted line.

Offshore property and your estate

4 min read As the local economy continues to wobble, more and more South Africans are looking overseas to build and diversify their wealth. Property is an increasingly attractive part of that offshore investment picture. But whether it’s a small rental apartment in Portugal or a seaside villa in Zanzibar, that offshore property needs very careful attention when it comes to estate planning.

High-tech, low impact

2 min read Sadly, we need to protect our homes with a range of security measures, but that doesn’t mean we have to live behind bars, caged up like prisoners. Security is a dynamic, ever-evolving industry in which cutting-edge technology is constantly employed to produce best-practice applications.

Buying property abroad? Make savings to smile about

< 1 min read If you’ve found your dream property in Cyprus Currencies Direct can help you save time and money on your purchase.

The dams are mostly full

4 min read With the nationwide rainfall that we have enjoyed, some courtesy of Tropical Storm Eloise, most of our large dams are now full. The media is reporting that our water worries are over, at least for the time being. But is this the case, or is this just a blip in a general downward trend? As with many things, to predict the future, we need to look at the past.

Investing in biodiversity

3 min read When we think of return on investment, we tend to think in monetary terms, but we forget that money is not much use if there is nothing worthwhile to spend it on. So, while we do need to ensure our financial security, we – possibly even more importantly – need to ensure that our planet remains liveable for humans. And the key to that is biodiversity.

FlySafair opens new route to Mauritius

3 min read The announcement by South African airline FlySafair that it will be introducing a Johannesburg to Mauritius route once the two countries’ borders reopen has been welcomed by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA).

Eden to Addo

4 min read Walking is much more than a way to get from A to B. It’s a meditation and a pilgrimage.

R1 billion in sales in 45 days for new Sandton development

2 min read Balwin’s Wedgewood Sandton Lifestyle Apartments development has achieved record sales – a whopping R1 billion sold in just seven weeks since 21 November 2020. These sales equated to R22.2 million in sales per day over the period, which is remarkable at the best of times. But in these challenging times, when we all need positive news and buyer confidence, it is nothing short of spectacular.

The making of the Umhlanga Arch

3 min read Plascon Professional is privileged to partner with our valued Preferred Applicators on a number of prestigious building projects. One of the latest such developments is the multi-billion-rand, 45 000m2 Umhlanga Arch. Prominently positioned on the slopes of Umhlanga Ridge in Kwazulu-Natal, it will become instantly recognizable as a future iconic landmark on the Umhlanga skyline thanks to its bold, eponymous glass arch.

All there is to know about registering your community scheme with the CSOS

< 1 min read In terms of Section 1 of CSOS Act, the term “community scheme” refers to any scheme or arrangement where there is shared use of and responsibility for parts of land and buildings

Undesirable Rules often found in Community Schemes conduct rules

2 min read Our Constitution is woven through the very fabric of our daily lives, and this is so clearly seen (or should be clearly seen) in the Rules of Community Schemes all around the country!

New estate-compliant product solutions from Trellidor

2 min read Trellidor has launched two new products that  provide solutions to the tension between the need to preserve the homogenous look of carefully chosen home designs and homeowners’ requests for permission to install security barriers on windows, doors or around patios.

Décor trends the family will love

2 min read One of the up-sides of spending more time at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic is that we get to spend more time with family. Décor trends prioritise warm, inviting surroundings, not the sparse, clinical interiors of yesteryear. Trellidor have some ideas to share to achieve this change in direction.

International Public Art Festival

2 min read I recently had a short preview of the 5th International Public Art Festival (IPAF) currently running in Salt River and across the city of Cape Town. Some of the artists were still busy at work but – and this is the best thing about public art – many of the works from previous years are still up. So, unlike many art festivals, this is both permanent and iterative, and many residents benefit by having their homes beautified by the artists.

Balancing community needs with developer’s needs

3 min read Property development is about more than buying low, adding value and selling high. It’s about creating communities because, without the potential to be part of a community, no-one will buy into a development. This is why it is important to not only envision the community you want to create, but also to take cognisance of the existing community, and to balance their needs with those of the development and any future residents.

Point-and-call

4 min read Japan, rightly, has the reputation of having one of the world’s safest and most efficient rail transport systems. And one of the most important contributors to its impeccable safety record is a simple, inexpensive technique that can be used by anyone in almost any industry – it’s the simple system the Japanese call shisa kanko, or point-and-call.

Unkreepy floaty

2 min read South Africa is the proud home of the invention of the Kreepy Krauly – the first automatic pool cleaner – and we all know and love (or maybe not actually love) them. They are great, and some people do develop strong relationships with their Kreepys, but they use electricity, and they can be quite invasive, taking up a lot of space in a small pool. So, when we found out about this US-designed solar-powered pool robot, we thought it was worth a look.

Mauritius or Mars – where are you itching to travel?

4 min read You’re probably eager to escape the year that most of us probably want to forget. But, really, it’s best to stay home and stay safe. However, we can dream – and, obviously, many of us have been fantasising about exotic trips, as evidenced in Google’s Year in Search Report for 2020. Here’s a list of the ten most frequently searched travel destinations by South African internet users. Dream on …

Bringing de-densification home in Alexandra

10 min read About 1,600 families in the Stjwetla shack settlement in Johannesburg are standing on the verge of seismic change. This is the story of one of them.

The emotional roller-coaster of animal welfare – Shine a light

4 min read Corrine Wilson’s first book documents how, together with Ingrid de Storie – the Mother Theresa of animals – she navigated the mean streets of Ocean View in search of at-risk animals. Sadly, there is no dearth of those, but, she discovers, behind almost every broken animal is a broken person.

Understand your estate’s security

2 min read One of the appeals of residential estates is the idea that everything is already taken care of – from the manicured lawns and communal facilities to the security that keeps you safe. When it comes to security, however, you shouldn’t take everything at face value. Keeping an estate secure isn’t as simple as flicking a light switch: on/off, yes/no, safe/unsafe.

Long term rentals at Anahita Mauritius with Mauritius’s new Premium Visa

4 min read Mauritius, one of the most beautiful islands in the world, has introduced a Premium Travel Visa, valid for a period of one year, renewable, to welcome esteemed travellers seeking to prolong their feeling of wellness arising from the gorgeous turquoise blue sea with silky sand beaches, tropical lagoons, the lush greens, the warmth and friendliness of locals, all in a COVID-safe destination.

Mauritius launches its Covid-19 vaccination programme

2 min read Mauritius launched its Covid-19 vaccination programme on 26 January, giving priority to healthcare professionals, employees of the tourism industry, senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions.

High street retailers turn property developers

3 min read Housing markets around the world are preparing for monumental changes post pandemic. Things are already being shaken up in the UK with high street retailers chomping for a slice of the housing pie.

Why Invest In Europe?

2 min read Europe is a first-world choice for investors as there are over 50 countries to choose from with each showcasing unique cultures, lifestyles, political systems, stronger economies and investor friendly policies. For those of you looking for your plan B, to expand your investment portfolio and reap the various benefits, take a look at why Europe should be in your sight.

The world is in your hands

2 min read Live a life of wonder and experience that doesn’t limit your capabilities in your location. Immigration is an act that can be dated back to the 19th century with travelers moving from Africa to Eurasia. Seeking greener pastures is no crime and the need to establish a secure existence for you and your family is a top priority for many.

Why Portugal

2 min read The road to immigration may seem like a difficult one, but once you’ve made up your mind, decided on your location and chosen an efficient immigration service, you will be well on your way to greener pastures that present a wealth of opportunity for you and your family.

How to turn the digital nomad dream into a reality in 2021

3 min read With a promising vaccine on the horizon, life is slowly returning to what it was pre-pandemic, but a future of remote working is definitely not off the cards. Companies around the world have been forced to extend their remote-working policies well into 2021, and are starting to consider more flexible working styles beyond that, both to reduce their overhead costs, and to support employee productivity and wellbeing.

Keeping track of utilities bills is tricky

2 min read As estate managers we are responsible for ensuring that all our residents pay for utilities, so we need to be 100% confident that the bills we forward accurately reflect the actual consumption for which we are charging. And we can only do that if the utility companies send us accurate accounts.

Grid independence

2 min read With the way Eskom and various municipalities have been (mis) managing our power and water supply, and other utilities, it is very tempting to go off the grid. A few years ago, that was seen as an impractical pipe dream but, with improved technology, it is now decidedly possible. However, it’s not that simple, so you need to do some serious pre-planning.

Proposed collaboration framework for the provision of fibre predeployment in all new builds

3 min read Working in collaboration, the Property and Building sector, Local Government, Telecommunication Operators, Estate Living and the Digital Council Africa have discussed the collective agreement between industry leaders that identifies the need for a decisive approach to the provision of fibre infrastructure in all new builds.

Affluent South Africans exploring Citizenship and Residency

6 min read Just voted the third most peaceful country in the world by the Global Peace Index and lauded for its handling of the Covid-19 crisis, Portugal still tops the list of destinations where South Africans seek Residency by investment (RBI) for themselves and their families, says Chris Immelman, who heads up Pam Golding International.

Cyprus is calling

3 min read Wealthy South Africans have been taking up foreign citizenship by investment offers as an easy path to a second foreign passport for some time now, but the numbers are rapidly increasing post-pandemic. One of the most popular options is Cyprus – a small island in the eastern Mediterranean – because it offers the quickest, most affordable, and most attractive residency scheme in the whole of Europe.

Mauritius launches new long-term visa

3 min read Mauritius, the Indian Ocean paradise, has launched a new long-stay visa to meet the growing demand from international visitors looking to relocate to the Covid-secure island for work, leisure or retirement. The country’s new Premium Visa is valid for one year, with an option to renew, and is open to those who want to relocate to allow them to work remotely, have a long-term second home on the island, or to retire here in 2020, 2021 and beyond.

Mauritius is open

2 min read Mauritius, the Indian Ocean paradise, is open for business, and is specifically targeting long-term travellers, digital nomads, people who want a second home in a sunny clime, and retirees. The country’s new Premium Visa is valid for one year, with an option to renew.

Living the Mauritian Dream: Our first two weeks on the island

4 min read Week two in Mauritius and we are absolutely loving it. After an incredibly challenging but mandatory two-week quarantine, we are now finally able to explore our new home. So far, everything feels like one big holiday and it hasn’t fully sunk in that we are actually living here permanently, but I am sure that will change over time.

Last-minute Xmas shopping

3 min read Not another … lovely scented soap, expensive fragrance, box of fattening (albeit yummy) chocolates, novelty keyring, hilarious stuffed toy, or hideous T-shirt tied into an inside joke. Things we buy because we feel obligated to give something. And, be honest, do you really want to face the Christmas shopping crowds this year?

Moving to Mauritius: The pet- friendly version

3 min read The process of relocating pets can be tricky but, with some careful planning, it need not be stressful nor worrying. Here is everything you need to know and do to make sure your four-legged friends are able to join you in your new life in Mauritius.

Combatting guardhouse intimidation

3 min read Your estate’s front gate guardhouse is both its most visible and most vulnerable security point. That’s the stark warning from several security companies, as cases of guard intimidation continue to increase at estates and other sites across South Africa. Off-site monitoring, despite its challenges, may be the most effective solution.

How to make every place a happy place

3 min read The plethora of ‘information’ about how colour affects mood has had property managers considering painting their facilities green for calming, or orange to increase food sales. But the relationship between colour and mood is not an exact science, and one person’s happy colour may well make another person positively nauseous – at least when it comes to paint. But available evidence indicates that different coloured light can reliably affect a person’s state of mind.

Is heaven a place on earth?

4 min read As thousands of people continue to flock to the Garden Route for a better quality of life, the impacts on the region’s bigger picture are becoming increasingly evident. And while there is a sense that things are sometimes slipping through the cracks, the belief prevails that a unique set of blessings can ultimately overcome the worst of the challenges.

Ngqushwa gets water

4 min read Failure of municipalities to supply and/or maintain essential infrastructure leaves some communities in dire straits. Fortunately, there are organisations that are willing – and able – to cut through the red tape to supply much-needed services.

Gym in a box

2 min read What with lockdown, gym closures, and all the rest, so many of us have been working out at home. But, eish! Unless you live in a mansion, where do you put the dumbbells, the kettle bells, Pilates balls and – even trickier – barbells? Fortunately, you’re not the only one who’s been wondering about that – and some people have come up with some great solutions.

If not When = When not If

2 min read One of the problems people face when wanting to improve their security system is an ever-shrinking budget. It’s not uncommon for people to feel that money is tight, and still want to make their money stretch. One of the best ways to get the most out of your security system for the least impact on your wallet is to integrate advanced Artificial Intelligence software systems with your existing security systems.

Risk profiles. Are you maximising the Security portion of your estate levies?

2 min read What is the real risk you face? Is it external or internal? What do we mean by this? People pay top dollar to live in a security estate, with the idea that they will be safe in an ideal community protected from the chaos around them, able to sleep easy with their doors unlocked and windows open.

Save a life today

3 min read As we head into the festive season, the blood banks are encouraging existing and new donors to donate blood in expectation of the usual end-of-year road carnage. So this is a good time to think about organising a regular blood drive at your estate. It’s an easy and painless way to make a huge difference in the world – to literally save a life, just by lying with your feet up for about 20 or 30 minutes.

Is your estate ready for POPI?

3 min read Owners and occupiers of community sectional title housing schemes and private gated developments run by homeowners associations (HOAs) have until the end of June 2021 to ensure that their record-keeping systems are compliant with the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act that came into effect on 1 July 2020. Failure to adhere to the new Act carries the risk of prosecution and a heavy fine.

Let kids run the estate …

4 min read Back in the Victorian era, it was said, children should be seen and not heard. They ate in the kitchen with the staff (who were considered to be barely human) and were expected to keep out of the way. Unless, of course, they were working in the mines, sweeping chimneys or polishing boots.

Water tariff freeze

4 min read The recent announcement by the Minister of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, of a tariff freeze preventing the water boards from increasing their charges sounds like a good idea, but it is likely to have serious consequences.

Outdoor living safety in the home

2 min read As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re spending far more time in our homes than we used to. They have become multi-purpose spaces in which we work, live and play, and many of us are blessed with lovely outdoor areas in which to do all of this. Here are some tips from Trellidor on how to enjoy these spaces safely this summer no matter what role you’re in at the time.

Product solutions for communal spaces

2 min read Communal spaces can be difficult to manage in terms of vulnerability to  crime. Places where people gather are attractive to brazen criminals, who see this as an opportunity to gather a stash of resalable items such as cell phones, watches and jewellery. The fact that there is a crowd does not seem to deter them. Good public space design, however, can help prevent these incidences from happening.

Protecting against unwanted intruders – monkeys, snakes, and other creepy crawlies

2 min read The abundance of wildlife in Africa is one of its greatest attractions, but we don’t necessarily want to share our living spaces with creepy crawlies. Fortunately, there are humane ways of keeping them out that don’t detract from the attractive open plan style of home that is so popular.

How to support estate aesthetic guidelines and homeowner alteration applications

2 min read Homeowners that buy into estates generally understand that there are strict architectural and building guidelines. These are designed to maintain harmony in home design and with the surrounding environment as well as the standard of the estate.

Play dirty

3 min read I grew up building ‘dams’ in a local stream, exploring the ‘wilderness’ of Cape Town’s southern suburbs, climbing trees, ‘helping’ out in the garden, wrestling with my pet dog, making mudpies (yes, that was a thing) and generally getting down and dirty.

Kogelberg, heaven on earth

4 min read If you’ve never been to Kogelberg Nature Reserve then you’ve missed out. And if you have, then the recent opening of their stunning new accommodation, The Mbali Collection, is a good reason to return.

Historical intentional communities

6 min read As we become more and more disillusioned with the inequity and unsustainability inherent in the way society is run, we sometimes dream of living in a utopia – a community in which everyone is respected equally, there is no poverty, and we live in harmony with the seasons and the rhythms of the planets.

Heirloom vegetables

3 min read A few years ago I stopped at a farm stall selling pumpkins and cucumbers, and not much else. Now you may think that’s pretty boring – until you see the range of pumpkins and cucumbers!

Berkeley researchers use 3D printer to make concrete stronger

4 min read Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a new way to reinforce concrete with a polymer lattice, an advance that could rival other polymer-based enhancements and improve concrete’s ductility while reducing the material’s carbon emissions.

Audio camouflage

3 min read A few days ago, when I was walking in Cecelia Forest – one of my regular haunts – I noticed a stream that had not been there previously. Or, at least, I thought I did. I’d walked around a corner and, yes – there it was – I could hear a stream. But I knew there wasn’t one there, so I stopped and thought.

Are intentional communities a viable investment?

6 min read We know that – as a country, and as property developers – we have failed to effectively and equitably utilise South Africa’s resources. Land use is illogical – based on narrow perceptions, and still subject to the legacy of colonial and apartheid spatial planning – and decidedly inequitable. We know that we have to change the relationship of people to land, but we are almost paralysed by the enormity of the challenge.

New Year rituals for luck, love and laughter

6 min read While most of the serious New Year traditions are about effective practical strategies to ensure that you start the New Year with the best possible chances of health, happiness and success, there are some lovely traditions for bringing in some good old-fashioned luck. And some that are just silly, frivolous and fun. If you’re planning a New Year’s do for the estate, consider some of these (obviously, not all) and remember to play safe.

Water retention and recycling to address water scarcity in the City of Cape Town

4 min read A recent Stellenbosch University study shows that retention and recycling of rainwater, wastewater, grey water and storm water is essential for ensuring a reliable supply of water for the City of Cape Town. But where the research gets really exciting is that it highlights the necessity of decentralised as well as centralised water retention and recycling. What this means is that estates can play an important part in the creation of a sustainable water supply for the city (and other cities, too, of course).

New Year, new beginnings

5 min read I heard the first Christmas jingle of the year in a supermarket the other day. It’s a portend of things to come – the Silly Season. Too much eating and drinking, and too much socialising – and in this day and age the latter may be more deleterious than the former.

Keep cool

4 min read Houses in warm parts of the world are traditionally painted white – think of Greek islands, or Cape Dutch houses. Now that might be through lack of alternatives – or lack of imagination – but it is actually a good idea. White paint reflects sunlight, which means the walls absorb less heat.

How big is your foodprint?

5 min read Considering all we’ve had to deal with this year, climate change is not top of the agenda for many people. Compared to – for example – COVID-19, and possible unemployment as a result, it’s too remote, too abstract, and too hard to do anything about. Or is it? Sure, persuading governments to implement legislature or pressuring multinationals to implement sustainability measures is a big call. But you can start with something much closer to home – as close as your dining room table.

COVID-19 has not disappeared

3 min read We’re all tired of wearing masks, not hugging our friends, and washing our hands till they dry up and look (and feel) like sandpaper. But we just have to look at what’s happening in the northern hemisphere to realise that this is not the time to drop our guard.

The pitfalls of credit life insurance

2 min read When you take out a home loan, you’ll need insurance to cover it. The obvious choice might be to get that insurance from the lender … but is it necessarily the best option?

Cape Town’s bold new water strategy

4 min read In a document entitled ‘Our Shared Water Future – Cape Town’s Water Strategy’, the City of Cape Town has announced its intention to make a fundamental change in its management of risk – a clear indication that they are taking to heart the lessons learned from the Day Zero near-miss.

Co-operation and punishment

4 min read We know that living in a community is all about co-operating – balancing freedom and fairness – but all too often it breaks down into a tit-for-tat trade-off of rights vs responsibilities, contribution vs compensation and reward vs retribution.

Found your dream property? Here’s something else to smile about

< 1 min read We’ve been helping expats and residents transfer funds into and out of Mauritius since 1996. If you need to move money overseas to purchase your dream property, using your bank could leave you exposed to poor exchange rates, transfer fees and hidden charges. But there is another way…

Get to grips with Financial Emigration

2 min read Financial Emigration is the term used to describe the process of becoming a non-resident in the eyes of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). If you apply for Financial Emigration status you’ll be considered a non-resident once placed on record as an emigrant of South Africa. Any funds you introduce to South Africa after your emigration will be deemed ‘non-resident funds’ and will be subject to non-resident exchange control regulations.

Tragedy of the commons

5 min read The tragedy of the commons is an economic principle first described by Oxford University political economist William Forster Lloyd in 1832. Lloyd based his study on the use of common grazing land, but the principle holds for the exploitation (and overexploitation) of many different resources, and the tragedy is still compounding itself today.

Lombard’s Property Development Guarantees

2 min read Lombard Insurance Company Limited are leaders in specialist risk insurance providing world class trade and commercial insurance solutions. We have 30 years’ experience in developing and delivering guarantees across the construction, logistics, fuel, mining and energy industries, as well as insurance solutions in trade credit, and through our partner underwriting managers.

Water monitoring made easy

2 min read Water is life, and it is second only to air as the most essential substance for the continuation of life. So ensuring that your residents have a reliable, safe, measurable water supply is one of the most important functions of estate managers.

Invest in Mauritius

2 min read With its stunning scenery, fabulous lifestyle, ease of doing business and excellent return on investment, Mauritius is a fabulous place to invest – whether you decide to live there or not. And the best part is that, contrary to what you might think, there are some very affordable options – in fact, something for every budget.

BMI Coverland Dry Ridge system

2 min read When it comes to roof ridges and hip-lines, not much thought is put into the application. For many home owners ridge and hip tiles are fixed with pigmented mortar. When the mortar cracks and their roof leaks it is then either replaced with more mortar or waterproofed with a “pap-en-lap” system resulting in a ridge and hip line that is usually a darker shade to the rest of the roof. This is acceptable. This is how is has been done locally for years. Why change?

Common pool resource management

4 min read Managing a residential estate is a little like juggling with eggs. It can be tricky to balance each resident’s rights to fully enjoy all the communal facilities and services with the need to protect, preserve and maintain all the elements that go to making the estate the special place it is. Fortunately, Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Prize winner for Economics, has developed a framework for managing common property that can be used by societies, communities, countries and – of course – residential estates.

Development Opportunities in Joburg’s Nodal Review

3 min read On 28 February 2020, Johannesburg woke up to a new city map: one based on the Nodal Review, which had passed a council vote the day before. The Nodal Review, which aims to deliver on the City of Johannesburg’s Spatial Development Framework, could have far-reaching impacts for residents and property developers.

Empty shopping malls: crisis or opportunity?

3 min read In an environment in which retail is under pressure, and there’s already an oversupply of shopping centres, mall owners are being forced to rethink how they use their space.

A matter of some gravity

3 min read There are very few people by now who don’t acknowledge that renewable energy is the way of the future, but there is that pesky problem with managing peak demand, and the storage of, for example, solar energy for ‘a rainy day’. Storage is the main constraint for the installation of renewable energy, so it’s not surprising that this is a growing field.

Why is it necessary to (still) secure your home when you live in an estate?

2 min read Living on an estate is sometimes like living in a bubble. All that perimeter security removes us from the ugly reality of life beyond it. But the truth is that we can’t escape it completely, so here are some reasons why it is still necessary to secure your home when you live in an estate.

What are the 5 benefits that Trellidor contemporary range offers community management

2 min read Trellidor made its name through its iconic retractable sliding steel gate for doors and windows, so it may not be the first supplier that comes to mind for estate homes where perimeter security is a major selling point for buyers. However, with the rise in demand for residential estates in recent in the last decade, Trellidor has developed a range of designs that are perfectly suited to this peaceful way of life.

Xanadu Nature Estate welcomes you home

2 min read Nestled in the majestic Magaliesberg Mountain range, Xanadu Nature Estate offers the perfect location for communal living in the tranquility of nature.

Vumacam’s network effect

5 min read Smart CCTV company Vumacam is bringing its networked security solution to residential estates in Gauteng. Its AI-powered platform strikes the balance between technology and staffed solutions, and provides a level of data-driven intelligence that makes estates – and their communities – safer.

Living in Mauritius

3 min read Living in Mauritius is basically like living in paradise, but there is more to this lovely island than the beaches and luxury resorts. When I go overseas and tell people I am from Mauritius, they’re pretty envious that I get to wake up to white sandy beaches every day. Yet, there is so much more to Mauritius than what you see in the pages of travel brochures.

Travelling to Mauritius

2 min read Mauritius has successfully eliminated SARS-CoV-2, and is taking careful precautions to avoid importing the virus. So, while tourism is important to the island nation’s economy, they are taking it slowly and only opening the borders for Mauritian nationals, residents and tourists travelling to Mauritius for long stays.

Peter Piper

3 min read ‘If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?’ You probably recited that – sing-song squeaky voice and all – as a kid, but I’ll bet you had no idea what it was all about. Well, Peter Piper (or Pierre Poivre) was a real person, and his (non-pickled) ‘peppers’ are now in Mauritius. Or at least their descendants are, and you can amble around in their shade inhaling their delicious scent.

Living architecture: A Greener Building Approach

3 min read A new design concept is pushing the limits of green building. Extreme as it may seem, this approach is an indication of where architecture is going.

Understanding the Eastern Cape’s Day Zero

5 min read Port Elizabeth has hit Day Zero – that dreaded spectre that had Capetonians tossing and turning in their unwashed sheets a few years ago. In some parts of the city the taps have – literally – been turned off, and water is trucked in by tanker. All this while Cape Town is revelling in full dams and continuing rainfall, but there is a distinct possibility of a Day Zero in Gauteng too. How did we get here?

Policy allows 5G towers to be installed on private property

3 min read 5G will change our lives, as the fifth generation of cell phone technology catapults South Africa into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With faster connectivity and more bandwidth enabling Augmented Reality, self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, and mobile data connections at unimaginable speeds, 5G is amazing. A whacking great 5G tower erected on your property without your permission? Not so amazing.

Scaling down

4 min read Moving to a retirement estate can be – and should be – a positive, liberating experience. It’s a line in the sand that states that you are no longer planning your life around your children, and that you have time for yourself. It’s a time to decide exactly how you want to live without the albatross of a huge suburban home, lawn, garden and two-car garage full of tools hanging around your neck. It’s time to lighten up. There’s even a word for it: dostadning.

Santam – Market Leader in Property Development Insurance in any Economy

3 min read In a constrained economy like that of South Africa, the possibility of new construction projects is limited. This, along with the rapidly increasing cost of living as a result of the increasing cost of fuel, the inflation rate, and the VAT hike of 2018, has put pressure on consumer spending. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news.

Top property trend

3 min read When we talk of semigration now, we are no longer just talking about the familiar pattern of movement from Gauteng to Cape Town, but about the worldwide counter-urbanisation or de-urbanisation movement, which sees people actively moving away from cities to smaller towns in search of a less stressful, more peaceful country lifestyle, while still retaining their city jobs, if they wish to do so, by working remotely.

Santa Shoe box

2 min read It’s spring – that means that summer can’t be far behind, and summer means Christmas. And Christmas is about more than just gobbling turkey, guzzling mince pies, and glugging down bubbly. Christmas is about giving, sharing, and – mostly – about children. So why not take the opportunity – as a community – to share the love?

Paul and Virginia

4 min read They say truth is stranger than fiction, and we all know that facts have a way of inspiring fiction. But, sometimes, fiction has a way of superseding fact, and nowhere is this more evident than in Mauritius, where you will find monuments to famous people who never actually lived. But, hey, why should we let facts get in the way of a good story?

Hansgrohe’s electronic mixers

2 min read If you love beautiful design in the bathroom and kitchen, and recognise the importance of excellent quality that doesn’t compromise on functionality, Hansgrohe’s electronic mixers are the perfect fit for you. While Hansgrohe is known for being a leading bathroom specialist, kitchens have also become an important focus for them in recent years. Their innovative, state-of-the-art mixers are testament to their longstanding commitment to quality.

Sweeeet

4 min read Albert Einstein, who was a pretty smart fellow, did not say: ‘If bees disappeared from the face of the earth, humans would have only about four years left to live.’ But, even though he didn’t say it, if anyone had asked him what would happen if bees disappeared, he may well have answered thus. Okay, Einstein didn’t know much about bees, but Mark Collins does, and he estimates that ‘bees pollinate more than every third mouthful of everything we eat. Without their contribution, we would have a serious problem.’

Should domestic cats stay indoors?

3 min read Most estates that allow pets make it clear that dogs must be within their yards at all times unless out on a walk with their humans. But, what about cats? Shouldn’t there be a rule about cats not roaming the estate, hunting small animals, getting into fights with other cats – and even dogs – and creating trauma for any hapless driver who may squash one on the road? (Granted – the cat would suffer trauma too.)

Forest bathing

5 min read We all know that planting trees, and – even more critically – refraining from cutting down trees are important strategies in the campaign to slow down global climate change. Trees are good for the earth, but trees are good for people too.

Invest or Emigrate to Mauritius – Financial Focus for South Africans

< 1 min read For South Africans looking at investing or emigrating to Mauritius, in this discussion webinar we cover tax consideration and Trusts, Setting up a Mauritian Bank Account, property financing and Off plan property payment structure.

Can air conditioners spread coronavirus?

3 min read While the country slowly starts to open up after an extensive lockdown period, the spread and effect of the COVID-19 pandemic are far from over. As scientists begin to understand the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, new methods of potential spread are emerging.

The rumblings of discontent

2 min read Residents of some previously seemingly harmonious estates are finding it hard to come to terms with remote working – especially when coupled with remote learning.

Virtual AGMs – the good, the bad and the crazy

2 min read Even though lockdown restrictions seem to be easing, the real risk of COVID-19 still hovers over us like an evil spectre, so estate managers, HOAs and boards need to be creative when it comes to holding the AGM – especially when it comes to ensuring you have a quorum.

IFA Fair-Zim Hotel & Resort Proprietary Limited Enters Business Rescue

2 min read As the Covid-19 crisis continues to disrupt local and global travel and tourism markets, IFA Fair Zim Hotel & Resort Proprietary Limited announced today that the company entered business rescue on Wednesday 16 September 2020 to safeguard the interests of all its stakeholders.

Could COVID-19 change how cities view their streets?

6 min read Joburg residents – and those in other urban centres in South Africa – have been experiencing their streets in a novel and gratifying way during the COVID-19 lockdown. Could it become a way of life?

Retirement villages get a redesign for the times

4 min read The rapid onset of COVID-19 brought with it a new way of thinking about the way that we do almost everything. Even in lower levels of lockdown, where much has returned to business as usual, there remains a need to practise increased hygiene and safety protocols to protect those who are most vulnerable, which include residents of retirement estates.

Working from home is becoming the norm

5 min read SARS-CoV-2 has changed so many things – the way we socialise, the way we work, and – yes – even the way we think. But will it irrevocably change the landscape in which we live? Cities evolved to accommodate the way people worked, so will they now evolve to embrace a new work-life balance? And how will this affect our bottom line as developers? Do we need to think outside of yet another box that we thought was watertight?

Will Mauritius ever recover from the oil spill?

4 min read The grounding of the Panama-flagged bulk liner owned by Nagashiki Shipping on the eastern shore of Mauritius has resulted in an oil spill of a magnitude not yet experienced in that country. Media reports tend to portray it as an environmental disaster, but it is best understood in the context of ecological processes playing out at planetary scale.

The real estate market has gone virtual

3 min read Virtual property viewings in South Africa were few and far between pre-COVID-19, but they have been rapidly gaining traction, especially during the national lockdown. As we now begin to adapt to a new, post-pandemic, socially distanced normal, they could become part and parcel of buying and selling a home. So, what exactly does a virtual viewing entail, what are the positives and possible pitfalls, and is the South African property market ready for it?

The future of 12J

3 min read It sounds like a win-win deal: you invest in a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SMME), helping it to grow by increasing its access to equity finance, and in return SARS gives you a handsome tax deduction. From a property investment point of view, many of these 12J enterprises were in the hospitality space, with investors buying into properties that catered to South Africa’s booming tourism industry. Then, in early 2020, COVID-19 struck. Boom turned to bust, leaving investors wondering if there’s any future for 12J.

Roads made from old tyres and building rubble

3 min read Researchers at an Australian university have shown how a blend of old tyres and building rubble could be used as a sustainable road-making material, in a zero-waste solution to boost recycling and support the circular economy.

Revolutionary cooling system

3 min read Many people beat the summer heat by cranking the air conditioning. However, air conditioners guzzle power and spew out millions of tons of carbon dioxide daily. They’re also not always good for your health – constant exposure to central A/C can increase risks of recirculating germs and causing breathing problems.

Rental Guarantees

3 min read Buying a property for rental is a big investment that is not without risk. So, can rental guarantees sweeten the deal? Rental income is key for investors, so developers offer rental guarantees as a way to entice investors to sign on the dotted line. A rental guarantee is usually a net return that a developer promises to pay an investor purchasing a buy-to-let property.

Rates relief welcomed in major cities

3 min read Property owners in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban have been granted rates relief, softening the economic blow of COVID-19. That’s the good news. The better news is that the benefits apply to a range of ratepayers, from residents to businesses.

Proposed policy and policy direction on rapid deployment of electronic communications networks and facilities

3 min read The Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies has published draft policy and policy directions on the rapid deployment of electronic communications networks and facilities for comment. Submissions are due by 3 September 2020 and can be sent to rapid@dtps.gov.za. The below is an overview provided without comment.

Picking up the slack for municipal incompetence

3 min read South African communities are buckling under the weight of municipal mismanagement and broken promises. What role could – and should – developers play in digging local municipalities out of the mess?

No trees were harmed in the construction of this skinny house

2 min read This spectacular, low-impact Frankie Pappas-designed home in the Waterberg sits lightly on the land, appearing to float among the trees. The brief was to design a home that disappears into the landscape, that sits among the rocks and trees and birds, that offers animals and plants and humans equal opportunity to find shelter, and that treats the bushveld with the respect it deserves.

Mauritius is a diving paradise

4 min read If you’re thinking of moving to Mauritius, or even just buying a second home there, you’ll soon be tempted to put your head under water to explore the fantastic coral reefs. You can, of course, learn once you are there, but you could also be proactive and learn before you go.

Keep safe and cool in the pool

3 min read Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a new microchip that enables continuous monitoring of pH and chlorine levels in swimming pools, and that will vastly improve water safety. New research shows that it can deliver consistent and accurate pool chemistry for reliable pool management, so it can safely be used by individual home owners and estate management.

How Mauritius’s unique political culture helped it beat COVID-19

5 min read While we struggle to come to grips with the reality, extent and possible fallout of COVID-19, one country has successfully eliminated the disease – Mauritius.

How has COVID-19 affected the rental market?

2 min read It’s seemingly inevitable that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to result in a recession of some form – exacerbated by high levels of unemployment, a huge budget deficit, widespread revenue losses and a sharp drop in national GDP. But what does this mean for investors?

Emigrating from South Africa

3 min read Over the last 20 years, more than one million South Africans have emigrated abroad, usually to greener pastures outside of the continent. But what doors can a South African passport open for you and your family?

Ecosystem monitoring for management

4 min read A new cloud-based system that can detect changes in plant communities could be a valuable diagnostic tool to help developers and estate managers to monitor and optimise biodiversity – particularly on large properties with extensive natural areas.

Colour is also a spectrum

5 min read You’ve decided to bravely break away from purchasing a few cubic metres of ‘builder’s beige’ when it comes to painting or repainting. But, before you gaily decorate the frail care centre bright yellow because it’s cheerful, the restaurant red, because it increases appetite, and the spa blue, because it is said to be calming, be aware that it’s not that simple.

Sanitising courses for domestic staff

3 min read We have got used to double-cleaning everything. We wash our hands 15 times a day, and we regularly sanitise every surface in our homes. Is this just a temporary thing, or will it become the norm?

Municipality hands over RDP houses without water, toilets or electricity

2 min read The provision of municipal housing is failing, which exacerbates existing inequity and social problems. It’s not a new issue, unfortunately, but it is a wake-up call for people on waiting lists. Perhaps it’s time to explore other ways of securing affordable housing.

Thinking of immigrating to the UK?

3 min read Escalating crime, load shedding and a dwindling rand are forcing South Africans, almost en masse, to seek greener pastures in foreign lands. Australia and New Zealand remain the top favourites, purely because they offer similar climates and lifestyle choices, but these are followed closely by the United Kingdom – with its strong pound sterling and first-world benefits.

Bridging the connectivity gap

3 min read Many lessons are emerging, and will continue to emerge, from the coronavirus pandemic. These lessons are key in understanding what type of society is needed to withstand future health outbreaks, which scientists warn are inevitable.

Garden grabs

3 min read Lockdown restrictions have undoubtedly made us appreciate our gardens much more. In my mum’s case, her back garden is an actual gold mine – and no, she hasn’t dug it up and found buried treasure.

The stamp duty holiday in the UK

3 min read In a bid to fuel much-needed movement in the property market, the UK government has raised the stamp duty threshold across the country, effective immediately. Until 31 March 2021, home buyers and investors in England and Northern Ireland only need to pay stamp duty on properties costing more than £500,000, rather than £300,000, saving them as much as £15,000.

The luxury of Later Living – the UK’s winning formula

2 min read Retirement housing has been a key component of the UK housing market for a while now. Better healthcare means people here are now living longer and are better able to manage their health conditions. As a result, every year, the number of over-65s continues to increase at a somewhat untenable rate.

Repurposing student housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic

3 min read The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption in the student housing sector, because the number of international students coming to the UK has fallen dramatically. This has left cities like Cardiff with an oversupply of high-end, purpose-built student accommodation blocks (PBSAs).

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the cryptocurrency market?

3 min read The global stock market crashed on 12 March 2020, now referred to as Black Thursday, and Bitcoin lost more than half of its value on that one day. The sell-off in the traditional markets triggered investors to liquidate their Bitcoin and gold assets, at an expensive cost, but although international stock markets remain stagnant amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the cryptocurrency has quickly bounced back.

How far is South Africa from its first 3D home?

2 min read Nearly 12 million people in South Africa do not have adequate housing and the government’s plan to build more than 2 million homes over the next ten years will be significantly hampered by the national lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Affordable housing in the UK

3 min read At the age of 33, I am now a property owner. Words I never thought would come out of my mouth. Ever. I lived in Cape Town, South Africa, for seven years and I rented during that whole time. I moved back to the UK four months ago and have just completed the purchase of my first ever property.

The rise of second-tier cities in South Africa

3 min read As second-tier cities become increasingly on trend for South Africans on the move, property developers are responding with home offerings for the lifestyles of tomorrow. No longer is a move out of Cape Town or Johannesburg to these new boom towns considered “trading down”. Rather, it represents a bold and progressive decision to seek a better quality of life, often in more scenic locations where the price tags on homes are less likely to break the bank.

How to acquire and develop the best talent

4 min read Finding the right staff is important but, unless you know exactly what you are looking for, you cannot accurately assess and evaluate a candidate during the selection process. There are plenty of things you can easily forget to assess when interviewing for new talent. It is not just skills and experience, but also soft skills, traits, personality, ambition and – most important – cultural fit. These factors are harder, but not impossible, to assess and if you pay attention to this, you increase your chances of finding, and more importantly retaining the best candidate for the job.

Life right

4 min read Great movie, and an awesome title. But I would have done it the other way round – the Ugly, the Bad and the Good. OK, it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well, but it’s a better way to approach life – that way you end on a positive note. But I digress, this article is about life right, not about movies.

Wild at heart

4 min read There is a new foodie trend sweeping across five-star hotels, award-winning restaurants and granite-topped kitchens in leafy suburbs. Actually, maybe ‘new’ is not quite the right word. The trend is foraging, and – let’s be honest – it’s hardly new.

For the birds

5 min read We have so many fabulous birds on our estates, we can hardly help becoming birders, or – to be more jargonny – twitchers. Birding is one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities in the world, and it’s far more interesting than just peering into a tree, muttering to yourself, ‘that’s a lesser-spotted grey-winged hooplededoop’, ticking it off on a list, and then moving on – binos glued to your face, pencil poised, ready to add another metaphorical notch to your binocular strap.

The future of secured communities in South Africa

6 min read Predicting the future is far from an exact science, but the one thing we can be sure of is that secured communities must adapt to keep up with changes ‘beyond the wall’.

Conveyancers support property owners and sellers during COVID-19

9 min read Property buyers and sellers are facing uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Buyers who are accustomed to a regular salary cheque are concerned that they will no longer qualify for a home loan, as many consumers face the dire reality of a salary cut, retrenchment, or shorter working hours. All these events can result in a substantial reduction of income.

Smart management is cleverer than you think

4 min read Some residential estates are very big so it can be difficult to know what’s going on, especially in the wilder sections. Even if your estate is not strictly a wildlife estate, it’s important to know the condition of the veld and the health – or otherwise – of animal communities. The old adage – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – is particularly true here. And, surprisingly, there is a fantastic app that you can download for free that will do just that.

Speciality coffee

5 min read Interesting how people who will spend hundreds of rands on a carefully selected bottle of wine will happily grab a bag of pre-ground, almost certainly stale, coffee to serve after the meal – probably with an elegant potstill brandy or a cognac. It’s taken us a while to learn about wine, but we’ve only just started the coffee learning curve.

Old Mutual survey results are in

6 min read The outcome of a recently published financial survey amongst the members of the Old Mutual Rewards Programme is a significant one for property industry.

A horse, a horse, my garden needs a horse

4 min read If you’ve just moved into an equestrian estate for the scenery, the security and the position, you may be tempted to buy a pair of jodhpurs – and, of course, a horse to go with them. But buying a horse is not really that simple.

Sensible permaculture for residential estates and developments

4 min read Permaculture is one of those words being bandied about as possibly the only way to save the planet, and to slow down or prevent the demise of humanity. Well, that’s probably a bit over the top, but it is a revolutionary way of looking at how we relate to our world, and – who knows – it might just save the planet after all. Whether you are developing an estate from scratch, managing an existing estate, or just wanting to decrease your personal carbon footprint, permaculture principles can increase efficiency and save costs.

Smooth and seamless transitions

5 min read A development is not a residential estate – it’s a place with houses in a greater or lesser stage of completion. But there comes a time when the developer steps out and the homeowners association steps in – and from that moment, the estate becomes a community – a place where people live.

Lockdown prompts homeowners re-evaluate lifestyle, including living spaces

4 min read The far-reaching lockdown experienced by homeowners in South Africa has no doubt provided much food for thought and room for introspection, most likely mainly around re-evaluating lifestyle and long-term goals, but also their immediate surrounds – their homes.

Mauritius opening up to the world

2 min read In the 2020/21 Mauritian Budget Speech, Mauritius opens itself up to the world by creating more opportunities for foreign investment and If you are considering Mauritius as a viable option this is great news for you. Estate Living has partnered with key specialist who can assist with everything you need to know about Estate Living Mauritius – from researching all your options to finding the right home, school, business opportunity and retirement plan.

Women investors have their eye on the property market

3 min read For some years now, SA statistics have shown that single women are buying houses at a much higher rate than single men, and in some regions at an even higher rate than couples as they seek financial independence and security*.

Hunting SARS-Cov-2

3 min read You know you need to manage COVID-19 but you can’t manage what you can’t measure. So how do you measure the extent of SARS-Cov-2 infection in your estate? Sounds like a long, involved process, but it isn’t. In fact, it can be done really simply.

Ryan Sandes’s hardest run

3 min read In the early hours of the morning of Friday 17 April, Ryan Sandes ran into the front door of his home in Noordhoek, Cape Town, for the 1,463rd time, to complete a 100-mile (160km) run in 26 hours and 27 minutes.

Retirees buying off plan: risks and rewards

3 min read Buying off-plan is the norm for new residential estates, but it has proven to be not that popular in the retirement village market.

Citizen science

4 min read When you look at them closely, the gardens and protected wildlife areas on your estate probably host an astonishing number of different plants, insects, birds, and even reptiles and mammals. Your observations about the natural world around you can be enormously helpful to scientists – and collecting them can be a lot of fun, and a great way of building your community, too.

Keeping the lights on

5 min read How do we continue buying or selling properties in light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a national disaster? How do we to continue providing value-adding and secure and safe property services?How do we make use of aid that can assist real estate professionals to keep the lights on?

Home loan pre-qualification makes sense

2 min read Buying a property is most likely the largest investment you will ever make. So, to avoid the stress of waiting for loan approval after you have signed for your dream home, get a formal indication of the home loan you can qualify for before you even start looking at houses. There is that a free web-based service that is easily available, paperless and quick.

FLISP subsidy buyers can now qualify for a home loan of up to R 870,000.00

5 min read Good news for property buyers, but even better news for property developers and sellers. The affordability ceiling for first-time buyers who qualify for a FLISP subsidy has been increased from the previous average home loan amount of R 680,000.00 to R 870,000.

Commercial space is standing empty in South African cities

6 min read A 2019 report by the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) states that nearly 20% of the office space in the Durban CBD and Rosebank (Gauteng) was empty in the last quarter of that year. And that was before office workers skedaddled home en masse and cyber-commuted while battening down the hatches against SARS-CoV-2. What does that mean for our cities, and for the people who live in them? Or, more importantly, the people who don’t live in them. And what does it mean for developers?

A second life for hotels?

3 min read South Africa has had an oversupply of tourist accommodation since at least 2010. With the hotel industry now reeling from COVID-19, what are the prospects for owners and developers of hospitality properties?

Retire with a view

4 min read If you’re thinking of retirement, why not move to an estate with a view? Even if you continue working part-time, which is what many modern retirees do, you’ll probably have a lot more leisure time – all the more reason to have scenic landscapes to immerse yourself in and enjoy. We found seven estates around the country with spectacular views in a range of price brackets. All of them offer healthcare and excellent leisure facilities.

Products and tools developed by Meyer de Waal

4 min read The introduction of the National Credit Act had an immediate impact on the approval of credit agreements. The affordability factor, which is the capability of a debtor to pay back a loan became, the lender’s primary focus of a lender before granting a credit facility. Lenders are imposed with severe penalties if found guilty of risky lending but, as the market experienced a major decline in home loan approvals, there was an unsurpassed increase in unsecured lending. Capitec Bank is a prime example of expansion of unsecured lending, and African Bank is an example of a lender that was almost sunk as a result of risky lending practices.

Green, green, green

4 min read One of the main advantages of living in a residential estate is that – usually – you are surrounded by significant tracts of open land. And very often that land will be left in a relatively natural state. This is a good thing for a whole lot of reasons.