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:

Mauritius Open for Business: What are the investment and emigration options for South Africans?

2 min read In Estate Living #ExpertInsight Series on Mauritius, we speak with the professionals to unpack the regulations and logistics around the borders opening, relocating and setting up banking facilities, and highlighting the very best community living and property investments on offer.

WATCH:

Planning your retirement – How does retirement lifestyle options affect a retirement plan

2 min read In Part Two of #ExpertInsight Planning your Retirement, Estate Living and Tiaan Herselman, Head of Advice at Old Mutual, present an informative scenario planning session, where we consider the impact of three retirement options (Life Right, Sectional Title and Age at Home ) and how this could potentially affect one’s retirement plan. Each scenario considers retirement options and other factors that might impact your overall retirement plan.

WATCH:

Residential Community Security – a crucial ingredient for community living.

2 min read Security is a primary driver for investment into estates, and especially in the South African context. Buyers look for a lifestyle that offers a level of freedom and peace of mind, securing their assets and family members. In this 45 min webinar Estate Living brings together security design and operation specialist Rob Anderson, Tumelo Dietsiso from Servest Security, Danie Bruwer and Lodewyk Loubser from Wyobi technology leaders in access control.

WATCH:

Planning your retirement – What are some of the options in South Africa?

2 min read When discussing retirement, we generally look at the cornerstones of retirement – financial security, physical security, health security and security of tenure. With this in mind, Estate Living has brought together three experts in this webinar representing three retirement options – purchasing a sectional title unit or life right unit within a retirement village and the costs associated with ageing at home in South Africa.

WATCH:

Property Technology that enables residential community living

< 1 min read Join Estate Living and SA PropTech Association on the #ExpertInsight webinar discussion. We look at what an app and portal solutions should encompass to support residential community living. The webinar focusses on information and tools that supports community management and property developers.

WATCH:

Lexpro Software solution and POPI Compliance

< 1 min read Lexpro Online software is an Internet based software solution, that now offers solutions to sectional title schemes and homeowners associations. Estate Living and Chis Lubbe, discuss POPI compliance and how the software supports the Act.

WATCH:

International Investment and Emigration options for South Africans

< 1 min read If international property investment or emigration is something you are considering, this 45 min webinar will offer you insight into three counties, Mauritius, Cyprus and USA. Join Estate Living and our panel of country specific experts on the #ExpertInsight webinar series.

WATCH:

Les Résidences de Mont Choisy – Virtual Tour

< 1 min read Are you looking for a luxurious living environment with state-of-the-art facilities, swimming pools inside and out, a suitably located bar when you need a sundowner, and an on-site spa with a sauna, hammam, treatment rooms and hair salon? We have the perfect location for you!

WATCH:

Private Public Partnerships around Water and Energy solution in residential developments

< 1 min read Energy and Water independence has been on the agenda for a number of years within the property development sector. The combination of the change in weather patterns, failing infrastructure and development in the technology around energy, now enforces consumers demand for solutions from property developers and community trustees and management.

WATCH:

Are you a South African who is over 50 and looking to emigrate or invest in Mauritius?

< 1 min read Mauritius offers South Africans over the age of 50 a number of options when it comes to emigrating or investing in property. With a selection of visa’s that accommodate both your lifestyle and investment threshold.

WATCH:

Colas SA total surfacing solution in action at SilKaatskop in Secunda MPL

< 1 min read Colas SA is onsite at Silkaatskop, Secunda’s new housing development. Offering the developers of Skilkaatskop a total surfacing solution that includes prime and tact coat and asphalt paving. The size of road surface is approx 30 0000 meters.

WATCH:

Widenham Retirement Village phase 4 release

< 1 min read Widenham Retirement Village on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal offers a range on 1-2 and 3-bedroom cottages, a range of facilities that include both entertainment and healthcare. The cottages on the phase four of the development start at R1.1.million.

WATCH:

12 Star Capital – Emigration through Investment – EB-5 Visa Programme

< 1 min read Estate Living, Stuart Ferguson of 12 Star Capital, Shaun Minnie and Garth Wellman discuss the process of emigration through investment to the USA. Exploring the proposed new Bill that has been put forward to extend EB-5 with some amendments.

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.

Building up young engineering and construction talent

3 min read Encouraging the youth to commit to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects is a challenge. This has created a skills shortage, particularly in the technically trained professions. South Africa also struggles with an unemployment crisis where half of young people are unemployed.

Own a mall instead of a house

3 min read Listed property investments have not always been a favourite asset class among investors. Record high vacancies have plagued the industry and this has been exacerbated by the pandemic as some more tenants get displaced or cancel their contracts.

Are you prepared for POPI?

3 min read In case you missed it, South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) took effect on July 1, 2020 and enforcement began exactly a year later, on July 1, 2021.

Counting the cost of civil unrest

3 min read This month saw civil unrest in parts of the country shattering thousands of South Africans’ lives. Many people were arrested, and dozens killed or injured in rioting that has swept the country.

Dreaming of life off the grid?

3 min read Recent legal developments are affecting estates and homeowners – who are only allowed to produce a percentage of alternative energy on site in relation to bulk municipal electricity supplied – in many ways, depending on local municipal bylaws. The onus is thus on developers to stay abreast of criteria and duly inform potential buyers.

Broadband infrastructure enables digital education, empowers new approaches to learning

3 min read During this past year, we saw a surge in technology adoption to help facilitate remote teaching and learning among students and teachers. This trend has continued as schools resumed with a mix of in-person, hybrid, and fully remote learning models.

Investing in property in UK, USA, UAE vs. South Africa

3 min read When it comes to investing in property abroad, investors and developers have a smorgasbord of choice available to them. Overseas property investments are particularly attractive, given the current talk of a worldwide property boom, claims of better capital growth and higher rental yields.

Managing your money

3 min read Many South Africans are struggling to make ends meet in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdown restrictions, curfews and civil unrest.

Getting board approval for your estate’s budget

3 min read The typical budget of an estate, whether bottom up or top down, can be anything upwards of R5 million and is often a very stressful juggling act for estate managers.

Glowing mistakes

3 min read There’s a big demand from people to reconnect with nature and many are keen to leave the big city life and have homes build close to it. But being close to nature comes with its own perils.

Concrete plans

3 min read According to Afrisam, the cement industry in South Africa produces approximately 20 million tons of cement a year. In 2019 the total demand for cement in South Africa was about 13 million tons but that dropped significantly last year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Christmas in July

4 min read Winter holidays in South Africa has this year yielded scant cause for jollifications, as the country hunkers down to abide by Level 4 restrictions. But this should not deter you from planning some merriness – especially as July 25, celebrated as ‘Christmas in July’, draws near.

Going Green

3 min read The demand for eco-friendly homes presents a unique opportunity to leap into a low carbon and resource-efficient future by building responsibly, incorporating energy efficient design and construction strategies.

I’m in my 30’s – why am I sleeping so badly?

6 min read It’s no revelation that our modern lives are affecting our sleep, and badly. The Sleep Foundation reports that between 10% and 30% of adults struggle with chronic insomnia – and sadly, ‘chronic’ means long and unabating periods of disorder. It’s staggering to think that up to a third of adults sleep badly or not really at all. But it’s also no surprise to hear this; modern life is forcing us to forego the value of our sleep and it is resulting in a rise in sleep disorders.

What matters in a mattress?

4 min read Your bed is the unsung hero of modern life – it’s there for your every day literally supporting you while you sleep. And sometimes it feels like it’s the only sure-fire thing you can rely on. Looking back on our lockdown and post-lockdown lives, we realise how time we spent in our beds – not just to sleep, but also a space to come together with the nucleus of the family, to soothe tired bodies, nurse sick children, to find a space of solace amongst the chaos of the world, and for many of us, as a makeshift office. Whatever happened, we learned that our beds support us beyond sleep and that the need for comfort cannot be overstated.  

Annual General Meetings

2 min read AGMs loom large over every homeowner association’s calendar. Thanks to their innate capacity to connect home owners with their associations, the AGM is an essential vehicle for home owners to scrutinise the decision-making of boards and ensure good governance, and for boards to communicate a cohesive vision for the future.

On the cards 2021/2022

3 min read ARC has grown exponentially since being formed on 1 April 2008, and has continued to enhance its offering to all members of the residential community industry.

The Residential Communities Council (RCC) Update

2 min read Following discussions at ARC Chapter meetings, and at recent ARC Annual Conferences, a majority of ARC members expressed the need for an industry representative body, an NPC that will be governed by industry members, and managed operationally by the Association of Residential Communities (ARC).

Strategic planning for HOAs

8 min read Strategic planning is about projecting where your association expects to be in five, 10 or 15 years – and how your association will get there. It also ensures that your association will remain financially sustainable, and be able to maintain its reserves

Mind your communication and own your data

3 min read Who says what, to whom and where? Communication has never been more far-reaching, available and sometimes untameable. Here below we discuss how quickly things are changing in the way we communicate, valuable aspects to consider moving forward, and a few tips on how to vet new platforms in order to keep a handle on online dialogue.

Servest Landscaping Value Proposition

4 min read Since our inception in South Africa in 1997, we have grown from a provider of specialist soft services into a leading integrated facilities management company. In 2015, the landmark black empowerment transaction, which involved Kagiso Holdings acquiring 51% of Servest, also positioned us as one of the largest majority black-owned integrated facilities management companies in Africa.

Urban Tinkering

2 min read We are in the midst of a rapid rise in urbanism. Since 1900, the global urban population has increased from 200 million to 3.9 billion in 2014. In 2050, this figure is expected to reach 6.4 billion. Cities are experiencing the impacts of climate change more frequently and more intensely. Conventional urban infrastructure and landscape design emphasised single-use structures and facilities.

Executive summary of Public Policies

5 min read ARC has developed a range of policies that all community associations are encouraged to use as a basis for  implementing policies within their communities. A summary of these follows. For a full description, please contact jeff@hoasupport.co.za.

Live in nature at The Rest Nature Estate

3 min read Situated on 320 tranquil hectares of subtropical bushveld vegetation, yet only a short drive from the city centre, The Rest Nature Estate has quickly become Nelspruit’s (now Mbombela) most sought-after residential address.

Building up beautiful Bankenveld

4 min read Situated on the northwest bank of the Witbank Dam is the charming Bankenveld. The dam is one of the largest municipal dams in the southern hemisphere, as well as one of the cleanest, and forms an integral part of this unique, yet thoroughly relaxing estate. The estate was first conceptualised in 1998, and the first home built in 2001. There is an exciting range of properties, including waterfront homes, freestanding homes further inland, and fashionable townhouses.

Silver Lakes Golf and Wildlife Estate

3 min read As the first estate of its kind in Pretoria, Silver Lakes has stood the test of time for more than a quarter of a century, in recent years thanks mainly to CEO Henk Booysen’s inspired and consistent leadership.

Levies decided by majority vote in a Communal Scheme

3 min read Is it constitutional for CSOS to determine that the agreed levies are unreasonable after the fact? We recently had cause to deal with an adjudication before the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) in Johannesburg, in which our client was the homeowners association of a residential development (the estate), which comprises 328 residential units, including various types of property.

Facing the future – Building resilience in your Estate

4 min read 2020/2021 has seen an acceleration in the rate of change in our lives. These changes have been felt across all sectors of society, and in many aspects of community living. As we settle in to the ‘new normal’ this article explores a few current issues, and offers some practical guidance to assist your estate to equip itself to meet future challenges.

The Great Debate: Is a Bed a Good Investment?

5 min read Throughout the ages humans have attached value to many different things, from salt in ancient Rome to diamonds today. And even in our modern times, what we deem valuable still seems rooted in the tangible – something we can see, feel, taste or touch.

Real Value comes from Good Sleep

3 min read Everybody is offering the promise of quality nowadays, and with that, a product that they say is the answer to all your problems. We don’t think a promise is enough, so instead we’ll give you value that’s real, not just in money terms but in quality of life. We’re keeping things simple by offering you what’s truly valuable – good sleep.

New EB-5 ruling allows you to invest in America for your Green Card from only $500 000

2 min read The sought-after EB-5 Investor Programme has become more accessible for a limited time only. As announced on 22 June 2021, by the U.S. federal court. Immigrants can now diversify their investment portfolios for a lower fee of $500 000 (as opposed to the previous rate of $900 000) to secure green cards, for a limited period only – until 30 June 2021.

Microfarms

5 min read Microfarms probably won’t solve world hunger, but it wouldn’t be far from the truth to say that they may be the best candidate for that honour. And, while it’s unlikely that many people living in residential estates are starving, it’s almost certain that most can benefit from more fresh veggies – and from fresher veggies.

Exploring Rodrigues

4 min read The tiny tropical island of Rodrigues lies some 560 kilometres to the northeast of its big sister, Mauritius. A rugged volcanic outcrop, with a mountainous central ridge and deep valleys and ravines, it is surrounded by coral reefs, which enclose a wide, shallow lagoon twice its size. Draped in the turquoise water is a necklace of 17 tiny islets, overgrown with rare flora and inhabited by endangered sea birds. In short, Rodrigues is a nature-lover’s paradise.

Cyprus beaches

2 min read If you’re thinking of moving to a gorgeous Mediterranean island, the chances are you’ll want to spend some time on the beach. So you’ll be pleased to hear that Cyprus has the cleanest beaches in Europe.

The best cheesecake in the world …

4 min read I love cheesecake, and always have, but – as I discovered one rainy night in Wilderness – there is cheesecake, and then there is cheesecake. Aidan’s cheesecake is cheesecake.

Xeriscaping

4 min read If you live – or are planning a development – in one of the drier parts of the country, you are faced with some serious gardening and landscaping challenges. But you’re not the first person to have to deal with little or no water and hot, dry winds that shrivel up every little hopeful green shoot. Many landscapers have very successfully created dramatic xeriscapes of intriguing hard elements and extremely hardy plants.

Mauritius will open for international travel on 15 July 2021

2 min read Mauritius will be welcoming international travellers from 15 July 2021 – but not all travellers, and there are still a few hoops to jump through.

How can developers attract international investors?

4 min read An international study says around half of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) want to buy at least one luxury home in the next 12 months, and that South Africa is one country that they’re considering.

Should you invest in property abroad?

3 min read Why are we seeing a property boom when the world is engulfed in a global pandemic? This is a very valid question, considering that, during the financial crisis in 2008, real house prices fell by an average of 10%, wiping trillions of dollars off the value of bricks and mortar.

The Serta Ergomotion: Create Customisable Sleep

3 min read The idea of creating a bespoke sleep experience was once a pipe dream, but Serta is spearheading the sleep revolution. As the makers of the world’s best mattress, Serta knows that no two sleepers are alike, so they have developed the best in unparalleled sleep technology, the patented Serta Ergomotion foundation – created for truly customizable sleep.

See the trees through the wood

3 min read Researchers in Sweden have succeeded in making a sustainable, renewable transparent wood that is strong enough to use as a structural element. It will be a while before it is widely available, but it has the potential to profoundly affect the construction industry.

Dive Mauritius

4 min read A picture perfect tropical island with crystal-clear turquoise waters lapping golden beaches, Mauritius ticks all the boxes for a beach and watersports holiday. The snorkelling is fantastic, but to really appreciate life beneath the shimmering ocean surface, you need to scuba dive.

You can go to Cyprus …

2 min read Cyprus has opened its borders to visitors (and potential immigrants) as long as they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 – regardless of where they’re from, or where they’ve been.

Digital nomads are a great new market

4 min read Until recently, most new developments had a tourism component, but some developers started rethinking that since Covid hit our shores. But perhaps it’s more a matter of tweaking your offerings to appeal to a new type of ‘tourist’ – the digital nomad.

Station House Sea Point Launches Boutique Hotel 12J Investment Fund

2 min read The dynamic development, Station House, Sea Point now offers investment opportunities in their boutique hotel section of the project. D2E Properties and Berman Brothers have partnered with trusted Lucid Ventures (12J investment manager) to launch a 12J Investment Fund, that has also been approved by Investec, through the boutique hotel offering within Station House.

Biohacking your Life begins with Better Sleep

4 min read People are living longer than ever. In comparison to 20 years ago, there are now 711 million 65 years-old on the planet. In this modern age we’re seeing medical science advance in quantum leaps, which is helping humans to survive and thrive well beyond the traditional retirement age.

Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library

3 min read The design of the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library is a truly African interpretation of Mbeki’s concept of African Renaissance, and a wonderful example of the place- and culture-specific style of award-winning architect David Adjaye.

We didn’t want to leave our pets behind

3 min read Emigrating is hard enough without facing the prospect of giving up the family cat or dog, so many people take them along. But it involves an awful lot of planning, and not inconsiderable expense. Three recent emigrants tell us how they did it – the challenges, the stresses, and – of course – the joy.

Running down the Fences

3 min read The inaugural Running down the Fences event is a great opportunity for runners (and even non-runners) from your estate to spend some quality time on a fabulous malaria-free game reserve. So, get out your running shoes and put together a team from your estate to ‘run down the fences’ between Addo and the Great Fish River.

Adventures in Mauritius

5 min read Think Mauritius and the images that spring to mind are probably of lazing on white sand beaches, swimming in the turquoise waters of the shallow lagoon, and sipping cocktails while watching spectacular sunsets. But there are plenty of active adventures in this tropical paradise.

Revised SABS standards on fire safety

2 min read The South African Bureau of Standards has updated the national standard on fire alarm systems, in a move that could have far-reaching consequences for residential estates.

Conflict resolution on estates

3 min read One of the biggest selling points of residential estates is that they are removed from the stresses of the ‘world beyond the wall’. So we need to guard carefully against conflict arising within our communities – and we need to deal creatively with any tensions between residents, and between residents and management.

Getting a project painted right, comes down to having the right partner!

3 min read Do you know what Tsogo Sun, City Lodge, Wakefields Property Management, Virgin Active, and scores of other premium properties have in common? Nothing on the surface, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that the surfaces of their buildings are coated with Plascon products.

Five amazing things in Mauritius

2 min read We all know that Mauritius is a gorgeous tropical island paradise with a fantastic infrastructure and awesome standard of living, but it’s also a place of wonder and mystery. Here are five strange things you may not have known about the island.

Taxing times

3 min read Tax has always been confusing. If you throw around words like ‘double tax agreements’ (DTAs) and ‘financial emigration’, you simply up the complexity levels. So how can you find out your tax status and whether South Africa has a DTA with another country?

Cryptocurrencies and home loans

3 min read Back in 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 bitcoins – worth about $446 million (R6.207 million) at current prices – for two pizzas. It’s thought to be the first commercial cryptocurrency transaction.

Durban to divorce Eskom

2 min read The various things that we’ve all said about Eskom (especially after bashing our shins in the dark) are not printable. Let’s face it. We are all – well – tired of what has become an asymmetrical relationship in which one side fails to deliver on promises. But we feel that we’re stuck in what is becoming an increasingly toxic relationship. So it is with great interest that we anticipate the City of Durban’s imminent divorce from the power (non-) provider.

Integrated energy storage

3 min read Whether it’s just as a back-up for when Eskom throws a wobbly, or whether it’s a serious commitment to using renewable energy, storage is almost always the constraining factor. So incorporating a rechargeable battery in the actual cement structure of a building sounds like a great idea.

Normalisation of deviance

4 min read Nobody is perfect, and no system is perfect, so we just have to do the best we can, and hope that it is good enough. But how good is ‘good enough’? Or how bad do things have to be before they are not ‘good enough’? And is this culture of ‘good enough’ wise? It’s certainly expedient but, if we trawl through the news headlines, we can find many instances of when ‘good enough’ was not good enough.

Renewable energy’s biggest constraint is cost-effective storage

< 1 min read Last year we wrote about an interesting UK-based startup that had designed a system to store electricity by raising heavy weights during low demand (or bright sunshine), and releasing them into mineshafts when needed. Seemed like a great idea – and now they are crowdfunding to build a prototype.

Golf courses in Mauritius

4 min read If you’re going to Mauritius for the golf (and you’d be surprised how many people do), you will not be disappointed. With 10 18-hole courses and two nine-hole courses, you could – almost – play a different course every day for two weeks. And there are a few in the pipeline. All the courses offer lessons, and most have excellent practice facilities.

Art Deco

3 min read You’re walking down a street in an unfamiliar city, and you see a building that makes you turn your head. It’s familiar, it’s unique, it’s beautiful. Chances are it’s Art Deco. Art Deco was the first truly international architectural style, and there are examples of it on every continent, and in many, many cities. But some cities retain a significant element of the style – and they are richer and more interesting for it.

How the careful choice of Plascon colours can enhance Retirement Villages, Old Ages Homes, Frail Care and Dementia Homes

4 min read People instinctively know what colours resonate with them, what “feels right”, but not everyone knows why this is the case. The reasons have more to do with science than sentiment, and choosing an appropriate colour for an architectural or interior design project can be determined rationally, rather than by personal preference alone. And particularly so in the case of healthcare for the elderly.

Five misconceptions about double tax agreement relief

4 min read If a South African expatriate had to describe the year 2020 in one word, “uncertainty” would no doubt rank as one of the most appropriate. Even before the world was hauled into turmoil by the COVID-19 pandemic, South African expatriates were already faced with the many unknowns that would be ushered in by the “expat tax” era.

Maybe we should change the way we think about sleep?

2 min read In this fast-paced world, there are many people who suffer from insomnia. Sales of pharmaceuticals, herbal preparations, tinctures, and a myriad of devices are available to try to get us to sleep better but It seems we’re not winning the battle.

As humans, we need sleep to survive.

6 min read The crazy thing is that although we all know this to be true, scientists are yet to discover exactly why it is that we need sleep!

Serta Motion Adjustable Bases

2 min read With a Serta adjustable mattress set you can get the customized comfort of your dreams. Sleep with exceptionally optimized comfort that only an adjustable foundation can provide. Work more comfortably on your laptop or handheld device by adjusting the head and/or foot of the mattress.

Will property prices go up or down in 2022?

3 min read It’s hard to predict what property prices will do in 2022, given the uncertainty we’ve seen over the last year thanks to the pandemic. But we’ve asked several experts to gaze into their crystal balls and give us the lowdown on what we can expect the market to look like next year.

Investing in US property

3 min read Despite – or, more to the point, because of – the massive disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africans continue to invest in residential investment properties overseas. With the prospect of a booming economy and the promise of citizenship, the United States is becoming one of the most sought-after destinations.

Golf in paradise

3 min read Whether you’re planning on moving to Mauritius, or just taking a well-earned break on this lovely island, you definitely will not want to leave your golf clubs behind. There’s more to this idyllic tropical paradise than pretty beaches, warm, crystal-clear water and coconut palms.

Gardens as fire defence

3 min read Gardens serve many purposes – decoration, food production, and even status symbols. But gardens can be so much more. Depending on what – and how – you plant, your garden can increase or decrease your risk of fire (and many other things, but let’s stick with fire).

Nudge, nudge, think, think

4 min read We are all familiar with the sweets and snacks in the checkout queues of supermarkets. And we have all carefully averted our eyes from them, or – somewhat more difficult – tried to distract our children from them. This is just one – and possibly the most graphic – example of how we as humans (and especially as consumers) are nudged into ‘desirable’ decisions daily. But who decides what is ‘desirable’?

Trustee and director induction programme

2 min read Serving as a director of a homeowners association, or a trustee in a sectional title scheme, has never been for the faint-hearted. Members living in a community scheme volunteer to serve their communities as a member of the board and are immediately thrust into an environment in which they are expected to meet high levels of governance and good practice, including sometimes onerous criteria as it relates to their fiduciary responsibilities. Being completely responsible and accountable to the members of a homeowners association or body corporate is so much more than simply complying with the relevant legislation that governs these community schemes.

Starting a chess club on your estate

5 min read Once the preserve of nerds, geeks and nebbishes, chess has had a bit of an image makeover since the release of The Queen’s Gambit. And to be honest, so have geeks and nerds. It is cool to be smart, and chess is definitely for smart people. So perhaps it’s a smart idea to start a chess club on an estate.

What could push interest rates up?

3 min read With interest rates the lowest they’ve been in 50 years, there’s never been a better time to get onto the property ladder. In March, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) kept the repo rate at a record low 3.5%. They are likely to maintain it at this rate for most of 2021, which means homeowners are unlikely to see any increases in their mortgage repayments this year.

The tax benefits of moving to Mauritius, Portugal, and Cyprus

3 min read Just two years ago the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared in a report that South Africans live in one of the 10 most heavily taxed countries in the world (tax-to-GDP ratio). Back in 2019, the report highlighted that personal income taxes had increased by 125% in just ten years.

Rising sea levels threaten coastal homes

3 min read As low-lying coastal homes are threatened by rising sea levels and extreme weather events, some landowners and governments are proposing proactive action. While others, of course, bury their heads in the sand, hoping against all logic to defy the tides in an ironic twist of the story of King Canute.

Emigrating?

4 min read The process of relocating can be pretty stressful, so the last thing you want is to find out you can’t take your best friend with you. We have done everything we can to ensure that the information below is accurate but regulations do change, and some are – not to put too fine a point on it – somewhat ambiguously worded, so please double check with the relevant authorities before committing.

Land expropriation without compensation

4 min read Utter the words ‘land expropriation without compensation’ and the reactions you get will be mixed. But it’s a topic that’s guaranteed to be brought up around the dinner table thanks to the impending local elections.

Plascon Combats Indoor Pollution with Brand-New Air Purifying Technology

2 min read Plascon has remained the architectural and construction trade’s go-to coatings manufacturer for over 130 years as a result of its ability to continuously reinvent itself. This year marks Plascon’s biggest brand renewal yet, with rejuvenated products, exciting initiatives and a bold new look, to top things off.  These changes affirm Plascon’s re-orientation and refreshed commitment to focus on people and purpose.

Creole culture

3 min read Creole cultures, which evolved in many countries with a colonial past, are increasingly recognising that they have more similarities than differences with their many counterparts all over the world. In fact, Creole culture almost transcends borders.

Forged in flame

4 min read What is the lesson we take home as we count the cost, and to try to reconstruct, after this last in a series of devastating fires? We need to think – not just about how we deal with the aftermath, or even how we deal with the actual fires – but how we prevent them from happening again. And, for those of us responsible for large tracts of land, like estates, it’s not just an academic exercise.

Privatisation of service provision

5 min read Recent events indicate the emergence of an alternative model for the management of services like water and waste. Several separate initiatives are under way, currently unconnected, but all moving in a similar direction. In areas where municipalities have failed, courts have ruled in favour of residents’ associations, giving them the right to manage water and waste. It is evident that, with increased support from National Treasury and the Presidency, a new model is emerging that will enable private capital to be raised for clearly defined public services provision.

Thinking of investing and living abroad?

2 min read While there are many reasons for emigrating, financial affairs play a large part in both the decision to emigrate, and the success of immigration applications. Tax is, of course, a large part of an immigration-through-investment process, and it can be quite complex. Caleo Capital, a South African wealth management company with a global footprint, works closely with 12 Star Capital to ensure a smooth financial transition for South Africans emigrating to the USA.

Construction’s deepening skills crisis

4 min read When the government recently published a new proposed list of critical skills, or high-demand occupations, which would make it easier for certain foreign workers to get visas to work and live in South Africa, ‘project manager’ was a recurring theme across industries. Construction – which has suffered a severe project management skills shortage for years – emerged as a particular problem area.

Sun, sea and a Covid shot

3 min read The Maldives has recently announced plans to kickstart their 3V programme, allowing foreigners to visit, vaccinate and vacation on the small archipelago. Despite having a relatively firm grip on the spread of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic (they boast a recovery rate of more than 90% and a mortality rate of 0.3%), the local economy has taken a battering, and the unemployment rate is the highest on record.

Round houses

5 min read From Transkei to Alaska, round houses have been the norm for centuries – more probably millennia. In fact, it was only with the (in some case quite strong) encouragement of missionaries that Christian converts started to build ‘civilised’ square houses in southern Africa. But, while in some places and societies the stigma of ‘primitiveness’ is still associated with round houses, many forward-thinking architects and planners in all parts of the world are rediscovering the advantages of circular dwellings, and have been for decades.

Le Morne Brabant

3 min read Le Morne Brabant, one of Mauritius’s two World Heritage Sites, is renowned as much for its fabulous scenery and exciting outdoor activities as for its fascinating cultural and historic heritage.

Emigrating to the United States

2 min read South African Shaun Minnie, who emigrated to the United States on the EB-5 Program with his family, chats about the pros and cons, highs and lows.

Vaccination passports

3 min read We are all tired of restrictions, and many of us are aching to attend football matches, mega-church services or raves, and we all want the tourism industry to recover – both so that our economy can recover, and so that we can head off somewhere exotic to destress. We long for ‘normality’. So we are lining up for vaccinations and hoping that they (and the proof thereof) will fix the world and bring everything back to the way it was. But is a vaccine – and a ‘vaccine passport’ – the panacea it’s made out to be, or will it prove to be a two-edged sword with some unexpected consequences?

Unpacking the Traditional Courts Bill

3 min read The Traditional Courts Bill is lurching its way through Parliament, amid howls of protest – mostly, ironically, from the very people it’s intended to protect. What is the Bill, and what do we need to know about it?

The Mauritius Blue

4 min read There are some great investment opportunities in Mauritius, but you have missed the very best of them all. Unless, that is, your great grandmother was in regular correspondence with Elizabeth Gomm, wife of the governor of Mauritius – or anyone else who lived there in 1847. And – and this is a big and – she kept all her letters in a nice, dry, tin trunk that has been passed down to you over the generations, unopened.

Less is more …

4 min read We acknowledge, in so many fields, that less is more, so why do we struggle to achieve minimalism, simplicity, unfussiness, austerity and/or uncomplicatedness? Evidently, according to new research, it’s because we are hardwired to add, rather than subtract – a tendency that unconsciously leads us into situations akin to the hideous (and intentionally ironic) list of words above.

The USA’s new EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act

3 min read The USA’s EB-5 Investor Visa programme, which has been criticised as posing a threat to national security and being open to abuse and fraud, has been replaced by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act. But questions remain as to whether it will achieve its objectives, and how it will affect potential international investors. Including South Africans, of course.

Cyprus residence-by-investment

2 min read The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment programme, which has for years been one of the most popular options for high nett worth individuals seeking EU citizenship, has been terminated. But you can still get permanent residency, and – if you are determined – citizenship may follow.

13sex Taxbreak promotes benefits for developers and investors alike

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.

Living the Country Life – Close to the City

3 min read While many people choose to live in lifestyle estates for the serene surroundings and country feel, they still need to be close to the city – to work, shop, access professional services, or frequently travel to and from the airport. This is particularly true for young working professionals and parents of schoolgoing kids who have to add a soccer-mom-taxi element to an already hectic commute schedule.

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?

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 spen