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

Jaime-Lee Gardner
072 171 1979

Louise Martin
073 335 4084

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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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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”.


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.


BMI Coverland 30 Year Guarantee

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


The Evergreen Business – An Overview

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


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.


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


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.


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.


#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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


BMI Group Roofing and Waterproofing Solutions

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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


Zimbali Lakes Resort – Development Site available for development

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


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.


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


Estate Living chats to Joan, a resident at Evergreen

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


ProjectProp Leloko Eco and Lifestyle Estate

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


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.


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.


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.


Estate Living and Openserve interview

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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


Builders DIY: DIY Kitchen Stand

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


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.

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

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

How to support estate aesthetic guidelines and homeowner alteration applications

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

Play dirty

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

Kogelberg, heaven on earth

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

Historical intentional communities

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

Heirloom vegetables

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

Berkeley researchers use 3D printer to make concrete stronger

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

Audio camouflage

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

Are intentional communities a viable investment?

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

New Year rituals for luck, love and laughter

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

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

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

New Year, new beginnings

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

Keep cool

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

How big is your foodprint?

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

COVID-19 has not disappeared

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

The pitfalls of credit life insurance

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

Cape Town’s bold new water strategy

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

Co-operation and punishment

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

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

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

Get to grips with Financial Emigration

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

Tragedy of the commons

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

Lombard’s Property Development Guarantees

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

Water monitoring made easy

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

Invest in Mauritius

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

BMI Coverland Dry Ridge system

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

Common pool resource management

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

Development Opportunities in Joburg’s Nodal Review

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

Empty shopping malls: crisis or opportunity?

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

A matter of some gravity

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

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

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

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

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

Xanadu Nature Estate welcomes you home

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

Vumacam’s network effect

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

Living in Mauritius

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

Travelling to Mauritius

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

Peter Piper

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

Living architecture: A Greener Building Approach

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

Understanding the Eastern Cape’s Day Zero

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

Policy allows 5G towers to be installed on private property

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

Scaling down

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

Santam – Market Leader in Property Development Insurance in any Economy

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

Top property trend

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

Santa Shoe box

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

Paul and Virginia

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

Hansgrohe’s electronic mixers

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


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

Should domestic cats stay indoors?

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

Forest bathing

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

Invest or Emigrate to Mauritius – Financial Focus for South Africans

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

Can air conditioners spread coronavirus?

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

The rumblings of discontent

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

Virtual AGMs – the good, the bad and the crazy

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

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

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

Could COVID-19 change how cities view their streets?

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

Retirement villages get a redesign for the times

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

Working from home is becoming the norm

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

Will Mauritius ever recover from the oil spill?

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

The real estate market has gone virtual

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

The future of 12J

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

Roads made from old tyres and building rubble

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

Revolutionary cooling system

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

Rental Guarantees

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

Rates relief welcomed in major cities

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

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

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

Picking up the slack for municipal incompetence

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

No trees were harmed in the construction of this skinny house

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

Mauritius is a diving paradise

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

Keep safe and cool in the pool

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

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

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

How has COVID-19 affected the rental market?

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

Emigrating from South Africa

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

Ecosystem monitoring for management

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

Colour is also a spectrum

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

Sanitising courses for domestic staff

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

Municipality hands over RDP houses without water, toilets or electricity

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

Thinking of immigrating to the UK?

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

Bridging the connectivity gap

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

Garden grabs

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

The stamp duty holiday in the UK

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

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

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

Repurposing student housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic

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

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the cryptocurrency market?

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

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

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

Affordable housing in the UK

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

The rise of second-tier cities in South Africa

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

How to acquire and develop the best talent

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

Life right

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

Wild at heart

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

For the birds

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

The future of secured communities in South Africa

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

Conveyancers support property owners and sellers during COVID-19

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

Smart management is cleverer than you think

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

Speciality coffee

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

Old Mutual survey results are in

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

A horse, a horse, my garden needs a horse

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

Sensible permaculture for residential estates and developments

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

Smooth and seamless transitions

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

Lockdown prompts homeowners re-evaluate lifestyle, including living spaces

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

Mauritius opening up to the world

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

Women investors have their eye on the property market

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

Hunting SARS-Cov-2

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

Ryan Sandes’s hardest run

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

Retirees buying off plan: risks and rewards

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

Citizen science

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

Keeping the lights on

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

Home loan pre-qualification makes sense

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

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

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

Commercial space is standing empty in South African cities

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

A second life for hotels?

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

Retire with a view

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

Products and tools developed by Meyer de Waal

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

Green, green, green

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

HOAs may be preserving communities to their death

3 min read Forming homeowners associations (HOAs) has become second nature to developers. But handing a development over to the HOA has often not been quite as easy.

Attorney realtor hub

5 min read The Attorney Realtor Hub (ARH) is a countrywide network of property attorneys who are collaborating to provide professional property services to their clients. They are able to do this more efficiently and at better costs for both sellers and purchasers.

Micro apartments

3 min read Inspired, in part, by the tiny house movement, micro apartments have been touted as a solution to the housing shortage, the increasing cost of urban land, and the need to conserve resources. But, as with many things, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some shortcomings of these tiny spaces.

Selling your development: estate agent vs sales team

3 min read Your development is ready for sales, and you need widespread marketing to reach as many potential buyers as possible, followed by a flawless sales process. What is the best way – a dedicated sales team, or an estate agency?

Safety products you didn’t know you needed

3 min read Estates of all descriptions offer safe community living environments and this is the main reason most of us buy into them. This doesn’t mean we can be completely complacent about safety within our own homes, though. Here are three situations you may not have thought of that need attention.

Making the dream a reality

3 min read Your new home is almost certainly the most important purchase you will ever make in your life but, like many of the good things in life, it may require some sacrifice and discipline. It’s worth it, though, so plan proactively to improve your affordability by implementing some simple strategies, namely saving on everyday expenses and proactively managing debt.

Your credit profile

3 min read The first step on your journey to home ownership is understanding your credit profile, so that you can improve your credit score to get the best possible loan terms for your new home.

Advantages of home ownership

3 min read Purchasing a home will most likely be the biggest investment decision you make, and one that comes with specific financial obligations – but also enormous advantages. When you appreciate the benefits of home ownership, you will no longer see obligations such as repaying your loan or maintaining your home as a burden, but as a route to investing in your and your family’s future.

Affordability and budgeting

3 min read When you apply for a bond, financial institutions consider your affordability to be equally as important as – if not more important than – your credit history. So drawing up an accurate monthly household budget will assist in determining what you can afford, and how you can adjust your budget to improve your affordability.

Buying your first home

3 min read There is nothing more exciting – or daunting – than buying your first home. It’s a rite of passage, and also a passport to financial, emotional, social and family security. There are so many advantages to home ownership, but it’s a big step, so it’s worth planning carefully.

How REIPPP is contributing to South Africa’s switch to renewable energy

3 min read REIPPP is a government-led initiative to promote buy-in from investors for large- and small-scale renewable energy projects. The program was implemented in 2011, and since then has had some success, but still faces many challenges

Own a piece of a vineyard

4 min read There’s more to offshore investing than money laundering and preserving mega wealth. It’s also about the lifestyle – sitting back with a glass of wine and your little piece of offshore paradise.

Back to school

8 min read At a press briefing on Thursday 30 April, basic education minister Angie Motshekga announced that – if all goes according to plan – school admin staff would go back to work on 18 May, and Grade 7s and Grade 12s may return to school on 1 June. It sounded nice, but it’s really not that simple, and – as at 18 May – it doesn’t look as if that timeline is going to pan out. But, more importantly, how and when will our children return to schools, and will they be safe when they do?

The Components of a Good Rule

5 min read When writing rules and guidelines for the successful implementation of these, boards should keep the concepts and words simple and understandable to the average person in the community. If residents understand rules, they’re more likely to comply with them.

Taking control of water provision

3 min read The Water Services Act number 108 of 1997 made sweeping changes to the way that water is managed by mandating water service authorities as the only lawful providers of water. But, because of erratic supply and lack of confidence in municipalities, some estates are taking control of water reticulation, which has – mostly – worked fine until now, but it does technically take HOAs, bodies corporate and boards into a murky grey area of the law.

Work-life balance

6 min read We’ve all spent a lot more time at home recently, and – for some of us – that’s put quite a strain on our work-life balance. But what’s interesting is that so many people are realising that they don’t need to go in to the office as much as they thought they did.

Risks and implications of becoming a water service provider

5 min read Once municipal water enters the estate, it is reticulated through a network that has been built by the original developer and is maintained by the HOA. All’s fine and good but, if the estate management decides to provide on-site storage to, for example, ensure regular supply, they stray into a grey area of the law, and may be liable to prosecution.

Are nuclear families really the norm?

5 min read Other than developments specifically designed for retirees, students and/or ‘young professionals’, the homes on estates, and even in apartment blocks, are designed as ‘family homes’, and estates are marketed as places in which families can thrive. But what, exactly, is a family? First let’s look at those ‘family homes’.


4 min read Sourdough has a long and varied history, starting with the ancient Egyptians, and the creation of a sourdough mother is probably one of the most enduring and useful of all scientific endeavours.

What to expect from your property price after the COVID-19 pandemic is over

3 min read The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to impact multiple industries worldwide, and the property sector is no exception. The South African property market pre-pandemic showed positive signs of improvement, with an increased transaction rate. However, the five-week national lockdown has undoubtedly put strain on homeowners and halted any optimism that may have been building.

What happens when your tenant cannot pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

2 min read The rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced the abrupt closures of shops, restaurants, cafés and other businesses in multiple countries. Like many of us, commercial and residential landlords and their tenants are now at breaking point.

Is the 2% interest rate in South Africa enough to revive the property market?

3 min read The surprise announcement in April by the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, of a further drop in the repo rate – by 100 basis points, to 4.25% per annum – is certainly welcome news for the property sector.

The changing face of concrete

2 min read In 1945, concrete was considered the best solution to solving the housing shortage in postwar London. Since then the material has often been blamed for the unattractive, cold and somewhat uninviting face of cities across the urban world.

Buying into a sectional title scheme or housing complex: Free information session

2 min read This information session will provide with you the knowledge on how to buy into a sectional title scheme.

Community Scheme COVID-19 Code Of Conduct/Policy & Workplace Plan (Level 4)

4 min read On 15 March 2020, in terms of Section 3 of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, the Covid-19 pandemic was classified as a national disaster, due to its potential severity and magnitude. Pursuant thereto, on 29 April 2020, the Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations were published. These Regulations can be made available upon request.

How small and medium-sized businesses can weather the COVID-19 storm

4 min read Economists forecast that the nationwide lockdown implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus will have far-reaching economic implications. Ficth in an article, (COVID-19 Growth Revisions), forecasts that the South African GDP will slow from 0.2% to -1.9% in 2020.

Beyond lockdown

2 min read The COVID-19 lockdowns across the globe have brought about a confluence of forces around the business environment – forcing companies to restructure and redefine the way they do business. They need to adopt new strategies to improve security protocols to better manage and deal with the pandemic.

Postcards from the pandemic / Letters from lockdown: Maintaining community during social isolation

5 min read As the sounds of vuvuzelas and loud, joyful music – part of a now-global display of appreciation for essential workers – died down some time after 19:00 on Easter Monday 2020, I lit the flame under two large pots of curried vegetable and lentil soup. Prepared earlier in the afternoon, each pot of soup was destined to feed the staff at one of the two gatehouses that control entry and egress for Dainfern in the north of Johannesburg.

Postcards from the pandemic/Letters from lockdown 2: Pilates

4 min read On the morning of 20 April, I dragged myself out of bed some time before 08:00. While I left my coffee to brew, I searched for the running tights that hadn’t been used in longer than I’d care to admit, and squeezed myself into them. Once sufficiently caffeinated, I spread a yoga mat on the floor.

Harbour Bay Village

3 min read Are you retired or know someone who is fast approaching retirement? Seniors today face challenging circumstances and the issues they need to think about and plan for include physical security, financial resources, healthcare, and social interaction. Expect an unparalleled luxury lifestyle at Harbour Bay Village.

Vodacom Fibre

2 min read Is your community connected to fibre? Vodacom Fibre connects you to the highest speed Internet, Voice, TV, video and security services available today. In addition, Vodacom’s Fibre network utilises flexible glass cable instead of copper, which is less susceptible to bad weather, lightning and theft, resulting in unprecedented reliability.

Property stokvels

3 min read Stokvels are pooled savings schemes with several members who are obliged to contribute a set amount on a monthly basis. Traditionally, each member receives a hearty payout based on a predetermined rotation.


4 min read Trout are originally from the northern hemisphere, but they are a highly sought-after species for epicureans and anglers alike, so they have been introduced worldwide. Their popularity as a fly-angling species makes their introduction into dams or lakes well worth considering. But consider carefully.

What are security companies doing to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?

2 min read COVID-19 has had a massive impact on how we interact with others. This impact is particularly felt by essential services staff, who have to continue working despite unsafe conditions. We examine the dangers of COVID-19 to estate security staff, and what companies are doing to keep both their clients and workers safe during this uncertain time.

COVID-19 and the property market

3 min read As we change the way we physically interact, all industries have to change the way they do business – and the real estate industry is no exception. Even before the lockdown, estate agents and prospective sellers were reluctant to let people into their houses – and prospective buyers were reluctant to enter houses where the absent owners may or may not be carriers of SARS-CoV-2. So, even once the lockdown is over, it’s clear we will have to make some serious changes in the way we market, buy and sell property.

Geckos, lizards and chameleons

5 min read There can be few things as rewarding as watching a healthy natural mini biome unfold in your own garden. A close encounter with one of our amazing four-legged reptiles reminds me that biodiversity can be maintained in even the smallest of suburban gardens.

New estates

3 min read The COVID-19 lockdown threw the property industry into a state of uncertainty, with numerous new developments having to be mothballed for a while. But things are getting back on track, and Gauteng’s estate developments are going ahead with releases of new unit sales or building packages as planned. We rounded up a few.

Effect of repo rate cuts on your cash investments

2 min read We’ve seen three consecutive drops in the repo rate since the start of the year, the most recent being due to the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Together these have brought the prime lending rate down from 10% at the start of January to 7.75% now. This is a welcome relief for anyone paying off debt, but the opposite is true for those relying on positive interest earned.

Agility is the new normal

3 min read At a time when all non-essential services are either in lockdown or reeling from the multiple blows to the economy, a handful of businesses are changing the way they work to stay relevant, and to stay in operation, and to make a difference.

5 Ways to keep safe from crime during the lockdown

2 min read We hope that the increased police and army presence on our streets means that we’re safer from crime as well as the Corona-19 virus during the lockdown. But there will always be those opportunistic thieves that take a chance, so here are some tips from Trellidor to help you stay safe while home during the lockdown.

Conferencing post-COVID-19

3 min read Whether you have a fully kitted out home office or are just working from a cleared section on the kitchen counter, you’re likely to have had numerous virtual meetings by Skype, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting or Zoom. And by now you’re probably sick of the virtual thing and longing for some human-to-human face time. But regardless of what we want or need, the normal we once knew is no more, and a new normal awaits.

Unpacking the National Water Act

5 min read The National Water Act of 1998 (NWA), which was the first comprehensive legislation adopted immediately after the transition to democracy, has far-reaching implications of which most people are blissfully unaware.

Solar energy around the world

4 min read There is a worldwide trend towards the uptake of renewable resources for power generation, but it seems that South Africa is lagging behind. So let’s have a look at what other countries are doing, focusing mainly on solar, and see how we compare.

Sapiens schmapiens

8 min read The COVID-19 pandemic is a terrifying wake-up call for humanity. But will we heed it, or will we ‘overcome’ it as best we can so that we can continue on the self-destructive course that led to it? Certainly, the measures taken by governments, organisations and individuals over the last few weeks show that we can change our behaviour and expectations – if we are convincingly threatened.

How boreholes work

4 min read In times of drought, it’s common practice to sink a borehole. Many estates, and individuals, do this without fully appreciating how an aquifer works, and what legal implications are associated with going off grid, even partially.

Teenagers are people too

3 min read Teenagers have distinct needs, and making estates teen-friendly can be challenging, but it is so worth it. By providing a safe space for their entertainment and development, estate managers can harness teenage energy and drive as a force for good.

Infectious diseases and the workplace

4 min read Employers – including HOAs – must provide a safe workplace, even if that means insisting on disease tests for employees. During the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, cruise ships turned into living, floating laboratories for scientists studying the disease. With their close confines and high proportions of older people (who tend to be more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus), combined with their lack of access to the outside world, cruise ships were – tragically, in some cases – the perfect incubator.

Stress management and conflict resolution

4 min read When conflict arises, it can result in stress. And, when stress levels increase, so does the likelihood of conflict and confrontation. But, remember, if you’re feeling stressed, chances are that your residents and home owners are feeling much the same. It’s a vicious circle that someone has to stop – and that someone is you. So how can you be the tough guy, and make those hard calls, while still being understanding and kind?

Let’s Talk Property, Hosted by Derek Watts

2 min read Last week’s webinar saw Derek and our expert panel give their opinions on the merits of investing in property on the North Coast of KZN, and brief insights on the SA property market as a whole.

Call for the designation of construction sector as essential services

3 min read The construction industry has the potential to create employment opportunities to cushion the impact of an anticipated increase in unemployment in the immediate aftermath of the current nation-wide lockdown. This is according to a submission made by the Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team (CCRR19TT) to motivate for a phased reactivation of the Construction Sector. The task team is a body representing major organizations in the sector including contractors, property developers, construction professionals, suppliers, and service providers.

Howlelujah Foundation Giveaway to raise funds

< 1 min read We’re super excited to announce this Giveaway! One lucky @howlelujahfoundation supporter could stand a chance to spend a weekend in Luxury at the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa.

Sea Point: An Investor’s Eye View

3 min read Sea Point has long been regarded as one of the property jewels of Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. But does it still offer good investments? With Sea Point’s natural attractions and strong short-stay letting market, but should investors be scared off by talk of ‘carnage’ in the local market, and new regulations around short-term rentals?

Never let a good crisis go to waste

4 min read The crisis we are going through is unprecedented in our lifetime – even in living memory. But it’s not unprecedented in the history of the world and, almost invariably, this kind of crisis leads to immense social, technological and philosophical change. The one thing we can be sure of is that life after COVID-19 will be different, but we can’t be sure of the form that difference will take. So it’s up to us to decide how we want to change, and how we want to live in the future.

Another brick in the wall

4 min read When we think of bricks, we tend to think of either baked clay bricks or cement bricks, both of which have a very high carbon footprint – conventional clay bricks are fired at temperatures of over 1,000C, and cement requires temperatures in excess of 1,400C, which requires the burning of coal with all its attendant environmental fallout. But there are bricks – or brick-like things – that can be produced at much lower temperatures, thereby using much less carbon, and producing less pollution. Some are the result of amazing new technological breakthroughs, and are only in the trail phase, while some are so old as to have been virtually forgotten.

Builders face an uncertain post-COVID-19 future

3 min read With construction not categorised as an essential service, all projects are suspended under the national COVID-19 lockdown – leaving the sector facing a deeply uncertain future.

Short- term rentals

3 min read Buying a second property as an investment and/or a holiday home has always been tempting – and even more so over the last few years; the demand has increased, and the marketing and management of short-term rentals have become easier with online portals such as Airbnb, SafariNow and SA-Venues. But is it still viable?

Should we colonise space?

3 min read If it’s not Day Zero, it’s load shedding, and if it’s not one of those, it’s a three-week lockdown as we all hide away, quiddling in our boots, from a killer virus. Is Earth becoming unliveable, and should we perhaps find a new planet to live on?

Vertical forests

4 min read Johannesburg lays claim to being the largest artificially cultivated urban forest in the world, which is great, even if it’s not entirely true. It’s great because it instils a sense of pride in the trees of the city, encouraging citizens and authorities alike to nurture them, and to plant more. And the Soweto Greening Project is extending that tree-planting spirit with – so far – more than 200,000 trees having been planted in Soweto. Not surprisingly, cities worldwide are becoming more and more creative in their greening efforts, with possibly the most spectacular of these being the innovation of vertical forests. Would this be a good idea here too?

Trellidor: Safe and secure – and good looking too

3 min read We all want to know that our homes are secure, and that our families are safe, but we also don’t want to feel that we’re living behind prison bars. So we got together with Peter Rawson from Trellidor to find out about their latest offerings.


4 min read If you own, live on, or are developing a piece of land of significant natural value, you will need to come up with a way of ensuring that you manage it responsibly – and the best way to do that is to think beyond your boundary fence. The plants, soil, birds and animals don’t recognise title deeds, so managing for nature requires thinking outside of the strict ownership model of land use.

Now is the time to invest in Harbour Bay Village

3 min read As the panic rises in South Africa as a result of the spread of the coronavirus, several people have started panic buying (groceries like sanitisers, tinned food and toilet paper are flying off the shelves) and they are taking measures and precaution to self-isolate.

Herd immunity

3 min read Our ancestors were devastated by diseases like smallpox, polio and measles, but we hardly give these ailments a thought. They’re just not a threat, due to an interesting phenomenon called herd immunity – a term that’s being optimistically bandied about in relation to COVID-19.

Dogs, cats and other cute fluffy creatures

3 min read Owning a pet offers many health and emotional benefits. Not only can pet ownership reduce stress, but pets also provide companionship and purpose. However, there are several reasons why pet ownership may not be suitable for everyone, so it’s vital to weigh up the pros and cons before committing to owning a pet.

Staying supple

3 min read According to various experts, mobility is the key to healthy ageing – but the truth is that holding onto it takes plenty of work. Many will agree that in order to retain mobility as you get older, you simply have to embrace it every chance you get. In other words, keep moving to stay supple, and keep motivated to keep moving.

Six architectural and decor trends for 2020

2 min read Just as facebrick dates homes from the eighties and covered patios hit their stride a decade later, 2020 will bring with it new design and architectural hallmarks. What are they?

Highland gold

5 min read The fishing at the Makhangoa Community Camp on the Bokong River in Lesotho is something of a crapshoot, but when you hit it right, well then all your troubles fade away as the reel screams. The Bokong River, which is one of the main feeders of Katse Dam, is a spectacularly remote spot, and troublesome to reach. Where the road ends, and donkey tracks provide the only access to the clear waters of the Bokong, you can – if the gods favour you – find fishing that is out of this world.

Do you need a car?

3 min read When 97-year-old Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s consort, crashed his Land Rover, injuring two bystanders, the first thing people asked was whether – at that age – he should have been driving at all. In fact, should there be an upper age limit for driving, just as there is a lower one? It’s a provocative question, and one that overshadows a far more sensible one: if you’re living in a retirement estate, does it still make sense to own and drive a car?

The 2019 amendments to BBBEE legislation

2 min read Government gazetted amendments to the BBBEE legislation on 31 May 2019, with a six-month implementation timeframe. This limited implementation period could negatively impact on your business, depending on your financial year end, and the date of the next BBBEE verification.

Conradie Park’s model for sustainability

4 min read Conradie Park, a new mixed-income, mixed-use housing development in Cape Town, has been launched for sale to the public. Its marketing campaign lauds its ‘affordability, sustainability and security’, but how exactly will it be funded and maintained in the long run?

The secrets of longevity

3 min read They’re called Blue Zones. In five places across the world, the locals regularly – and happily – live to over 100 years of age. Why? What do they do to enjoy triple-digit longevity, and how can you enjoy the same long and fulfilled life?

Sustainable, impactful CSI

4 min read Corporate social investment is a great way for companies – and for estates – to give back to the community. But, while any CSI is a good thing, there is a huge difference between merely diverting funds to a good cause and actually getting involved with the community on a person-to-person basis. The former – at best – improves living standards for the target community, while the latter builds real relationships that can grow into an ongoing circle of benefit.

Tackling salary inequity

6 min read Under capitalism, the argument goes, it’s every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour.

The grass is greener

3 min read As South Africa becomes more water-stressed, many home owners and estate managers are considering replacing lawns with artificial turf. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so you need to look carefully at how the two options stack up against each other in terms of eco-friendliness, durability, and convenience.

Old age

3 min read Age – it’s just a number. So when does ‘old age’ begin? If you asked that question in the middle of the previous century, the answer would have been 60. That’s when you were expected to retire, maybe grow roses or go fishing, and wait to die. Well, things have changed.


3 min read E-bikes are like ordinary bicycles, expect they have an electric motor attached. This motor provides assistance relative to the amount of energy you exert while riding it. As more South African cities lay down bike-friendly roads, the sales of e-bikes have surged, which leaves many people wondering if they’re a viable alternative to normal modes of transportation.

Free telephonic consultation for Sectional Title Scheme dwellers

< 1 min read Marina Costas of BBM Law is offering free telephonic or Zoom 30 min conversations from Thursday the 2nd of April until the end of lock down from 11 am – 1 pm. All Trustees can join one meeting and ask top of mind questions around the implications and requirements of the lockdown on Sectional Title Schemes.

Life right ownership at The Somerset

2 min read A Life Right purchase is a transaction where you and your spouse/partner, as the nominated occupants, attain the right to live in a particular house for the duration of your lifetime, after which your capital is returned with an additional profit share, depending on the options chosen.

A Property Developer With The Highest Standard Of Ethics & Moral Conduct

2 min read In the world of property development, it is a rare and pleasant thing to find a developer that lives his life and carries out his business dealings based on the highest standard of ethics and moral conduct. It has been my pleasure over the past six years, to serve Okkie Potgieter and the Westacre Development team on The Somerset Lifestyle and Retirement Village project. With Okkie having recently announced his retirement, Dion and Johann Potgieter have stepped up to continue his considerable legacy.

The new Care Centre at The Somerset Lifestyle and Retirement Village

3 min read The Somerset is immensely proud of their beautiful new Care Center and are thrilled to show it off. What you see is the result of collaboration between CPOA & Westacre. Great care has been made in the design of the Care Centre to be residential and not feel like a hospital or institution.

Giving developers a greener EDGE

3 min read While green building practices – and Green Building Council certification – are known to improve sustainability and reduce running costs, EDGE certification is now also showing its worth as a marketing tool for estate developers.

Lockdown lowdown

3 min read We are moving into uncharted territory with the countrywide lockdown, with many people not entirely sure what is and is not allowed. And, for people living in residential estates, the additional question arises: ‘Where does my home begin and end?’ We asked Marina Constas, a director of BBM Law, to clarify some widely held concerns and uncertainties.

District Six open for development

4 min read Property developers are encouraged to invest in District Six, despite rumours that the historic Cape Town precinct might be declared a National Heritage site. That’s according to Shahied Ajam, chairperson of the District Six Working Committee (D6WC).

Size counts – at least for kitchen appliances

4 min read When you’re buying in an established estate, you can often get a good deal if the house needs a bit of TLC – and the kitchen is where most people start. The cupboards and counters may still be fine, but built-in hobs do tend to show their age, so they are one of the first things you’re likely to want to replace.

The Riebeek Valley Olive Festival 2020 – POSTPONED UNTIL FUTHER NOTICE

3 min read The Riebeek Valley Olive Festival is an invitation into the cellars, hearts and homes of the people of this Swartland Valley. It is an immersive experience, and a celebration of the abundance of the land and all that is produced in the area.

Water from icebergs

4 min read Something like 70% of the world’s fresh water is frozen up in polar icebergs – and the idea of towing them to dry or drought-stricken areas like California, Saudi Arabia and the Canary Islands has long been a dream – an impossible dream.

Capital gains tax for retirees

3 min read Although capital gains tax (CGT) applies to anyone selling a property, it is of particular interest to retirees who have owned a property for 30 or more years. Especially when that property has gained significant value due to the popularity and growth of the neighbourhood. A property bought in Camps Bay for R41,000 in 1971 may now be worth around R15 million, attracting a significant portion of CGT.

Schooling solutions

3 min read Estates offer families the opportunity to ‘live, work, and play’ in a single space, which has led to a demand for practical schooling solutions in or close to estates.
But schools take up a lot of space, so it’s worth considering smaller collaborative learning spaces, fuelled by online educational centres and curriculums.

Creating value with running trails

3 min read Developing trails in estates not only adds value to properties but provides safe and healthy opportunities for residents – and also creates unique selling features with little investment.


3 min read Okay, it’s official. COVID-19 is a pandemic – and it’s caused a national and international emergency. This is serious, and – yes – there is a risk of contracting the disease, and even of dying from it. But is this really the biggest risk? As with many things, it is easier to see the problems ‘out there’ and ignore the ones in our heads. So, while I’m not for one moment denying the seriousness of COVID-19, let’s look at the real risks.

Know the law when procuring vendors for your residential scheme

3 min read To protect your financial interests and your investment, you’ve volunteered to be chairman of your body corporate or homeowners’ association. As the person in charge, you’re now navigating things like cleaning, greening, security and a host of other issues. When it comes to handling the vendor procurement process, understanding the law will help you avoid any pitfalls.

Safe and Secure

< 1 min read As more cases of Covid-19 are reported in South Africa, residential estates need to take action to keep their residence, visitors and staff safe – and that means being proactive, rather than reactive.

2020 SONA lights the way for energy independence

3 min read As South Africa continues to battle with power cuts, grid constraints and load shedding, the government is making it easier for businesses – including residential estates – to generate their own solar PV (photovoltaic) electricity.

Single mothers constitute a growing demographic of home buyers in South Africa

3 min read Single moms have become a force to be reckoned with in the property market. Developers who want their estates to appeal to this growing demographic will need to keep in mind factors such as security, open spaces, schools and modern living units.

Investing body corporate reserve funds

3 min read It’s old news that sectional title schemes need to establish and maintain a reserve fund that is separate from the administrative fund. Most bodies corporate have done so, and have built the fund up to meet the requirements. And some are now sitting on large sums of cash, and may even have a surplus of reserve funds. So investing this surplus makes good financial sense, but it must be done cautiously and with the preservation of funds as a priority.

Mud buildings of Groot Constantia

3 min read Should we be looking to the past for ideas for alternative building methods to reduce our carbon footprint? It makes sense, because traditional, low-tech building methods are almost naturally low carbon-intensive.

What is mould

3 min read Most of us can point to the black stuff growing in our shower and say: ‘That’s mould.’ Fewer people can say what mould actually is. There are thousands of different species of mould that all spread through spores. Some of these moulds can cause significant health concerns, ranging from allergies to asthma attacks, and even fungal infections in immunocompromised people. Understanding what mould is, and how it grows, is the first step towards preventing it from growing and spreading in your home.

It’s the SELL OUT BONANZA at Harbour Bay Village!

3 min read Ladies and gentleman, hurry don’t miss out! This is your last chance to get your hands on 1 of the 27 units left at Harbour Bay Village. Your journey to exclusive resort-style, luxury living starts here. Are you ready?

How to control mould in your home

2 min read Understanding what mould needs to grow is the first step to controlling mould in your home. By tweaking some conditions in your home, you can almost stop the growth of mould entirely, but we don’t live in a sealed bubble, so it’s also important to know what you should do if you do find mould growing in your home.

A fresh look at farming

3 min read It may surprise you to learn that the ingredients in your salad were probably harvested – not on the rolling fields you imagine – but at a rooftop or urban allotment.

Know your yellowfish

4 min read Dr Seuss famously wrote One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, but he missed the most important, at least for South Africans: the yellowfish. There are few places in South Africa where you are far from fishing opportunities for yellowfish. There are six different species in various geographically separate watersheds. Whether you plan to fish for them, or perhaps introduce them, understanding the differences can be important.

Top influential women developers share their industry experience

3 min read While the property industry has historically been dominated by men, an increasing number of women are making their mark in property development.

Problem Pets

3 min read Living in an estate is typically a pleasant experience, with a strong sense of community as well as an idyllic lifestyle. Unfortunately, problem pets can easily disrupt this lifestyle. They can be noisy, disruptive, smelly, and can even cause physical harm to other residents. And, in some cases, the owners appear to be oblivious to the problems their beloved pets are causing. These situations often lead to tensions in the complex, especially if the owner is unwilling or unable to resolve the issue.

BDI pod homes

3 min read As sustainability and the desire to live off grid have become mainstream, so too has the trend of tiny homes risen in popularity. We take a closer look at BDI’s PanGoPod home and explore how developers can utilise these methods by thinking out of the box.

Somerset Nurse’s’ Home to become affordable housing

3 min read After years of controversy, the old Helen Bowden Nurses’ Home near Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is set to be developed into social housing following the City’s decision to rezone the site for this purpose. However, the building remains occupied by the Reclaim The City activist group, who moved in in March 2017 and renamed the site Ahmed Kathrada House.

The coronavirus outbreak in context

3 min read The coronavirus outbreak has been making headlines worldwide as a potential new pandemic. But before you start panicking and cancelling your travel plans, here’s a summary of what you need to know about the current situation and what you can do to protect yourself.

Getting to know Estate Living’s COO, Louise Martin

3 min read With a qualification in Art Direction and Design, Louise Martin travelled the world before returning to South Africa where she worked in the local film industry. She owes her multi-tasking and communications abilities to these years where she was responsible for a myriad different tasks within the art department. At age 36 she was ready for a change and joined Estate Living – and what lay ahead was a headlong tumble into the exciting world of property.

Something rich and strange

3 min read The book Sea Change relates how regular excursions into the ocean can change your body, open your eyes, free your mind, and nurture your soul.

Coffee and croissants

3 min read There’s no better way to start a morning than with a croissant and coffee – and that’s not just because, as Bridget Jones says, ‘started having hazelnut pastry and chocolate croissant every morning, and lost loads of weight. So will have cappuccino and croissant as usual.’


3 min read Every day the average working person receives more than 100 emails. Many are clearly garbage, and get deleted without opening, but you can’t just delete – or even file – mails from colleagues, clients or your boss without reading them. Or can you? You can if you just use your subject lines effectively and creatively.

Teams are living things …

6 min read As managers, we are sometimes so concerned about the outward signs of effectiveness – whether all the boxes have been ticked – that we often don’t notice that our employees are just going through the motions. For real effectiveness, and a staff that actually enjoys coming to work, we need to manage from the heart – for the heart.

Controversy won’t pull plug on LHWP

3 min read Work on the multi-billion-rand, cross-border Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is going ahead, despite protests from local activists and NGOs.

The Property Practitioners Act

2 min read The Property Practitioner Act is a new piece of legislation that, once it is signed into law – probably mid-2020 – will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976. Its main purpose is to establish the Property Practitioner Regulatory Authority (PPRA), which will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Board; to regulate the affairs of all property practitioners; to allow for transformation in the property sector; and to provide for consumer protection.

Where does Johannesburg get its water

3 min read Johannesburg is a unique city because it was built without a local water supply. It has become the only major city in the world totally reliant on water sourced from distant rivers and pumped across mountain ranges. This creates a vulnerability that few appreciate when buying or developing real estate.