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

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

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

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Spas on residential estates post Covid

How best spas on residential estates cope post Covid

3 min read These days going to a spa for a massage or facial has become an essential part of life. The industry has continued to grow rapidly in recent years thanks to increasing pursuit of improved health and stress reduction.

Being a landlord is a great way to generate extra cash through a steady stream of rental income, but not everyone is cut out for the job.

Pros and cons of ‘lording it’

3 min read Being a landlord is a great way to generate extra cash through a steady stream of rental income, but not everyone is cut out for the job.

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Every estate homeowner is obliged to pay a monthly levy to ensure the scheme is run efficiently and benefits all.

Should you increase your levies or not?

3 min read Every estate homeowner is obliged to pay a monthly levy to ensure the scheme is run efficiently and benefits all.

We chat with reputational managers to get some tips and tricks to tackle a bad reputation. Know what makes a good reputation, and what doesn’t.

How to improve a bad reputation

3 min read We chat with reputational managers to get some tips and tricks to tackle a bad reputation. Know what makes a good reputation, and what doesn’t.

Infrastructure management is a key part of any communal housing development and stormwater planning forms part of this.

Preparing your estate for winter storms

3 min read Infrastructure management is a key part of any communal housing development and stormwater planning forms part of this.

Many institutions now offer recognised qualifications in property management and real estate. If you want to sharpen your skill or change your career, here are a few that commence later this year:

Property courses and qualifications 2022

2 min read Many institutions now offer recognised qualifications in property management and real estate. If you want to sharpen your skill or change your career, here are a few that commence later this year:

Marketing your estate internationally

Marketing your estate internationally

3 min read Multi-awarded sales associate at RE/MAX Plettenberg Bay, Bruce Noble, boasts two decades of marketing properties in the coastal Garden Route haven.

Easter is not only a date commemorated by believers the world over, but also a time for commercial enterprises to entertain the general public and generate welcome revenue in the process. Here’s a peep at what some of South Africa’s best-known estates have in the pipeline this year.

Does the bunny still make estates money?

3 min read Easter is not only a date commemorated by believers the world over, but also a time for commercial enterprises to entertain the general public and generate welcome revenue in the process. Here’s a peep at what some of South Africa’s best-known estates have in the pipeline this year.

Renovations that will increase your homes value

Renovations that will increase your home’s value

3 min read One of the greatest dangers when renovating is over-capitalisation (when your total expenditure, including the purchase price of the property plus any alterations costs, exceeds the amount you could sell it for).

best paints for exteriors

From the inside, out – the best paints for those hard-wearing exteriors

3 min read When tasked with selecting coatings for the exterior walls of residential developments of all kinds – from golf estates and smaller complexes, to retirement facilities or holiday villages – you’ll never go wrong by casting an eye over the Plascon Professional and Premium ranges…

New coat of paint on Residential Estates

Adding a new coat of paint is very much a team effort

4 min read If you’re a construction professional who has been tasked with the exterior maintenance of a residential estate, here are a few things to consider before you set any painting work in motion…

SMEs work on residential estate

Hiring the right SMEs to work on a residential estate

3 min read Despite being small Ronewa Creations – a Gauteng based landscaping company owned by aunt and niece duo Dinah Kgeledi and Lesego Seloane – has ongoing contracts at several residential estates, including Eye of Africa, Waterfall Estate and Serengeti.

Residential Communities corporate branding

How will residential communities be affected by future corporate branding

3 min read Out of home (OOH) advertising (also referred to as outdoor advertising) is advertising that consumers may come across outside of their home. It includes billboards, posters and wallscapes.

St Francis Links Overcame The Challenges Of Covid-19

Four Ways St Francis Links Overcame The Challenges Of Covid-19

3 min read Now that COVID-19 has changed in status from a pandemic to an endemic, many are reflecting on how they coped financially and spiritually when the disease was at its worst.

Xanadu Nature Estate

Xanadu Nature Estate – The Ultimate Haven For Nature Lovers

3 min read Walking through Xanadu Nature Estate and meeting its residents, you quickly realise that it has become the ideal ‘work-from-home’ location. This is not because residents working in Johannesburg and Pretoria are choosing not to make the 45-minute drive to the city, but rather because families are relocating from other parts of South Africa, like Cape Town and Durban, to create their home in Xanadu Nature Estate.

Cotswold Downs

Cotswold Downs – Where Even The Greens Are Greener!

3 min read Dancing on the fringes of Hillcrest in KwaZulu-Natal, Cotswold Downs is the place to enjoy gorgeous views of the rolling hills and indigenous forest, world-class golfing, spectacular birdlife, and free-roaming antelope – all from the comfort of your home.

High Density Apartments

Are high density apartments a good investment idea?

3 min read They may be small, but they are the solution to the demand for more accommodation in tight spaces, particularly within city CBDs (central business districts). There are many names for them including ‘tiny homes’, ‘apodments’, ‘micro units’, ‘micro flats’, ‘nano units’ and so on.

Grow Dagga in your backyard

Can you grow dagga in your backyard?

3 min read Cannabis is in the spotlight yet again as cultivation regulations are revised by South African lawmakers. For growers, possibilities to plant weed for personal and medicinal use seem legion. But will relaxed rules have a bearing on estate managers and residents, and what are sentiments on this practice within estate gardens?

Female representation in the property sector

All’s fair in property – or is it?

3 min read Female representation in the property sector is a multifaceted topic, as the property sector consists of many moving parts that revolve around the life cycle of a property – from the concept and architectural designs all the way to the delivery of the property, property sales, property management, and the services required to run and maintain a property.

SA Top 100 Courses

How can your estate get rated as an ‘SA Top 100 Course’?

4 min read The new South Africa was in its infancy when Golf Digest magazine started ranking the country’s best courses back in 1998. Adjudicators strive to rate candidates objectively, enabling a panel of knowledgeable reviewers to democratically decide on which courses to include in the coveted Top 100 list.

rental fraud

Avoid falling victim to rental fraud

3 min read From impersonating estate agents to falsifying bank statements, payslips and IDs or intercepting emails with instructions on where to make payment for transactions – fraudsters are using new and increasingly sophisticated scams to target every segment of the property sector. Here are three ways to make sure you avoid them.

Are golf Estates popular?

Are we moving away from estates golf courses?

3 min read Golf is a very popular sport in South Africa. We’ve produced some top players such as Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Gary Player and Ernie Els to name but a few.

Best fibre to the home supplier

Choosing the right fibre to the home (FTTH) supplier

3 min read The global shift to remote working has amplified demand for fibre services over the last few months, and developments with the best connectivity are likely to be the most attractive to tomorrow’s buyer.

Water smart plants

The benefits of water smart plants

3 min read The recent drought taught us that water is a precious commodity. However, lockdown drove home the benefits of access to green spaces.

How to create a happy estate

How to create a happy estate

3 min read Creating a happy estate community is essential. Happy residents enhance the estate’s reputation creating greater demand for homes which pushes up property values.

Can estate managers enforce vaccinations?

Can estate managers enforce vaccinations?

3 min read The issue of mandatory vaccinations basked in the spotlight during tennis ace Novak Djokovic’s recent Australian Open debacle.

Estate Management 2022

New laws, Eskom’s price hike and their impact

3 min read Four vital pieces of legislation, set to be introduced this year, is sure to affect South Africans.

When it comes to assisting in an emergency professional and qualified staff don’t tend to hesitate. They also tend not to give the potential for being sued, should anything go wrong, a second thought.

Will insurance cover first aid accidents?

3 min read When it comes to assisting in an emergency professional and qualified staff don’t tend to hesitate. They also tend not to give the potential for being sued, should anything go wrong, a second thought.

Getting your heart rate up a few times every week can do wonders for your health. Not only does regular physical activity increase levels of endorphins – the happy hormone, but it also reduces cortisol - the stress hormone, which we could all do with less of.

Three ways of improving residents’ fitness on your estate

2 min read Getting your heart rate up a few times every week can do wonders for your health. Not only does regular physical activity increase levels of endorphins – the happy hormone, but it also reduces cortisol – the stress hormone, which we could all do with less of.

The tragic accidental drowning of Jannie du Plessis’s one-year-old son last month highlights just how important safety around the pool is, especially during the holidays.

11 Tips to ensure your pool is safe

2 min read The tragic accidental drowning of Jannie du Plessis’s one-year-old son last month highlights just how important safety around the pool is, especially during the holidays.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution is one of the biggest threats to human health after climate change. Using the latest clean air technology not only keeps employees healthy and lowers absenteeism, but it also appeals to increasingly healthy and lifestyle conscious residents.

Improving air quality in your estate’s offices

2 min read According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution is one of the biggest threats to human health after climate change. Using the latest clean air technology not only keeps employees healthy and lowers absenteeism, but it also appeals to increasingly healthy and lifestyle conscious residents.

Developments in sewerage management are making a positive impact on estate infrastructure and expenses – other than the obvious use of irrigation on golf courses. This tech lightens the load on bulk services provided by municipalities and, in turn, minimises augmentation fees payable by developers to local authorities. 

Let it flow

3 min read Developments in sewerage management are making a positive impact on estate infrastructure and expenses – other than the obvious use of irrigation on golf courses. This tech lightens the load on bulk services provided by municipalities and, in turn, minimises augmentation fees payable by developers to local authorities. 

Conflict resolution between estate managers and residents is often a work in progress. How long does it take to resolve disputes, and how can rules be amended? Nipping conflict in the bud internally and early seems the answer in most cases.

Resolving residential frictions

3 min read Conflict resolution between estate managers and residents is often a work in progress. How long does it take to resolve disputes, and how can rules be amended? Nipping conflict in the bud internally and early seems the answer in most cases.

Working from home has become popular, but there are some jobs – particularly when it comes to security or managing an estate – that can’t always be done remotely.

Creating inclusive workplaces

3 min read Working from home has become popular, but there are some jobs – particularly when it comes to security or managing an estate – that can’t always be done remotely.

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

Getting board approval for your estate’s budget

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

Greenfield spaces should be an essential factor when planning a development – not only because they are good for the environment, but because they add financial value.

Why green is the new gold

2 min read Greenfield spaces should be an essential factor when planning a development – not only because they are good for the environment, but because they add financial value.

One of the victims of a recent triple homicide in Georgia, USA, was the director of golf at Pinetree Country Club. Pro golfer Gene Siller was shot when arriving ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’ to ascertain why a suspect vehicle was parked on the 10th green.

Who’s guarding the guards?

2 min read One of the victims of a recent triple homicide in Georgia, USA, was the director of golf at Pinetree Country Club. Pro golfer Gene Siller was shot when arriving ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’ to ascertain why a suspect vehicle was parked on the 10th green.

We have a lot of wildlife in South Africa and nowadays it’s not uncommon to see grazing zebra, springbok, and impala on residential estates such as Mount Kenya Wildlife Estate, Goose Valley Golf Estate and Kingswood Golf Estate to name but a few.

Not so wonderful wildlife

2 min read We have a lot of wildlife in South Africa and nowadays it’s not uncommon to see grazing zebra, springbok, and impala on residential estates such as Mount Kenya Wildlife Estate, Goose Valley Golf Estate and Kingswood Golf Estate to name but a few.

Noise, a blatant disregard for the rules, too many people, and a disruption to the ‘community feel’ is just a few of the many reasons why residents on family estates are against short term rentals.

Rental revolution or residential nightmare?

3 min read Noise, a blatant disregard for the rules, too many people, and a disruption to the ‘community feel’ is just a few of the many reasons why residents on family estates are against short term rentals.

South Africa currently has just under 10 million fully vaccinated people and counting. But there are still many people that aren’t vaccinated. Vaccinations don’t prevent people from getting Covid but they and the most vulnerable immunocompromised may still get a nasty version of Covid-19.

Controlling Covid over Christmas

3 min read South Africa currently has just under 10 million fully vaccinated people and counting. But there are still many people that aren’t vaccinated. Vaccinations don’t prevent people from getting Covid but they and the most vulnerable immunocompromised may still get a nasty version of Covid-19.

For South Africa to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of its population by December, more than half of all adults need to have had their first shot by — well now — end October.

Should Covid-19 vaccinations be compulsory?

3 min read For South Africa to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of its population by December, more than half of all adults need to have had their first shot by — well now — end October.

Many estate managers already deal with game on site or envisage acquiring animals to attract potential buyers and add to the estate-living experience.

Wild matters

3 min read Many estate managers already deal with game on site or envisage acquiring animals to attract potential buyers and add to the estate-living experience.

After taking the helm of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) in April, Boyce Mkhize started to make some big changes. We spoke to him about his first few months in office and his plans for 2022.

Cleaning up the CSOS

3 min read After taking the helm of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) in April, Boyce Mkhize started to make some big changes. We spoke to him about his first few months in office and his plans for 2022.

Once considered futuristic, smart homes and offices are now a reality. We seem to never have enough new tech, with products added daily to improve efficiency and convenience.

Cyber security

3 min read Once considered futuristic, smart homes and offices are now a reality. We seem to never have enough new tech, with products added daily to improve efficiency and convenience.

Stringent regulations are in place to ensure that private landowners have detailed plans to eradicate alien vegetation - primarily at their personal cost, albeit supported by programmes providing access to assistance and information.

Aliens go home!

3 min read Stringent regulations are in place to ensure that private landowners have detailed plans to eradicate alien vegetation – primarily at their personal cost, albeit supported by programmes providing access to assistance and information.

Technological advances in the security field, specifically involving the use of drones, are changing the approach to safeguarding industrial properties and agricultural concerns.

Spotlight on security

3 min read Technological advances in the security field, specifically involving the use of drones, are changing the approach to safeguarding industrial properties and agricultural concerns.

As your estate’s most important external stakeholder the local municipality holds huge sway, so developing and maintaining good relationships with them is imperative.

Three ways an estate manager can improve relationships with the local municipality

3 min read As your estate’s most important external stakeholder the local municipality holds huge sway, so developing and maintaining good relationships with them is imperative.

Luxury estates are typically promoted through glossy brochures and flashy websites, but San Lameer went one step further and got featured on Netflix.

Is marketing your estate on Netflix worth it? 

3 min read Luxury estates are typically promoted through glossy brochures and flashy websites, but San Lameer went one step further and got featured on Netflix.

Local authorities across the land are rolling out programmes to disinfect areas frequented by the general public, but these venues don’t include privately-owned properties where multiple inhabitants converge in shared spaces. Read on if you care about safety in your estate’s high-use zones…

New tech to disinfect

3 min read Local authorities across the land are rolling out programmes to disinfect areas frequented by the general public, but these venues don’t include privately-owned properties where multiple inhabitants converge in shared spaces. Read on if you care about safety in your estate’s high-use zones…

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

Are you prepared for POPI?

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

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

Microfarms

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

Food waste, if not composted, is one of the worst contributors to greenhouse gases, as it decomposes into methane. So Tokyo University’s new research into using food waste to make cement offers an innovative way to sequester all that carbon, and – perhaps – create some tasty buildings.

Edible cement

3 min read Food waste, if not composted, is one of the worst contributors to greenhouse gases, as it decomposes into methane. So Tokyo University’s new research into using food waste to make cement offers an innovative way to sequester all that carbon, and – perhaps – create some tasty buildings.

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

Xeriscaping

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

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

See the trees through the wood

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

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

Dive Mauritius

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

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

Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library

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

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

Running down the Fences

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

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

Adventures in Mauritius

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

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

Conflict resolution on estates

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

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

Durban to divorce Eskom

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

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

Normalisation of deviance

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

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

Gardens as fire defence

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

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

Nudge, nudge, think, think

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

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

Starting a chess club on your estate

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

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

Rising sea levels threaten coastal homes

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

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

Forged in flame

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

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

Privatisation of service provision

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

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

Round houses

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

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

Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires

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

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

Mauritius is on track to achieve herd immunity

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

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

Facial recognition

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

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

The Swiss cheese model of risk management

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

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

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

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

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

Energy crisis

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

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

Cooking with gas

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

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

Look around, look ahead …

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

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

The legal rights of trees …

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

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

Life in a degrowth economy

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

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

Open door, healthy boundaries

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

Rules are the glue that keeps an estate from breaking down into anarchy – but they can also be the cause of some conflict, so they need to be handled with care. And one of the most important aspects of keeping the rules is ensuring that everyone knows them. Everyone!

Rules and regulations

3 min read Rules are the glue that keeps an estate from breaking down into anarchy – but they can also be the cause of some conflict, so they need to be handled with care. And one of the most important aspects of keeping the rules is ensuring that everyone knows them. Everyone!

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

Point-and-call

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

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

Unkreepy floaty

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

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

Keeping track of utilities bills is tricky

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

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

Grid independence

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

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

Combatting guardhouse intimidation

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

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

How to make every place a happy place

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

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

Save a life today

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

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

Is your estate ready for POPI?

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

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

Let kids run the estate …

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

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

Water tariff freeze

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.’

Sweeeet

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

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.)

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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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).

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Virtual AGMs may be force majeure for now, but there’s a good chance they become the new normal. So let’s make it easy.

Virtual AGMs

2 min read Virtual AGMs may be force majeure for now, but there’s a good chance they become the new normal. So let’s make it easy.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Trout

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

Conservancies

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

COVID-19

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 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.

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.

More and more South Africans are evaluating the feasibility and advantages of investing in residential communities. Large mixed-use developments are sprouting up all over the country, and buyers are opting to invest in a secure lifestyle estate, where a return on capital is highly probable.

Do due diligence before investing in an estate

2 min read More and more South Africans are evaluating the feasibility and advantages of investing in residential communities. Large mixed-use developments are sprouting up all over the country, and buyers are opting to invest in a secure lifestyle estate, where a return on capital is highly probable.

It’s great having a dam, pond, lake or river on an estate, but when it turns green overnight, and things start dying in it, it’s more of a liability than an asset. So, as estate managers, we need to understand – firstly – how this happens, and then how to deal with it.

Icky green goo

4 min read It’s great having a dam, pond, lake or river on an estate, but when it turns green overnight, and things start dying in it, it’s more of a liability than an asset. So, as estate managers, we need to understand – firstly – how this happens, and then how to deal with it.

We tend to think of compost as a huge heap in an obscure corner of the garden – something that needs to be strenuously turned regularly, and that can generate enough heat to warm bathwater or possibly roast a chicken. Well, that is the traditional method, and it may well be the most biologically efficient way to compost, but there are much neater, smaller, more user-friendly options, some of which can even be used indoors.

Composting in small spaces

4 min read We tend to think of compost as a huge heap in an obscure corner of the garden – something that needs to be strenuously turned regularly, and that can generate enough heat to warm bathwater or possibly roast a chicken. Well, that is the traditional method, and it may well be the most biologically efficient way to compost, but there are much neater, smaller, more user-friendly options, some of which can even be used indoors.

Most residential estates in South Africa today have invested in high-tech security solutions to make sure that they can offer residents much-needed peace of mind. However, when it comes to maximising the benefits of app technology, South Africa is still somewhat lagging behind.

Four things you never knew an app could do for your residential estate

3 min read Most residential estates in South Africa today have invested in high-tech security solutions to make sure that they can offer residents much-needed peace of mind. However, when it comes to maximising the benefits of app technology, South Africa is still somewhat lagging behind.

Don’t you hate that feeling when you’ve spent hours working on something until it’s finally perfect, only to find – perhaps days later – that a colleague has done the same thing? But it’s a different perfect, so now you have two versions.

Single source of truth

2 min read Don’t you hate that feeling when you’ve spent hours working on something until it’s finally perfect, only to find – perhaps days later – that a colleague has done the same thing? But it’s a different perfect, so now you have two versions.

Humans or robots? It sounds like the sort of choice you’d only have to make in a sci-fi movie, but for more and more estate security managers, it’s a very real dilemma. The advances in digital technologies – including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, automation and machine learning – have made it possible to employ a full-service security force staffed entirely by non-humans.

Security Switch

2 min read Humans or robots? It sounds like the sort of choice you’d only have to make in a sci-fi movie, but for more and more estate security managers, it’s a very real dilemma. The advances in digital technologies – including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, automation and machine learning – have made it possible to employ a full-service security force staffed entirely by non-humans.

REDi was founded just a week before Christmas of 2003, the intent being, as founder Deon Basson is often heard saying, ‘to do something remarkable’. So we created a business based on our strengths and interests, which have always been property, technology and entrepreneurship.

REDi Property Technology

2 min read REDi was founded just a week before Christmas of 2003, the intent being, as founder Deon Basson is often heard saying, ‘to do something remarkable’. So we created a business based on our strengths and interests, which have always been property, technology and entrepreneurship.

Can estate managers use personality tests like Myers–Briggs to create (and manage) better teams, boards and bodies corporate? Despite widespread scepticism, more and more organisations are using personality tests like the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to create and manage their teams. Should you?

Should you use Myers-Briggs in your management team?

3 min read Can estate managers use personality tests like Myers–Briggs to create (and manage) better teams, boards and bodies corporate? Despite widespread scepticism, more and more organisations are using personality tests like the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to create and manage their teams. Should you?

The sharing economy might just revolutionise all aspects of estate living, ushering in a less expensive, more connected way of life. Just a few years ago, it seemed as though shoppers had embarked on an acquisitive drive that would have no end. Consumerism had reached precipitous heights: the more one had, the more one needed. Houses were bursting at the seams as people responded to ads pushing more, more, more.

What’s mine is yours …

3 min read The sharing economy might just revolutionise all aspects of estate living, ushering in a less expensive, more connected way of life. Just a few years ago, it seemed as though shoppers had embarked on an acquisitive drive that would have no end. Consumerism had reached precipitous heights: the more one had, the more one needed. Houses were bursting at the seams as people responded to ads pushing more, more, more.

It’s good business to protect natural areas within your housing estate, not only because they make it a nicer living space that can command a higher property price, but also because the functions they provide have monetary value for both you as the property owner and also the municipality within which you live.

Going Green is Profitable

4 min read It’s good business to protect natural areas within your housing estate, not only because they make it a nicer living space that can command a higher property price, but also because the functions they provide have monetary value for both you as the property owner and also the municipality within which you live.

Countless studies have shown that outdoor activity is good for your mental health, and – interestingly – even more so if there is water involved. And that’s hardly surprising. We all know that the sound and sight of water is soothing.

Fishy business

3 min read Countless studies have shown that outdoor activity is good for your mental health, and – interestingly – even more so if there is water involved. And that’s hardly surprising. We all know that the sound and sight of water is soothing.

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment puts extra responsibility on developers to reduce their carbon footprint, right from the planning stage. As more signatories add their names to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, South African developers are reflecting on what it means for them – and for the building industry.

Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

3 min read The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment puts extra responsibility on developers to reduce their carbon footprint, right from the planning stage. As more signatories add their names to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, South African developers are reflecting on what it means for them – and for the building industry.

Converting leads into sales is the most important element of ensuring the success of your development, so it’s worth streamlining the process. When selling off plan, it is important to remember that you are doing just that … selling a plan, a concept, an intangible future. And, without those sales, there is a good chance that your development may never get off the ground.

Winning at the numbers game

3 min read Converting leads into sales is the most important element of ensuring the success of your development, so it’s worth streamlining the process. When selling off plan, it is important to remember that you are doing just that … selling a plan, a concept, an intangible future. And, without those sales, there is a good chance that your development may never get off the ground.

The Islands is a revelation for those who equate Hartbeespoort and its surrounds with golfing – it’s a slice of European-style marina living.

Island style

3 min read The Islands is a revelation for those who equate Hartbeespoort and its surrounds with golfing – it’s a slice of European-style marina living.

It should seem unsurprising to most of us that urban space is at a growing premium. It’s been a growing trend across the world since the industrial revolution, but particularly so in the last few decades as people flock to urban areas.

A global trend

2 min read It should seem unsurprising to most of us that urban space is at a growing premium. It’s been a growing trend across the world since the industrial revolution, but particularly so in the last few decades as people flock to urban areas.

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 Interview with Dirk Uys from Arabella Country Estate

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

Watch: 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.

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.

We can truly echo San Lameer’s slogan ‘The Good Life!’, as we thoroughly enjoyed the good life in so many ways for a few days. Thank you to San Lameer for treating the early arrivals to some Night Golf to whet our appetite for the ‘main event’.

2019 ARC annual conference, expo & golf day

4 min read We can truly echo San Lameer’s slogan ‘The Good Life!’, as we thoroughly enjoyed the good life in so many ways for a few days. Thank you to San Lameer for treating the early arrivals to some Night Golf to whet our appetite for the ‘main event’.

Estates in the residential community industry and all ARC members will have heard by now that we have established the Residential Communities Council (RCC), which has been successfully registered with CIPC as a non-profit company (NPC) that will pursue the objectives as defined in the MOI.

The Residential Communities Council (RCC)

2 min read Estates in the residential community industry and all ARC members will have heard by now that we have established the Residential Communities Council (RCC), which has been successfully registered with CIPC as a non-profit company (NPC) that will pursue the objectives as defined in the MOI.

Community Association Institute of South Africa (CAISA) is the first international chapter of the US-based Community Association Institute (CAI). We believe that home owners and community associations should strive to exceed the expectations of their residents.

The case for CAISA

2 min read Community Association Institute of South Africa (CAISA) is the first international chapter of the US-based Community Association Institute (CAI). We believe that home owners and community associations should strive to exceed the expectations of their residents.

Effective communication in a world of information overload and instant gratification is difficult to achieve. But this becomes even more challenging when the accuracy of the information on which these communications are based comes into question.

The communication challenge – is the data correct?

3 min read Effective communication in a world of information overload and instant gratification is difficult to achieve. But this becomes even more challenging when the accuracy of the information on which these communications are based comes into question.

According to an article written by Ravi Kaneriya for the World Economic Forum, studies show that the key to happiness lies in having rich social bonds and meaningful relationships. And being part of a community is a powerful way to build those relationships in a faster, more scalable way.

Fundamentals of communication

4 min read According to an article written by Ravi Kaneriya for the World Economic Forum, studies show that the key to happiness lies in having rich social bonds and meaningful relationships. And being part of a community is a powerful way to build those relationships in a faster, more scalable way.

Great management teams don’t just happen; they are built – carefully and deliberately. Creating an effective management team, which is probably one of the most important functions of boards, trustees and HOAs, requires both discipline and being open to new ways of doing things.

Building a powerful management team

5 min read Great management teams don’t just happen; they are built – carefully and deliberately. Creating an effective management team, which is probably one of the most important functions of boards, trustees and HOAs, requires both discipline and being open to new ways of doing things.

Sometimes, good intentions go bad. When things go wrong, there are always lessons to be learned. Read on. Not all decisions are easy. Be careful not to ignore a problem and hope it will go away. In this litigious world, if you have a question, seek advice. Surround the board with competent advisors. This will make your job easier. What follows are eight real-life examples of situations faced by boards of directors.

When good intentions go bad

5 min read Sometimes, good intentions go bad. When things go wrong, there are always lessons to be learned. Read on. Not all decisions are easy. Be careful not to ignore a problem and hope it will go away. In this litigious world, if you have a question, seek advice. Surround the board with competent advisors. This will make your job easier. What follows are eight real-life examples of situations faced by boards of directors.

Positive news to emerge from Statistics SA today is that South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 3,1% in the second quarter of 2019 (to end-June), compared to a decline of 3,1% in the first quarter.

Good news for real estate industry as GDP returns to positive growth

2 min read Positive news to emerge from Statistics SA today is that South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 3,1% in the second quarter of 2019 (to end-June), compared to a decline of 3,1% in the first quarter.

Gowrie Village in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is the quintessential country community, integrated into the greater village of Nottingham Road. Established in 2002, Gowrie’s sense of relaxed rural spaces and neighbourliness are key to the success of this mixed-use estate.

Village life

4 min read Gowrie Village in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is the quintessential country community, integrated into the greater village of Nottingham Road. Established in 2002, Gowrie’s sense of relaxed rural spaces and neighbourliness are key to the success of this mixed-use estate.

Which processes, procedures, and best practices keep a successful older estate at the top of its game? Marina Martinique – a unique Cape-Caribbean-style estate consisting of 384 residential stands and 475 units in group housing developments – is built around a lake and seven kilometres of constructed canals that lie three metres above sea level, and whose water is pumped in from, and flows back into, the ocean.

Managing Marina Martinique for its community

4 min read Which processes, procedures, and best practices keep a successful older estate at the top of its game? Marina Martinique – a unique Cape-Caribbean-style estate consisting of 384 residential stands and 475 units in group housing developments – is built around a lake and seven kilometres of constructed canals that lie three metres above sea level, and whose water is pumped in from, and flows back into, the ocean.

On the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, the prestigious Erinvale Country Estate and Golf Club, which will be celebrating 25 successful years in 2020, was one of the first residential golf estates in South Africa. To find out what the ingredients are for this success, we chat to Kerstin Dinklage, Erinvale HOA trustee responsible for marketing and communication.

Erinvale

4 min read On the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, the prestigious Erinvale Country Estate and Golf Club, which will be celebrating 25 successful years in 2020, was one of the first residential golf estates in South Africa. To find out what the ingredients are for this success, we chat to Kerstin Dinklage, Erinvale HOA trustee responsible for marketing and communication.

Not so long ago, if somebody wanted to have their complaint heard, the best options were to write a letter to the newspaper (and hope that it would be published) or dial into the radio. now, in the digital age, everyone has a voice. Never before has it been easier to have your concerns or thoughts heard – no matter how insignificant or trivial they are – and that has implications for estate managers

Customer complaints & social media

3 min read Not so long ago, if somebody wanted to have their complaint heard, the best options were to write a letter to the newspaper (and hope that it would be published) or dial into the radio. now, in the digital age, everyone has a voice. Never before has it been easier to have your concerns or thoughts heard – no matter how insignificant or trivial they are – and that has implications for estate managers

The world is facing a climate crisis. A young Swedish schoolgirl is now leading a global campaign of defiance driven by school children. The world has just experienced the hottest July ever recorded, even while a vocal segment of the chattering masses in leading economies like the USA believes that the science underpinning global warming is a massive hoax perpetuated by scientists who are – somehow – conspiring to make money.

If you can’t take the heat …

6 min read The world is facing a climate crisis. A young Swedish schoolgirl is now leading a global campaign of defiance driven by school children. The world has just experienced the hottest July ever recorded, even while a vocal segment of the chattering masses in leading economies like the USA believes that the science underpinning global warming is a massive hoax perpetuated by scientists who are – somehow – conspiring to make money.

Cape Town is South Africa’s most scenic city, and the South Peninsula is arguably the most scenic part of the city, so it’s not surprising that savvy people have – for ages – put up with the long commute in order to live in this little slice of paradise.

South peninsula

7 min read Cape Town is South Africa’s most scenic city, and the South Peninsula is arguably the most scenic part of the city, so it’s not surprising that savvy people have – for ages – put up with the long commute in order to live in this little slice of paradise.

The Section 12J tax allowance has introduced an exciting new asset class that has attracted over R6 billion within a very short period of time. Let’s explore how this can benefit developers.

Property Development and Section 12J

3 min read The Section 12J tax allowance has introduced an exciting new asset class that has attracted over R6 billion within a very short period of time. Let’s explore how this can benefit developers.

The sluggish economy and continued inflationary pressures are taking their toll on the property market in general. According to credit bureau TPN’s latest report, the last three years have seen a steady decline in demand for residential properties, with a concomitant increase in the supply of properties. What’s more, the bureau says vacancy rates remain consistently high at 8.64% with escalations at just 4.85%. Most worrying for estate and property managers is that tenant good standing numbers continue to decline, with a current level of 81.8%.

Effective utility management guides estate managers through rough economic seas

3 min read The sluggish economy and continued inflationary pressures are taking their toll on the property market in general. According to credit bureau TPN’s latest report, the last three years have seen a steady decline in demand for residential properties, with a concomitant increase in the supply of properties. What’s more, the bureau says vacancy rates remain consistently high at 8.64% with escalations at just 4.85%. Most worrying for estate and property managers is that tenant good standing numbers continue to decline, with a current level of 81.8%.

As AI, big data and smart homes become a lived reality, what are residential estates doing now to make that future happen?

Future proof

4 min read As AI, big data and smart homes become a lived reality, what are residential estates doing now to make that future happen?

The gardens, areas of natural vegetation, rivers, water features, paths and even parking lots on your estate are all part of your ‘shop window’. So they need to be beautiful – and also sustainable in every sense. That’s where Servest comes in – creating beautiful spaces that enhance your estate both aesthetically and environmentally.

Keeping your world beautiful

3 min read The gardens, areas of natural vegetation, rivers, water features, paths and even parking lots on your estate are all part of your ‘shop window’. So they need to be beautiful – and also sustainable in every sense. That’s where Servest comes in – creating beautiful spaces that enhance your estate both aesthetically and environmentally.

The world is changing faster than any of us can comprehend. So how can homeowners associations and estate managers plan for the future? And what is reserve funding, anyway?

Financial reserve planning for estates

4 min read The world is changing faster than any of us can comprehend. So how can homeowners associations and estate managers plan for the future? And what is reserve funding, anyway?

Most community associations seek to enforce their rules while still maintaining a harmonious community that the residents view as a desirable place to live. At times, though, these goals seem to be contradictory, and strictly enforcing the rules can result in controversy.

Being reasonable

8 min read Most community associations seek to enforce their rules while still maintaining a harmonious community that the residents view as a desirable place to live. At times, though, these goals seem to be contradictory, and strictly enforcing the rules can result in controversy.

Policies, procedures, our governing documents and our rules and regulations are binding on members who choose to buy into a homeowners association or sectional title scheme. But, of course, the directors, trustees, management, and the members themselves have to ensure that these are lawful, consistent and fair, and that they protect the common interest of the community at large.

Do HOA’s have teeth?

5 min read Policies, procedures, our governing documents and our rules and regulations are binding on members who choose to buy into a homeowners association or sectional title scheme. But, of course, the directors, trustees, management, and the members themselves have to ensure that these are lawful, consistent and fair, and that they protect the common interest of the community at large.

Your home is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you will own. While you put a lot of time, effort and money into making it the ideal home, it is equally important to keep yourself informed on how well this investment is protected.

Protecting your investment with insurance

3 min read Your home is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you will own. While you put a lot of time, effort and money into making it the ideal home, it is equally important to keep yourself informed on how well this investment is protected.

As with anything in life, knowledge is power and in today’s risky economic climate, investors need as much as possible to make bold, calculated investment moves that yield great results. Cue Estate Living, South Africa’s leading resource and specialist consultancy within the community living environments. Masters at building relationships and identifying new opportunities, Louise Martin and Jaime-Lee Gardner’s innovative services are helping investors and developers all over the country to understand their market.  

Estate living: getting ahead in today’s risky property market

2 min read As with anything in life, knowledge is power and in today’s risky economic climate, investors need as much as possible to make bold, calculated investment moves that yield great results. Cue Estate Living, South Africa’s leading resource and specialist consultancy within the community living environments. Masters at building relationships and identifying new opportunities, Louise Martin and Jaime-Lee Gardner’s innovative services are helping investors and developers all over the country to understand their market.  

Some of us get the idea of “Joburg luxury” completely wrong: We see ourselves in the car of our dreams driving down William Nicol on the way to work. When in fact, real city luxury (or perhaps even city happiness) could be found not when you upgrade your ride but when you shorten your commute. Living closer to work does not only add more time to your day and more buck to your budget, but recent research shows that it can also improve your overall wellness.

How to find the luxury in city living

2 min read Some of us get the idea of “Joburg luxury” completely wrong: We see ourselves in the car of our dreams driving down William Nicol on the way to work. When in fact, real city luxury (or perhaps even city happiness) could be found not when you upgrade your ride but when you shorten your commute. Living closer to work does not only add more time to your day and more buck to your budget, but recent research shows that it can also improve your overall wellness.

Not a day goes by without one hearing of some municipal crisis somewhere in the country. These range from banal but extremely annoying stories of billing crises, lack of budgetary control and bloated bureaucracies to the horror story unfolding in Emfuleni, where total collapse of the municipality as a functional entity has unleashed a tsunami of raw sewage flowing unabated along the streets and through the buildings, as it makes its way to the nearest river.

What deteriorating municipal infrastructure means for residential estates

5 min read Not a day goes by without one hearing of some municipal crisis somewhere in the country. These range from banal but extremely annoying stories of billing crises, lack of budgetary control and bloated bureaucracies to the horror story unfolding in Emfuleni, where total collapse of the municipality as a functional entity has unleashed a tsunami of raw sewage flowing unabated along the streets and through the buildings, as it makes its way to the nearest river.

Often, it’s the reserve-like setting of a lifestyle estate that makes it a draw card for residents. But what happens when nature starts encroaching on households?

Monkey business

4 min read Often, it’s the reserve-like setting of a lifestyle estate that makes it a draw card for residents. But what happens when nature starts encroaching on households?

Developers, HOAs, municipalities and the management of all manner of complexes, schools and campuses are learning that there are some things you just can’t fight. Put up as many ‘Keep off the grass’ signs as you like, people will take the shortest (or most convenient) path to get to where they’re going. So, the smart ones are giving in.

A footpath named desire

4 min read Developers, HOAs, municipalities and the management of all manner of complexes, schools and campuses are learning that there are some things you just can’t fight. Put up as many ‘Keep off the grass’ signs as you like, people will take the shortest (or most convenient) path to get to where they’re going. So, the smart ones are giving in.

What are the key drivers for the buyers in residential estates and how can a security service provider support estate managers? The impact of security risk at residential homes in the form of violent crime and burglaries, has fuelled the growth and development of residential estates to meet the upward demand.

Affordability and funding of technology to secure estates

2 min read What are the key drivers for the buyers in residential estates and how can a security service provider support estate managers? The impact of security risk at residential homes in the form of violent crime and burglaries, has fuelled the growth and development of residential estates to meet the upward demand.

Blue water, a beautiful mountain, a bustling food scene … no, it’s not Cape Town, although it’s easy to see why inland-dwellers consider the
Hartbeespoort area the next best thing to a beach. 

Hartbeespoort havens

4 min read Blue water, a beautiful mountain, a bustling food scene … no, it’s not Cape Town, although it’s easy to see why inland-dwellers consider the
Hartbeespoort area the next best thing to a beach. 

Capital Reserve Fund Management: As trustees and community managers what should we be asking ourselves?

Insight into Capital Reserve Fund management

3 min read Capital Reserve Fund Management: As trustees and community managers what should we be asking ourselves?

Probably one of the most difficult issues facing estate managers is waste management. It’s a truly Sisyphean endeavour – just when you think you’ve cleared the pile, it grows back. But creative waste management is essential, not only to maintain the beauty and integrity of our estates, but of – yes – the whole world.

Keep it Clean

3 min read Probably one of the most difficult issues facing estate managers is waste management. It’s a truly Sisyphean endeavour – just when you think you’ve cleared the pile, it grows back. But creative waste management is essential, not only to maintain the beauty and integrity of our estates, but of – yes – the whole world.

Every time we hear stories of veld fires, we are alerted to the very real danger to our homes of a runaway fire. The devastating Knysna fires of 2017 are a vivid reminder of just how quickly a fire can rage out of control and cause millions of rands of damages. Coupled with domestic risks such as faulty wiring or appliances, it’s essential that bodies corporate and trustees review their estate’s insurance to ensure that they are adequately covered against fire risk.

Fire Risk Management for Estates

3 min read Every time we hear stories of veld fires, we are alerted to the very real danger to our homes of a runaway fire. The devastating Knysna fires of 2017 are a vivid reminder of just how quickly a fire can rage out of control and cause millions of rands of damages. Coupled with domestic risks such as faulty wiring or appliances, it’s essential that bodies corporate and trustees review their estate’s insurance to ensure that they are adequately covered against fire risk.

ARC (Association for Residential Community), proactively supports Homeowners Associations and Bodies Corporate, their management teams and trustees, to establish, maintain and enhance the value of residential communities and mixed-use developments.

The Next Chapter

< 1 min read ARC (Association for Residential Community), proactively supports Homeowners Associations and Bodies Corporate, their management teams and trustees, to establish, maintain and enhance the value of residential communities and mixed-use developments.

Remember the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare? The one where the arrogant hare thought that he could so easily outrun the tortoise that he decided to have a nap? The slow and steady tortoise just kept going and ultimately won the race.

The Long-Term Value of ETFs

4 min read Remember the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare? The one where the arrogant hare thought that he could so easily outrun the tortoise that he decided to have a nap? The slow and steady tortoise just kept going and ultimately won the race.

Careful planning for future repairs and replacements is in the best physical and fiscal interests of the community association. Maintaining a reserve fund not only meets legal, fiduciary and professional requirements, it also minimises the need for special levies, and enhances resale values. How does an association properly determine and compile adequate reserves to fund necessary repair and replacement costs? By conducting reserve studies.

Best practice: Managing financial reserves

4 min read Careful planning for future repairs and replacements is in the best physical and fiscal interests of the community association. Maintaining a reserve fund not only meets legal, fiduciary and professional requirements, it also minimises the need for special levies, and enhances resale values. How does an association properly determine and compile adequate reserves to fund necessary repair and replacement costs? By conducting reserve studies.

Financial operations are a critical part of the management of any operation, so it is essential that they are carried out with integrity. The board of directors, particularly the financial director, is ultimately responsible for an association’s funds and may not abdicate their fiduciary responsibility.

Best practice: financial operations for community associations

7 min read Financial operations are a critical part of the management of any operation, so it is essential that they are carried out with integrity. The board of directors, particularly the financial director, is ultimately responsible for an association’s funds and may not abdicate their fiduciary responsibility.

Residential communities are not about buildings – they’re about people, about communities. The houses are just where the people live. The community is about how they live.

Best practice: community, harmony and spirit

4 min read Residential communities are not about buildings – they’re about people, about communities. The houses are just where the people live. The community is about how they live.

Estate managers, HOAs, bodies corporate and other community associations are responsible for managing huge swathes of land and property worth millions of rands, and are responsible for ensuring that the homes of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people remain a safe and uplifting place to stay. This requires high levels of integrity and unimpeachable governance.

Best practice: Governance for community associations

5 min read Estate managers, HOAs, bodies corporate and other community associations are responsible for managing huge swathes of land and property worth millions of rands, and are responsible for ensuring that the homes of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people remain a safe and uplifting place to stay. This requires high levels of integrity and unimpeachable governance.

Residents living in community associations are not your typical customers. Their expectations, as customers, are much higher than those of your average customer walking into a store or purchasing something online

Loyalty programmes and rewarding your residents

3 min read Residents living in community associations are not your typical customers. Their expectations, as customers, are much higher than those of your average customer walking into a store or purchasing something online

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.

Best practice: transitioning to HOA

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.

One of the biggest challenges facing organisations today is finding and acquiring the right staff as suitable people are usually limited in supply, but in high demand. “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” - Doug Conant

Employment and retention

2 min read One of the biggest challenges facing organisations today is finding and acquiring the right staff as suitable people are usually limited in supply, but in high demand. “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant

It is one thing to sell the concept of community living, but creating a real community among a large group of diverse human beings can be a tough challenge. An estate with a strong community keeps the value of the property high and the residents happy, so building a healthy community is a vital component of estate management.

Community and communication

3 min read It is one thing to sell the concept of community living, but creating a real community among a large group of diverse human beings can be a tough challenge. An estate with a strong community keeps the value of the property high and the residents happy, so building a healthy community is a vital component of estate management.

Do you know your Aptenia from your Carpobrotus … or your Dymondia from your Arctotis? No? Thought not, that’s why all but the green fingered among us prefer to rely on the experts. And if you’re the manager of a residential estate, the professional team from Servest Landscaping is the expert service you need.

Servest Landscaping

2 min read Do you know your Aptenia from your Carpobrotus … or your Dymondia from your Arctotis? No? Thought not, that’s why all but the green fingered among us prefer to rely on the experts. And if you’re the manager of a residential estate, the professional team from Servest Landscaping is the expert service you need.

All institutions in the world have rules and regulations that govern the operation, use and participation in that institution. Residents living outside a residential estate are governed by municipal laws relating to noise, the keeping of animals, the use of estate agent boards, the driving of vehicles in the suburb, etc. Hospitals, libraries, universities, golf courses, sports clubs, airports and shopping centres have rules and regulations too, and residential estates are no different.

Why we have rules

4 min read All institutions in the world have rules and regulations that govern the operation, use and participation in that institution. Residents living outside a residential estate are governed by municipal laws relating to noise, the keeping of animals, the use of estate agent boards, the driving of vehicles in the suburb, etc. Hospitals, libraries, universities, golf courses, sports clubs, airports and shopping centres have rules and regulations too, and residential estates are no different.

Security is top of mind for people looking for estate living, so cutting-edge security systems such as CCTV surveillance, intercom systems and 24-hour security guards are the norm – much as they are on many existing residential estates.

Proactive security is the best protection

3 min read Security is top of mind for people looking for estate living, so cutting-edge security systems such as CCTV surveillance, intercom systems and 24-hour security guards are the norm – much as they are on many existing residential estates.

Silver Lakes Golf Estate is situated 17 kilometres east of Pretoria, and 80 kilometres north of Johannesburg. It boasts a signature 18-hole Peter Matkovich-designed golf course and one of the best golf academies in South Africa.

Silver Lakes Golf Estate

3 min read Silver Lakes Golf Estate is situated 17 kilometres east of Pretoria, and 80 kilometres north of Johannesburg. It boasts a signature 18-hole Peter Matkovich-designed golf course and one of the best golf academies in South Africa.

Your eyes meet, you share a smile, maybe a drink … the relationship blossoms, you take the commitment further and make it legal. The years that follow are a combination of give and take, conversations and sometimes compromises.

Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa

3 min read Your eyes meet, you share a smile, maybe a drink … the relationship blossoms, you take the commitment further and make it legal. The years that follow are a combination of give and take, conversations and sometimes compromises.

Finding a new director of golf, a general manager or a business manager can be a daunting enough task at the best of times, but when the trading environment is tough it takes on whole new levels of angst.

The right stuff

3 min read Finding a new director of golf, a general manager or a business manager can be a daunting enough task at the best of times, but when the trading environment is tough it takes on whole new levels of angst.

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.

Why estates should join The Arc & Estate Living partnership

2 min read 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.

September is Heritage Month, and we celebrate Heritage Day on the 24th, so perhaps this is a good time to explore how we, in estates, honour and accommodate the heritage and traditions of all South Africans.

Catering for the rainbow nation

5 min read September is Heritage Month, and we celebrate Heritage Day on the 24th, so perhaps this is a good time to explore how we, in estates, honour and accommodate the heritage and traditions of all South Africans.

Property management has seen more and more outsourcing in recent years. But is this really the way to go?

Management: in-house expertise, or outsourced specialist

6 min read Property management has seen more and more outsourcing in recent years. But is this really the way to go?

Residential estates should familiarise and align themselves with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act 85 of 1993, and the regulations made thereunder. By creating a culture of legal compliance within an estate, HOAs promote clarity and trust in those who have vested interests in the residential estate. This furthermore enables estate management to demonstrate sound management structures, systems and processes, which strengthens the brand of the estate and increases its value.

OHSA: Occupational Health And Safety Act

3 min read Residential estates should familiarise and align themselves with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act 85 of 1993, and the regulations made thereunder. By creating a culture of legal compliance within an estate, HOAs promote clarity and trust in those who have vested interests in the residential estate. This furthermore enables estate management to demonstrate sound management structures, systems and processes, which strengthens the brand of the estate and increases its value.

South Africa’s economy is struggling. High interest rates and weak household finances are pushing investors and buyers to the sidelines, and homeowners are under increasing pressure to find alternative ways to ensure that their property remains relevant and attractive.

Increasing the value of your property (without spending a cent!)

4 min read South Africa’s economy is struggling. High interest rates and weak household finances are pushing investors and buyers to the sidelines, and homeowners are under increasing pressure to find alternative ways to ensure that their property remains relevant and attractive.

The word “problem” is defined in the dictionary as a difficulty that has to be resolved or dealt with. In estate landscaping, there are inescapable problems and then there are those that could have been managed from the outset.

Integrating environmentally: sensitive process and ecology with aesthetic resolve

3 min read The word “problem” is defined in the dictionary as a difficulty that has to be resolved or dealt with. In estate landscaping, there are inescapable problems and then there are those that could have been managed from the outset.

Central to any estate security product offering should be the understanding that estate security is not only about keeping the criminals out, but also about managing the behaviour of those that belong in the community. This includes residents, personal and recreational guests, staff, and contractors.

Dynamic solutions for dynamic environments

3 min read Central to any estate security product offering should be the understanding that estate security is not only about keeping the criminals out, but also about managing the behaviour of those that belong in the community. This includes residents, personal and recreational guests, staff, and contractors.

The Sectional Title Schemes Management Act, Act no.8 of 2011 (STSMA) has introduced a number of new requirements into sectional title management, with serious financial impact on most sectional title schemes.

STSMA came into operation 7th October 2016 – Act No. 8 Of 2011

3 min read The Sectional Title Schemes Management Act, Act no.8 of 2011 (STSMA) has introduced a number of new requirements into sectional title management, with serious financial impact on most sectional title schemes.

The word ‘community’ has many definitions; however, within the context of the residential estate communities, the following seems an ideal fit: ‘an interacting group of people with similar characteristics and interests, residing in a common geographic location’.

Leveraging technology for effective communication within estate communities

3 min read The word ‘community’ has many definitions; however, within the context of the residential estate communities, the following seems an ideal fit: ‘an interacting group of people with similar characteristics and interests, residing in a common geographic location’.

Since its inception, Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) has risen from a novice technology to one of the choice for developments in residential estate communities.

Fibre to the home in residential estates

3 min read Since its inception, Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) has risen from a novice technology to one of the choice for developments in residential estate communities.

Although the uptake of fibre in residential communities has rapidly progressed, it was found that there are still a few burning questions in the industry around aspects to the offerings and deployment. Estate Living sheds some light on the matter with Frans Verwoerd – GM FibreSuburbs Network 

FTTH survey by The Industry

3 min read Although the uptake of fibre in residential communities has rapidly progressed, it was found that there are still a few burning questions in the industry around aspects to the offerings and deployment. Estate Living sheds some light on the matter with Frans Verwoerd – GM FibreSuburbs Network 

While the game of golf was undergoing an evolution which saw fundamental changes in equipment, especially in terms of the golf ball and club shafts that made the game more affordable, other changes were also taking place.

Estates of play: the business of golf….. putting together the pieces.

6 min read While the game of golf was undergoing an evolution which saw fundamental changes in equipment, especially in terms of the golf ball and club shafts that made the game more affordable, other changes were also taking place.

Recent research shows that most estate managers come from a security or military environment. There are many who have cut their teeth in the hospitality and retail sector, and there are many who have worked in local government and civil engineering.

Education, training and development of staff in a residential community homeowners association

2 min read Recent research shows that most estate managers come from a security or military environment. There are many who have cut their teeth in the hospitality and retail sector, and there are many who have worked in local government and civil engineering.

Through the efforts of The Association of Residential Communities (ARC), members of the industry come together on a regular basis to explore best practices and share experiences. During these sessions, which are held across the country with over 100 member estates in May 2017, we explored the impact of the different environments on the industry and conducted a PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legislative) and SWOT (Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. The following results emerged:

The residential community industry – challenges, opportunities and threats

4 min read Through the efforts of The Association of Residential Communities (ARC), members of the industry come together on a regular basis to explore best practices and share experiences. During these sessions, which are held across the country with over 100 member estates in May 2017, we explored the impact of the different environments on the industry and conducted a PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legislative) and SWOT (Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. The following results emerged:

The forecast warned that an extreme cold front was to hit the Western Cape that night. Emergency services were preparing for storm waters, but the prefrontal wind conditions that pushed ahead of the storm fanned smouldering embers and unleashed a surge of fire comparable to the opening of floodgates. There was simply no stopping this conflagration once it had reached a certain level of intensity.

The impact zone: a surge of fire comparable to the opening of floodgates

4 min read The forecast warned that an extreme cold front was to hit the Western Cape that night. Emergency services were preparing for storm waters, but the prefrontal wind conditions that pushed ahead of the storm fanned smouldering embers and unleashed a surge of fire comparable to the opening of floodgates. There was simply no stopping this conflagration once it had reached a certain level of intensity.

The Association of Residential Communities (ARC) is very proud to be able to continue adding value to all member communities – and, in fact, to all communities, large and small, whether current ARC members or not.

Message from Jeff Gilmour and ARC

2 min read The Association of Residential Communities (ARC) is very proud to be able to continue adding value to all member communities – and, in fact, to all communities, large and small, whether current ARC members or not.

The Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act empowers a local council to levy rates on immovable property within its jurisdiction. This is done by identifying the categories of property that a particular local council wishes to levy, and then selecting which properties should be allowed exemption from rates and taxes and, most importantly, which qualify for rebates. In terms of the Act, this power needs to be exercised on a fair and equitable basis.

Municipal Property Rates Act (MPR)

2 min read The Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act empowers a local council to levy rates on immovable property within its jurisdiction. This is done by identifying the categories of property that a particular local council wishes to levy, and then selecting which properties should be allowed exemption from rates and taxes and, most importantly, which qualify for rebates. In terms of the Act, this power needs to be exercised on a fair and equitable basis.

Most people who buy into secure residential communities do so in order to be – or at least feel – more secure. As well as genuinely offering security and privacy, gates and fences enhance the perception of safety. And this, in turn, increases property values, helps to attract new residents, and allows managers and owners to charge a premium for services and rentals.

Access control

4 min read Most people who buy into secure residential communities do so in order to be – or at least feel – more secure. As well as genuinely offering security and privacy, gates and fences enhance the perception of safety. And this, in turn, increases property values, helps to attract new residents, and allows managers and owners to charge a premium for services and rentals.

With the inception of the Labour Relations Amendment Act 65 of 2014 on 1 January 2015, new protection is afforded to employees on fixed-term contracts.

Labour Relations Act (LRA)

3 min read With the inception of the Labour Relations Amendment Act 65 of 2014 on 1 January 2015, new protection is afforded to employees on fixed-term contracts.

Muirfield’s decision to drag itself into the 21st century by allowing women to become members of the club, a mere 270 or so years after it was founded, was only achieved after a positive outcome to the voting process was encouraged (could this be the first recorded case of the donkey being beaten with a carrot?) by The Royal and Ancient’s veiled threat to remove Muirfield from the roster of Open Championship venues.

Pecanwood leads the way

8 min read Muirfield’s decision to drag itself into the 21st century by allowing women to become members of the club, a mere 270 or so years after it was founded, was only achieved after a positive outcome to the voting process was encouraged (could this be the first recorded case of the donkey being beaten with a carrot?) by The Royal and Ancient’s veiled threat to remove Muirfield from the roster of Open Championship venues.

On 7 October 2016, the Community Schemes OMBUD Service Act 9 of 2011 (CSOSA) came into force. This Act impacts anyone who owns property in a community scheme. A community scheme includes sectional title developments, share block schemes, homeowners’ associations, retirement schemes or any other arrangement in terms of which there is shared use of and responsibility for parts of land and buildings.

CSOSA: Community Schemes OMBUD Service Act now operational

2 min read On 7 October 2016, the Community Schemes OMBUD Service Act 9 of 2011 (CSOSA) came into force. This Act impacts anyone who owns property in a community scheme. A community scheme includes sectional title developments, share block schemes, homeowners’ associations, retirement schemes or any other arrangement in terms of which there is shared use of and responsibility for parts of land and buildings.

The Association of Residential Communities  overviews the 7 key characteristics of good governance as it applies to residential communities homeowners associations in South Africa

7 Charactristsic of good corporate governance applicable to a homeowners associations

2 min read The Association of Residential Communities  overviews the 7 key characteristics of good governance as it applies to residential communities homeowners associations in South Africa