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’.
The events officially kicked off with the ARC Annual Golf Day for our members, sponsored by Servest. For the non-golfers, Fidelity Security sponsored a fun-filled bowls event, with gin tasting sponsored by Cruxland Gin. Thank you to all the golfers and bowlers for contributing to the success of these events. The day of fun ended with a laid-back African-themed prizegiving dinner, where guests donned casual wear and ‘slops’ and let their hair down. At this dinner we also welcomed conference delegates who had arrived for an early start the next day.
The two-day conference, aimed at all those who play a part in various aspects of the strategic and operational management of residential communities, was attended by over 140 HOA directors, managers, team members, business partners and other industry stakeholders. Delegates came from all over South Africa to attend the conference – Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape
This year’s theme was ‘Community Alive’, and the programme covered a range of topics that explored innovative ideas for bringing a community to life and ensuring ongoing sustainability into the future.
The proceedings started with welcome coffee and snacks in the exhibition centre and delegate registration sponsored by Axis Communications. Jeff Gilmour then welcomed all the delegates, and set the stage for a productive two days.
The first keynote speaker was FNB Property Sector Strategist John Loos, who gave us some extremely interesting insights for ‘South Africa 2020 and Beyond – The Big Unfolding Economic Picture’, and the relevance for residential estates. Among other issues, John discussed how, as we move into a phase likely to be high on uncertainty and fear and low on new infrastructure, affluent people will focus more on wellbeing, and will continue to look for safety and security, but will place less emphasis on material possessions and more emphasis on lifestyle and environmental issues. As lifestyle becomes more of a focus, the competitive economic advantage of regions will increasingly be driven by urban and property design and management, and the scarcity of land and natural resources will increase the need for densification. John also discussed the impact of congestion and technology, and where we can find solutions within some of the unfolding issues.
Sue van Rensburg from SAEON (South African Environmental Observation Network) then provided us with a holistic approach to a sustainable future. She addressed the general causes and consequences of the global change that is happening and how this impacts us locally. The urgency of the crisis was highlighted with the focus on estate management, and how we can become leaders in effecting change through a holistic approach to the environment.
We continued looking ‘Into the Future’ with Jeremy Deeble-Rogers from Centre of Reserve Studies Excellence (CORE), who unpacked ‘Approaches to Managing Capital Reserves’. He discussed the financial and non-financial benefits of reserve planning, the components of a reserve study, how to analyse and interpret data, and the steps to implementation.
Dirk Uys then lead a panel discussion where we looked ‘Into the Future’ for residential communities and the industry. This session was sponsored by Bidvest Protea Coin.
The afternoon session covering ‘Industry Positioning and Governance’ was sponsored by SpeedSentry and entailed four panel sessions covering CSOS, POPI, OHS and rules and regulations. The discussions were chaired by Stephan Vorster, Hannes Hendriks, Liezl Clause and Jeff Gilmour.
The stylish silver-, black- and white-themed ARC Annual Dinner sponsored by Tsebo ended the day on a celebratory note.
Day Two started in the exhibition centre, with delegates getting the opportunity to network with our exhibitors who provide products, services and solutions tailored to the residential community industry. Thank you to all our exhibitors!
Bruce Wade – ‘The Innovator and Batman for Business’ – delivered our keynote address: ‘The Seven Laws of the Bat Cave’. He introduced us to a simple model that addresses the complex issue of sustainability in our fast, ever-changing world of innovation and progress. This model gives clarity and focus that enables action towards a clear set of goals – food for thought (and action) indeed.
The next session, sponsored by FNB, began with the focus on the social framework. Cherese Duffield from Studio-C, using practical examples from her experience, explained how residential estate management can and should deal with member expectations through all communications, especially social media, and how to ensure that the brand of the community is protected and enhanced through effective communication.
Louise Martin from Estate Living then led a panel discussion on sustainability and how, through proactive ideas and interventions, each community – and the industry as a whole – can ensure that we are indeed the authors of our own destiny.
This was followed by another panel discussion in which we unpacked the implementation of all that had previously been discussed, and linked that back to the roles and functions of the homeowners association. This culminated in a session led by Jeff Gilmour from ARC and Hannes Hendriks from the RCC (Residential Communities Council) summarising the projects agreed to and the resolutions confirmed.
Thank you to Leitch Landscapes for sponsoring the final lunch, which was followed by the RCC AGM chaired by Hannes Hendriks and the CAISA (Community Associations Institute of South Africa) AGM chaired by Denise Sharp, which then brought a successful 2019 Conference to an end.
We would like to extend a special thank you to the entire San Lameer team for the most amazing hospitality, and for greatly contributing to the success of all the events.
Thank you to everyone who participated this year, and we look forward to seeing you all again next year!