Meet the Trustees28th Feb 2021
Currently in his second term as a Kingswood HOA trustee member, Gerrit Botha cherishes the estate and its serene, picturesque surroundings dearly. ‘We won’t move again,’ he firmly declared on a bright sunny morning over a cup of coffee.
Originally from Gauteng (first Johannesburg and then Pretoria), he and his family came to George in 2008 for a lifestyle change. All three of their children matriculated at Outeniqua High School. He describes them as a very close family, and there’s huge excitement with the first grandchild on the way. ‘It still feels a bit unreal becoming grandparents, but we cannot wait. Fortunately, we won’t have to travel far to go and visit the little one when the time comes as my daughter lives in Oudtshoorn,’ he laughed. He hopes that one day all their kids with their families will live in the southern Cape as the other two are currently elsewhere.
The Bothas love outdoor living and are ardent campers, especially during the December holidays. They harbour a deep love for Africa and regularly venture further up north into the continent, with game reserves in Zambia, Botswana and Namibia among their favourite destinations. ‘We love nature and therefore living on the Garden Route, with its abundance of natural beauty, fits us like a glove,’ he said. He’s also a keen gardener and has a special interest in indigenous plants.
Gerrit has an extensive background in financial services, and has, over the last 32 years, held several leadership positions in well-known companies such as Sanlam, Absa and – currently – Momentum. He’s therefore confident in his judgement when describing Kingswood as having great investment value.
‘It’s perfectly located, with its wide-open spaces and fantastic views over the mountains from virtually everywhere on the estate; it’s safe and central, close to the airport, hospitals and shops. Really, what more could one want?’ he enthused. Also, as the de facto capital of the Garden Route, George is becoming a very popular destination for semigrants from other parts of the country.
Gerrit is blessed with an energetic and optimistic personality. In 2014 he was promoted to Head of Sales at Momentum, overseeing operations in the Free State, Eastern Cape and Western Cape. It also meant that his work responsibilities moved to Cape Town. Not willing to give up what they have here, he and his wife Sonja, a financial planner who also has an accounting practice in Cape Town, now regularly commute between George and the Mother City.
As if all this hustle and bustle is not enough, he wholeheartedly throws himself into the demands and requirements of being a trustee. He has the highest regard for his fellow trustees, knowing full well the many hours that go into their efforts in supporting and realising the long-term vision for Kingswood. According to him, all the people on the management team complement each other in their different roles.
‘I think Kingswood is privileged to have the current management under the competent leadership of Willem Jacobs,’ he said. ‘Willem does amazing work. There is this unconditional commitment to ensuring that the estate’s affairs go as smoothly as possible. I have no doubt that Kingswood will soon reach heights that few other estates will equal.’
Describing himself as someone who always sees the glass as half-full rather than half-empty, his philosophy is that nothing is constant, and there will always be changes to embrace. However, one should always approach these changes with positivity to ensure that the end state meets all expectations.
This is also his vision for Kingswood – that home owners will support the HOA in their journey to make Kingswood an even better place to stay, and to approach whatever challenges there may be positively and optimistically. ‘We want to encourage home owners to come forward if they have suggestions and inputs that could lead to the advancement of the estate. The HOA, together with management, is very accessible and open, and values such contributions.’