Silver Lakes Golf and Wildlife Estate15th Jul 2021
As the first estate of its kind in Pretoria, Silver Lakes has stood the test of time for more than a quarter of a century, in recent years thanks mainly to CEO Henk Booysen’s inspired and consistent leadership.
Established over 20 years ago by Anglo American Property Services (Pty) Ltd (Ampros), Silver Lakes Golf and Wildlife Estate currently comprises an exciting mix of homes, including a sectional title retirement village and a small townhouse scheme. There are a little over 1,530 homes spread over 300 hectares, and residents get to enjoy an abundance of nature, including meandering lakes, wonderful birds, winding nature trails and lots of animals that live on a staggering 77-plus-hectare reserve.
Golf is a central component here, and the estate is proud to have hosted the SA Amateur Golf Championships at their magnificent 18-hole golf course, designed by Peter Matkovich. Part of the golf offering includes a clubhouse that has a wide range of amenities and facilities, including a pro shop, members’ bar and halfway-house café as well as a charming onsite family restaurant.
Something for everyone
As a formidable industry leader, Silver Lakes Golf and Wildlife Estate has successfully cultivated an outstanding reputation and true sense of belonging in the east of Pretoria, making it a premier residential choice for families wanting to embrace a wonderfully idyllic lifestyle conveniently close to the city.
The estate has a range of amenities to promote a variety of outdoor activities: tennis courts, a practice wall, soccer fields, squash courts and a communal swimming pool, as well as an active fishing club that operates a catch-and-release policy to preserve the fish population in the dams.
‘Silver Lakes has always been one step ahead when it comes to our activities and the way we operate our recreational offering,’ says Henk.
‘Regardless of how big or small your estate is, activities and facilities are very important, and we are incredibly proud to see other estates use us as a benchmark when it comes to this,’ he says.
Generating new ideas to get the community involved is very important to Henk and his team, and plans are already in place to upgrade and expand the current offering so that residents have access to everything they could possibly need.
Not all a bed of roses
Silver Lakes is positioned in the immediate vicinity of a number of international embassies, and, with the Union Buildings a mere 20 minutes’ drive away, it enjoys a superbly convenient location for diplomats and embassy staff who have made this estate their home.
Property prices range from R2.5 million upwards, with the highest recorded sale being in excess of R18 million.
These high-calibre residents tend to demand more – particularly over the last year – and the expectations of the HOA have increased dramatically, explains Operations Manager, Michael Westman.
‘The biggest challenge of managing a mixed environment like Silver Lakes is overseeing the grey areas,’ says Michael.
‘There are a number of different HODs who all report to the CEO, and each one needs to know what their role and responsibilities are in the wider management of the estate,’ he explains.
Michael and his team also face a constant battle with the Tshwane Municipality, which is responsible for the entire infrastructure of the estate, including the roads, electricity and sanitation. This means that the estate is dependent on the municipality when it comes to repairs to the 39-kilometre road network. It is a complex balancing act between deciding when to wait for the municipality and when to go it alone.
‘As an HOA, we need to consider what we can afford to pay. We have repaired minor things like potholes, for example, but retarring kilometres of roads can be costly, and residents do not always understand,’ says Michael. Nonetheless, he and his team continue to maintain open and ongoing discussions with the municipality and remain optimistic.
As CEO, Henk is very proud of the achievements he and his team have made, and he is confident that he has fulfilled the original mandate handed to him when he took on the role of CEO.
Standards have improved, and are continuously improving, and that is testament to a great team effort,’ he says.
Under his leadership, the estate won a number of special awards, including being rated Top Golf Course in Pretoria, and coming in third place for the Best Private Function Venue in Pretoria and Best Retirement Village in Pretoria. Perhaps the most impressive, though, is being included as one of the top ten most environmentally friendly golf estates in the world.
‘For me, it is the attention to detail that really makes me proud to have worked at Silver Lakes. Small things like the way hedges have been cut or how the flowers are growing in front of a sign make all the difference, and this really sets Silver Lakes Golf and Wildlife Estate apart from the rest,’ he concludes.