Silver Lakes Golf Estate11th Feb 2019
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.
The residential estate has 1,645 erven, of which only 34 are undeveloped. The estate has a strong community, with the country club hosting clubs for golf, birding, fishing, business, tennis, squash, running, wine, art, bridge, Pilates, yoga and dance.
Fifty hectares of land have been allotted to the game reserve section of the estate, and the 12 species of antelope, which now include the magnificent sable antelope, roam freely between the houses.
The ethos of the estate’s community has a strong bias towards responsible living and conservation. All fishing is on a catch-andrelease basis, a ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ programme sees glass, cardboard, tin and paper collected weekly, and a portion of the homeowner’s levy is distributed to local charities.
Estate Living caught up with the new CEO of Silver Lakes, Henk Booysen, to find out more about this very successful estate, and the vision for the future.
EL: Tell us a bit about Silver Lakes.
HB: Twenty-five years ago Silver Lakes was the first of its kind, and our team strives to continue to be recognised as a leader in the industry. Our vision is to maintain and enhance Silver Lakes as a world-class secure, safe, environmentally aware and good-neighbourly residential estate.
EL: What are your thoughts on governance, rules and best practice?
HB: Our board believes in good corporate governance. We are in the process of updating all rules, the MOI, terms of reference and various best practices. Through our communications portal and monthly magazine, Intra Muros, we focus on different estate-related issues, and give guidance on being mindful of the rules and considerate of each other.
EL: Have you recently made any changes on the estate?
HB: We’ve spent millions in the upgrade of our irrigation system, Halfway House, new pro shop, convenience store and a wine shop. This is all part of our efforts to create that ‘wow’ experience for our members and visitors. We are now in the process of upgrading our three conference facilities to attract the non-golfer market. With the opening of 41 Wine Shop at the Clubhouse in 2017, the idea of starting a wine club really gained momentum. More than 40 residents have signed up to join this club, and we are looking forward to hosting many successful winetasting evenings.
HB: We want to continually raise the bar for the benefit of our members and visitors. The corporate market is huge, and we want our community to have a one-stop experience at Silver Lakes – from golfing to corporate events, functions or even just coming to wine and dine at the renowned Café 41 restaurant. We are fortunate to be surrounded by various other estates, and our country club is a great place for our immediate neighbours to visit, and enjoy the awesome setting, great vibe and various entertainments that are offered.
EL: What have been some of the challenges you have encountered since starting the position? And how are you dealing with them?
HB: One of the greatest challenges is our roads and municipal infrastructure, which is owned by the City of Tshwane. Maintenance remains a challenge with limited municipal budget. Our challenge as an estate is to overcome the mind-set of visitors and even members that potholes, road marking and other maintenance is the responsibility of the City of Tshwane. It sometimes requires us to fix potholes ourselves. Our team believes in building the relationship with the representatives on the council and, through their involvement, getting the maintenance done.
EL: What’s on the cards for the next few years?
HB: I believe in setting the trends in a dynamic market. Longterm planning for maintaining the infrastructure and for new facilities development is vital to maintaining the high standards that are associated with our brand reputation. We ended off by asking Booysen what his vision is for the future. With an optimistic smile, he replied, ‘I hope to ensure that Silver Lakes continues as one of South Africa’s leading estates for the next 25 years.’