Neighbourhood 12 DECEMBER 2020
PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE
sweet spots Still looking for that special place to call home? Here are the countryâ€™s most sought-after semigration locations, page 2
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12 DECEMBER 2020
Interior of Parc at Gold Coast Estate in Sibaya on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast
Lockdown may have curtailed travel, but a surge in remote working and a relook at lifestyle choices means semigration is gaining popularity again
WORDS: KIM MAXWELL PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
property prices and interest rates are the most prominent drivers of increasing confidence and a positive market sentiment.
First-time owners, expanding families and mature buyers are all reconsidering how well their homes suit their lifestyle.
There’s also an increase in respondents who are positive about selling property, thanks to improved buyer affordability – good news for those selling up and relocating.
In the latest Absa Homeowner Sentiment Index for Q3 2020, 71% of respondents say now is an appropriate time to buy property and 77% consider market conditions are right for buying rather than renting. The report concludes that current
While many feared that pentup demand would not last past July before the market dips, residential property commentators are reporting continued buyer momentum. Seeff Property Group chairman Samuel Seeff says the industry has seen some of the
ith remote working a viable option for many after the Covid-19 lockdown regulations forced a rethink of the office commute, semigration is having a resurgence.
best trading months in six years. Thanks to the “best bond approval rates in more than a decade” and buyers benefiting from favourable mortgage loan terms, he expects this market buoyancy to be sustained.
“Technology and remote working management systems have removed the need for employees to visit the office daily. Many employers only require limited ‘connect’ days during the week. This feeds semigration to areas that offer better living, often for less,” says Adlab property specialist Claudius Combrinck, who markets various gated
communities in the Winelands and the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. “We’ve seen areas such as Malmesbury benefit. For just more than R1m, a new home with quality finishes can be purchased at Olive Place at Klipfontein Farm, a secure gated estate with mature olive trees and rural charm. Buyers are diverse – many are young professionals and those wanting to scale down to the countryside.” Verdeau Lifestyle Estate in Wellington is also getting a lot of interest, with freestanding homes starting from R1,795m. “Wellington is a hidden gem. It will continue
The Sibaya Coastal Precinct speaks to those looking for a safe place to leave their family should they need to travel for work. Stephan Botha, director, Rainmaker Marketing A home at Evergreen Val de Vie
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12 DECEMBER 2020
The Clara Anna Fontein Oasis Life clubhouse opened in October to grow in popularity due to its fantastic lifestyle, attractive pricing and its proximity to business nodes,” says Combrinck.
“In terms of Wi-Fi, fibre is a given in secure estates, as is back-up power, so there are no interruptions.”
Traditionally, proximity to the airport has made the KZN North Coast attractive. “Sectional title makes sense because the lockup-and-go lifestyle allows people to travel to and from places such as Johannesburg and Durban conveniently,” says Rainmaker Marketing’s director Stephan Botha. “Sibaya Coastal Precinct speaks to those looking for a safe place to leave their family if they have to travel for work.” Professional couples and families are attracted to Parc at Gold Coast Estate in Sibaya for secure semitropical living. SA’s property sales are strongest in the R1,5m to R2m space. So with Parc’s stylish two-bedroom villas starting from a pricier R3,7m – have elements been added to accommodate remote working lifestyles? Aside from appealing lap pools and direct access to Umdloti Beach, Botha says he’s noticed more Sibaya estate developers are incorporating business centres or pods and private meeting rooms.
Retirees or those thinking about scaling down their lifestyle soon, are the biggest group shifting to new locations. “About 30% of Oasis Life Clara Anna Fontein purchasers are semigrants, with the largest contingent from Gauteng, Bloemfontein, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. We also have purchasers moving here from elsewhere in the Western Cape,” says Rabie Property Group director Miguel Rodrigues, commenting on this popular upmarket Durbanville development. The estate’s semirural location provides good views and nature, with quality shopping nearby. “The sense of security and freedom Clara Anna Fontein offers, plus a hospitality-based lifestyle as a retiree – it includes 24/7 primary healthcare – is an enticing proposition,” says Rodrigues. South Africans are following a global trend of people moving from cities to semirural destinations that are still close to airports, with access to healthcare and core amenities. “Although most retirees tend to retire within
10km to 15km of their family home, our Evergreen villages in the Western Cape have always seen a steady demand from retirees in Gauteng,” says Evergreen Lifestyle sales director Phil Wilson. “Evergreen Val de Vie in the Winelands has added another option for these upcountry retirees. Cape Town retirees are moving to Val de Vie too,” says Wilson. He notes that adult children often help determine where their parents retire. “We recently had a son in Hout Bay purchase a life rights property at Evergreen Noordhoek for his parents from Johannesburg. His parents’ safety and health were his two big decision-making factors.” Given the choice, most retirees want to live in beautiful, safe surroundings, close to shopping malls, beaches, golf courses and airports. “The Western Cape in general has a very limited supply of retirement villages, and the influx from the north is creating an overdemand, causing properties to surge above the norm within most well-placed villages,” says Devmark Property Group national sales manager Bruwer de Jager. Val de Vie’s group sales director Reiner Swart adds that this large estate’s secure environment has
been a huge retiree drawcard during the past year. Homes here are priced from R3,9m. “Since South Africa changed to lockdown level 2, we’ve been overwhelmed by demand for our Evergreen homes, with more than 20 life rights sold during October and November.”
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
Unsurprisingly, the Garden Route is a top semigration destination too. “We’re definitely seeing increasing gravitation to this region. George is the de facto capital of the Garden Route and undoubtedly its largest urban centre – but without the traffic congestion factor,” says Stephen Murray, Pam Golding Properties area manager for George. Jean Ehlers, director of residential development at Devmark Property Group, says the pandemic has changed how people live and work. “As anyone over the age of 50 can stay in a retirement village, it’s the ideal work-from-home scenario.” Devmark’s Plettenberg Manor is one of the more popular residential retiree choices, boosted by state-of-the-art security, garden and cleaning services and affordable levies. Residents also have access to Plettenberg Bay’s natural beauty, Blue Flag
beaches, magnificent mountains and gentle climate. Moreover, access to Plettenberg Bay has improved since the introduction of flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Alternatively, Devmark’s latest development, Langebaan Manor, offers excellent value for money and an attractive lifestyle on the West Coast. Civil works commenced on site at the end of November, and construction of the freehold houses will start once the first phase of civil works is complete. “This development is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, which makes it ideal for over‑50s who want to lead a more relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle but still need to be close to the city,” says Ehlers. Currently, South African property buyers are negotiating strongly to ensure they get value from their property purchases, particularly at the higher end of the market. That said, property developers have already adapted post lockdown. Potential semigrators would do well to heed the signs. “Astute buyers are making the most of it, but the specials and ‘limited units only’ offers won’t last,” says Combrinck.
As anyone over the age of 50 can stay in a retirement village, it’s the ideal work-from-home scenario. Jean Ehlers, director: residential development, Devmark Property Group
Evergreen Val de Vie in the Paarl Winelands
Plettenberg Manor's Blue Crane development on the Garden Route
12 DECEMBER 2020
Become a property entrepreneur If having your own property business is in your dreams, here’s where and how to make it a reality WORDS: HELÉNE MEISSENHEIMER PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Solly Ramalamula recognised an opportunity in Hollywood Centre at the corner of Nugget and Helen Joseph Street in downtown Johannesburg in 2014. Originally the site of a clothing manufacturer, the building was run down and had frequent break-ins. Ramalamula started work with TUHF on a conversion in 2015. The total cost was R22m. Today, the building has 101 apartments, a mixture of bachelor, single and two-bedroom units. Ramalamula owns and runs Take Shape Property Management, which assists property entrepreneurs in managing their properties.
starting with one’s own small apartment and adding to this as one’s finances grow – puts budding entrepreneurs in a position to build capital that could open doors for becoming property entrepreneurs,” he says.
Hollywood Heights in Johannesburg
mall, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) have a crucial role to play in SA’s economic recovery, says Bonga Xulu, regional portfolio manager, Trust for Urban Housing Finance (TUHF) in Johannesburg. Research by McKinsey & Company says SMMEs represent more than 98% of businesses in South Africa, employing between 50% to 60% of the country’s workforce across all sectors, and are responsible for a quarter of job growth in the private sector. However, SMMEs in South Africa have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Analysis by McKinsey & Company predicts that more than half of local SMMEs may close their doors permanently before the crisis passes. Given the significant direct and indirect contribution of SMMEs to the economy, their survival and rebound will be critical to the country’s overall recovery.
Why entrepreneurs are important
Xulu says firstly small businesses have a positive impact on unemployment rates.
“Several international studies show a thriving SMME sector creates jobs and reduces unemployment. It’s because they’re often less cautious about hiring less experienced people than their large counterparts. SMMEs also promote on-the-job skills development.” SMMEs’ are agile and responsive to changing market conditions and client needs. “Large enterprises often have many policies and procedures to manage large workforces and portfolios. It can hamper their adaptability or to provide tailormade solutions for clients – particularly in a crunch,” says Xulu. SMMEs seldom have these problems, which means they can be more innovative, work at a faster pace, and even disrupt the industries in which they operate. “Amazon, Uber and Airbnb are just some of the examples of entrepreneurial vision, which have grown to become multinational businesses operating across territories,” says Xulu. Lastly, in tougher market conditions, larger entities should use smaller businesses to support their growth strategies. “By partnering with
SMMEs to outsource non-core business functions, or to access niche skills that may not be available in-house, established large organisations can invest constrained resources in their own recovery and business continuity. In doing this, they also play a role in enterprise development by empowering up-and-coming small entities,” says Xulu.
Capital and a good track record of managing rentals on a smaller scale are important for becoming a property entrepreneur. “Entrepreneurs have a responsibility to start out with their own capital, and demonstrate their dedication and ability to run a business successfully, before they approach investors,” says Xulu, “and a small property portfolio is a great way to do this.” From here, and with access to funding and the right support and advice, it’s possible to grow a profitable, successful SMME.
Funding and advice
“Entrepreneurs who want to grow in the property market should look for funders who understand their market, not
only because they’re more likely to invest with them but, perhaps more importantly, to gain access to niche business and financial advice,” says Xulu. “Because entrepreneurs are often not financial experts, access to niche financial and business development advice becomes more important as the business grows.” As an example, entrepreneurs who want to buy a property for refurbishment in the inner city are more likely to succeed in their application for funding and gain access to expertise in this market from a specialist in inner city rejuvenation than from a traditional commercial bank. The right finance provider will also provide the most appropriate financial education for the entrepreneur’s area of interest, ensuring a good working relationship between the two and ultimately increasing the chances of successfully growing an SMME.
Opportunities for budding property entrepreneurs
“Urbanisation in South Africa is ongoing, as young people continue to flock to our three major cities – Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban – to look for opportunities,” says Xulu. “This trend makes investing in residential property in these inner cities a good opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs because they show consistent above average demand and returns.” Residential rentals are increasingly sought after in the inner cities as people seek out affordable accommodation with access to amenities and reduced commutes to work. “Systematically developing a property portfolio – such as
Bonga Xulu, Johannesburg regional portfolio manager, TUHF
12 DECEMBER 2020
This classic farm-style home in Constantia, Cape Town had just the curtains in place before interior designer and architect Hanno de Swardt turned it into the stylish space it is today WORDS: SARAH MARJORIBANKS • PHOTOS: MATHEW VAN NIEKERK
resented with an empty six-bedroom house to fill with furnishings, fixtures and art, Hanno had a big job on his hands. Not only that, but the entire process took over five months, with continuous power cuts causing delays and placing a lot of pressure on his team. However, the result was worth the wait, with a relaxed yet sophisticated look that fits in perfectly with the client’s own laid-back style. “Even though the experience was stressful at times, it was rewarding because the clients knew exactly what they wanted and I was privileged to work with a team of professionals who made it happen,” says Hanno. Taking inspiration from the client’s reference photographs as well as the house itself – a spacious and warm family home with beautiful natural light and a relaxed country feel – Hanno’s
design runs cohesively through the space. The house is now comfortable and functional, with a distinct and timeless look that echoes its classic architecture in a contemporary way. In a house with such a large footprint, Hanno naturally has quite a few favourite spaces. “The formal lounge in black and white with its gold accents is a feast for the eye and was pure joy to create,” he says. “The main bedroom and study are close seconds as they ooze style and sophistication, both inspiring spaces for me. The ‘red room’ – as we dubbed one of the bedrooms – is a brave combination of red, purple and copper.” Furniture throughout the house was carefully chosen and commissioned to echo the chic yet easy-going style of the owners. “I’m extremely happy with the armchairs in the formal lounge,” says Hanno.
“They provide flexibility to the general layout by either standing alone or joining to become a two‑seater sofa.” In the dining room, Hanno points out the Bloukrans dining table designed by Pierre Cronje that stretches down the length of the room. “It’s such a statement piece and a beautiful example of high quality and excellent local design.” In the kitchen, a cosy breakfast nook is decked out with a unique dining table from SHF and chairs from The Private House Company, featuring distinct woven white seats. As for art, two pieces by Cape Town-based artist Brian Rolfe feature – one of which hangs on the wall at the staircase, an installation which caused Hanno just a bit of anxiety. “I held my breath when the two extra-large artworks had to be hung,” says Hanno, “the crew from Hangitnow had it in hand though!”
12 DECEMBER 2020
Val de Vie remains the top lifestyle estate
Joburg gets more flexible workspaces The co-workspace solutions provider Workshop17 is expanding its footprint of five central business district and suburban facilities by adding a sixth offering at The Bank in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
This home in Val de Vie, Paarl, is on the market for R12,25m According to a recent report by New World Wealth, more than 40% of South Africa’s high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) already live in or own homes on residential estates, with the Winelands remaining the most popular area for estate living. Among the sought-after developments situated in this region, is Val de Vie in Paarl, a development consistently ranked by New World Wealth as the top residential estate in South Africa. In addition, Val de Vie last month received two awards at the 2020/2021 International Property Awards in the categories Best Leisure Development (for Val de Vie Evergreen) and Best Residential Development in SA. According to Chris Cilliers, CEO and co-principal, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands, lifestyle and
innovation have been the winning recipe for the area’s success in this sector. “Although golf courses are still a popular feature on estates, there has been a move towards lifestyle and retirement properties, so a large, secure, multigenerational development such as Val de Vie ticks all the boxes,” she says. “The estate is attracting entire families, where grandparents living at Val de Vie Evergreen Retirement Village can be involved daily with their children and grandchildren and offer support.” According to Cilliers, Val de Vie is on trend when it comes to the growing need for on-site clubhouses that can double as informal office areas where residents have access to Wi-Fi – and coffee on tap. “Val de Vie is building office blocks on the estate that residents can rent, and it offers a shared office facility for those who need a less formal space.”
Another niche sector catered for in the Winelands is the equestrian market. “Horse owners generally want to live close enough to their horses to be able to ride regularly and with minimum fuss,” she says.
Says Devmark residential development division director Jean Ehlers, “Our prime lagoon stands are selling fast. To date we’ve sold units to the value of more than R85m and we’ll start marketing Phase 3 shortly.” The development is built considering authentic West Coast architecture, with 10 house types and two kinds of apartments to choose from. Prices range from R1,87m to R3,495m, including VAT and transfer costs. All properties will be fitted with quality luxury fittings as a standard and a choice of optional extras. Ehlers says buyers are from across the country. “There’s a definite trend for retirees to move to
coastal regions. Langebaan Manor is in the centre of town, close to all amenities and the pristine beaches surrounding the world-renowned lagoon. The town offers excellent holiday facilities and outdoor experiences ranging from golf to water sports, and the West Coast National Park and West Coast Fossil Park are nearby.”
The development has state-of-theart security, garden and cleaning
“Our cafe and meeting rooms will provide all the functionalities for on-site and online meetings in a welcoming environment. Our spaces are also designed to host business events and private functions.”
“Equestrians have a unique set of requirements – not only do they want secure and carefree living for themselves, they also want a secure and healthy environment for their horses, with plenty of space and exercise facilities as well as safe areas for outriding. Most equestrian estates also offer larger plot sizes, which appeal to people who prefer a more rural lifestyle.”
The office of the future is no longer a specific area in one building but a combination of physical spaces and virtual office resources for meetings, planning and collaboration.
Workshop17 members will get preferential rates at InterContinental Hotels’ boutique hotel Voco, whereas hotel guests in turn will enjoy the benefits of Workshop17, including flexible use of offices and boardrooms, and fast Wi-Fi.
“Considering feedback from our customers, The Bank will have less hot desking than our other sites and more dedicated offices of various sizes that are suited
Keursten says the combination of Workshop17, Voco and a new restaurant, Proud Mary, creates a multifunctional offering and an integrated member experience.
Cilliers says the growing estate sector has remained consistent over the years, even at the top end of the market, with investments still yielding returns despite the current economic climate and the impact of Covid-19.
Construction industry urged to go digital
Langebaan retirement village breaks ground
Construction has started at Langebaan Manor, Devmark Property Group’s new retirement village in Langebaan on the West Coast. The development will comprise 100 freehold homes, sectional title apartments, serviced apartments and frail-care units.
According to Workshop17 CEO Paul Keursten, the prolonged impact of Covid-19 has entrepreneurs and corporates looking for new ways of working and alternative spaces with flexible and affordable leases.
for use full time by corporates or SMMEs, or for remote workers who need a convenient space for group status check-ins and brainstorming,” says Keursten.
services, affordable levies and a frail-care and assisted-living centre, among others. Part of The Retirement Collection by Devmark Property Group, Langebaan Manor is the developer’s ninth retirement village in 30 years. The others include Cle du Cap, Legato, La Vie Est Belle, Heritage Manor, Onrus Manor, Villa Cortona, Helderberg Manor and The Plettenberg Manor.
Speaking at #futurenow, a virtual conference held by construction software company RIB CCS, futures strategist, human behaviour specialist and bestselling author John Sanei said the industry needs to develop robust business models and structures that allow for experimentation in a world that’s changing fast. The conference explored the urgent need for the engineering and construction industry to embrace digitalisation to remain relevant and future-proof businesses. RIB CCS CEO Andrew Skudder (pictured) said the sector is one of the least digitised industries in the world (ranked 21st out of 22 industries), with no significant productivity growth in recent years. Conference speaker Marc Nezet of Schneider Electric highlighted three major challenges the world is facing – a global pandemic, recession and climate change. “World Economic Forum statistics indicate that construction accounts for 13% of the global GDP, 6% of world employment, and a staggering 40% to 50% of worldwide emissions, meaning climate change cannot be solved without transforming the building and construction industry,” said Skudder. According to Nezet, net-zero carbon cities and buildings need to
be designed and built thoughtfully and doing so is possible thanks to digital software technologies. McKinsey & Company partner Gerhard Nel reiterated the need for change in the industry, “which is currently characterised by increasing complexity, changing customer preferences, sustainability considerations, a move to modular, a shortage of skilled labour, and a stricter and more complex regulatory environment”. Referring to the topic of disruption raised by Sanei, Skudder said meaningful transformation sometimes requires creating so‑called future teams in the business to experiment with new ways of doing things. “Innovative organisations do this as a matter of course, but I don’t think construction companies do it enough,” he said. “It’s a great suggestion for them to consider, especially with the way the sector is evolving.”
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LESS KNOWN POTENTIAL LIABILITIES FOR GRANDPARENTS Grandparents’ duty to maintain a grandchild and the obligation by their deceased estate to pay maintenance In the judgment of Phillipa Susan van Zyl N.O. v Keith Getz N.O. (6 July 2020) the Supreme Court of Appeal recently reaffirmed the common law position regarding a grandparent’s maintenance obligation towards their grandchildren. In terms of the common law, a grandparent may be legally obliged to support
a grandchild if both parents are unable to support the child and the grandparent is able to do so. (It is, however, uncertain whether a grandparent will have such a duty where the parents, or one of them, is able but unwilling to support the grandchild, or cannot be found.) The Court was also seized with the question whether the common law should be developed to allow for a grandparent’s deceased estate to bear the onus of support towards grandchildren. It was argued that the common law had to be developed to allow such a claim against a grandparent’s deceased estate based on, amongst other things, the dignity of the grandchild. The Court found, based on the facts of the matter, that such development was not appropriate and that it may have far-reaching effects on the current law of succession. As such, the common law in this regard remains untouched, for the time being. For more information or assistance, contact our Family Law Department on 041 363 6044 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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