We welcome Tom Stewart who joined us early in November 2017, replacing Renier Combrinck as Estate Manager. We thank Renier for managing the estate for the past few years as well as his family for all the additional support they gave him in his role. We wish them well for the future as they lead normal lives as owners/residents both at work and at play.
The Berg en Dal Homeowners’ Association Annual General Meeting was held on 23rd November 2017 at St Peter’s Church Hall. The turnout was quite good and other than the usual items i.e. Chairman’s Report, Financial Statements, Budget, and election of the new Board of Trustees, the most important item on the agenda was the resolution to continue with the next phases of our security strategy.
Cape Town is experiencing a serious water crisis. Level 6 water restrictions were implemented as from 1 January 2018. Residential units using more than 10 500 litres per month will be fined or have water management devices installed on their properties. Please look under the tab “Useful Links” on this website for more information about the water restrictions, dam levels and water management.
Additionally the City is planning to introduce a “Drought Charge” to fund the income shortfall as a result of reduced water usage for the next three years from 1 February 2018, subject to the rainfall and dam levels.
Please look under the tab “Useful Links” on this website for more information about the water restrictions, the drought charge, dam levels, etc.
SADV (SA Digital Villages) in partnership with DFA (Dark Fibre Africa) will commence with the project to install FTTH in Berg en Dal Estate in January and hopefully residents will be connected around mid-year.
On a lighter note, the annual Berg en Dal Christmas party for residents was held at the dam on 16th December. Our estate manager Tom did a fantastic job of organising it and a good time appears to have been had by all who attended.
Our rules and policy documents change from time to time as necessary. Please bear this in mind if you have downloaded older versions to refer to. In addition to our residents, it is important that interested parties such as estate agents, service providers, contractors, potential buyers and/or tenants, refer to this website for the latest versions of these documents.
To highlight the importance of this and as a reminder of some of our rules, below are excerpts from the “Homeowners’ Booklet Rights and Responsibilities” which may be found on this website under the tab “Rules and Policies”:
As per section 5:
“We are a residential estate and as such we do not allow any business activities that require public access.”
As per section 8:
“each homeowner must advise the Association in writing when there is a change in the occupier of their property or a portion of their property. The Security Officer will only grant visitors’ access to the Estate once he has obtained clearance from the relevant owner or resident.”
“The occupiers of properties are liable for the conduct of their visitors, contractors and employees, and must ensure that such persons adhere to the regulations of the Estate. Occupiers should provide visitors who are staying on the property for an extended period of time with a copy of the Estate Regulations”.
“8.1 Short Term Letting
Homeowners and residents are not entitled to let “rooms by the night” (i.e., B & B or short-term self-catering operations). However residents may let or swop their properties whilst they are on vacation and not resident on the estate on two separate occasions in the year (such as Christmas and Easter) for a minimum period of 2 weeks on each occasion.
8.2 Long Term Letting
Those wishing to sublet rooms or portions of properties in the longer term (periods longer than 2 months) should make such requests in writing to the Board of Trustees. Before granting approval, the Board will consider each case in the light of its potential impact on the Estate community as a whole. Where the Board grants such approval it will be personal to the owner to whom it was granted and will not attach to the land.”
Selling / Letting
As per section 9:
“No owner shall let or otherwise part with occupation of their property—whether temporarily or permanently—unless they have obtained a written undertaking from the proposed occupier of the property that they will meet their obligations as described in this Booklet and laid out in the HOA Constitution. The Owner must provide the Occupier with a copy of the most recent editions of the HOA Constitution and this Homeowners’ Booklet: Rights and Responsibilities. Any Estate Agent acting on behalf of a Homeowner is expected to advise prospective purchasers of their obligations as described in this Homeowners’ Booklet and the HOA Constitution, and to give them copies of same.”
“The owner selling the property shall ensure that the written sales agreement contains the following clause:
“The purchasers acknowledge that they are required, upon registration of the property in their name, to become members of the Homeowners’ Association and to meet their obligations as members as laid out in the HOA Constitution and the Homeowners’ Booklet: Rights and Responsibilities.”
No owner may transfer ownership of his or her property without a clearance certificate issued on behalf of the Trustees certifying that the owner is not indebted to the Association in any way.”
Work is now complete on the revamp of the gardens at the top of Champagne Crescent and hopefully all homeowners in that area of the estate are happy with what has been done. No complaints received so far !!!
Ruth (our garden manager) has decided that it is more cost effective to start at the lower end of the estate and work her way up to the top. Once at the top it will be time to start at the bottom once again and work towards the top. This rolling programme is for pruning up-grading etc. and is complimentary to the on-going weeding / grass cutting / fence line trimming works carried out by the gardeners under the supervision of Eric the Head Gardener.
With winter firmly upon us the rains have swiftly re-filled the Dam. We lost a couple of the Koi during the hot dry summer but as the water level never dropped below 750mm the majority survived. It is also apparent that the combination of leak sealing plus the fresh water pipeline from the top of the estate has worked in maintaining the dam integrity during one of the driest summers in a long time.
It is noticeable that the Estate gardens are maturing and as a consequence tree heights are starting to cause some problems. The Estate intends to start on a programme of tree pruning once the new budget is approved using an external contractor. This will not be a blanket “haircut” type operation but pruning under the direction of the Garden Manager to maintain the aesthetic quality of the landscape while reducing heights where required.
Those of you who are fortunate, or should it be unfortunate given the length and depth of our Cape Town winter this year, to be residing on Berg-en-Dal over the last couple of months will have seen some hectic activity in the Gardens. This newsletter is to inform all residents on what has happened and what is going to happen over the next few months in the gardens.
The Landscaping Trustees submitted a proposal to the Board of Trustees to carry out some significant development of the Estate Public Land. After lengthy discussions and careful scrutiny of the budgeted expense I am pleased to say that the Trustees have allocated funding from the Reserves to allow these one off garden development projects to proceed.
I am sure that all residents will agree that the dam is one of the major features of the estate and is enjoyed by all, young and old. As you are aware we have had a leak that meant that a significant portion of last year we had a mud pit rather than a Dam. The Trustees managed to identify a product manufactured in Australia and used extensively there, which when added to the water is forced in to the leaks where it swells and (hopefully) plugs the leak.
Our Garden manager took his life in his hands, borrowing not only waders but a long board, and applied the Water$ave product. Since then we have had a consistent flow of water into the dam so do not yet know if it has worked. There were some bemused looks on people’s faces when they saw him spreading the polymer and the one gentleman who thought he was “overfeeding the ducks” please be assured that their safety also was considered before we embarked on this programme. Looking at the ducklings, seeing how they have grown since we applied the polymer, and seeing them diving for food over this weekend it would appear that at least one of the claims for the polymer, “not harmful to wildlife” appears to be correct. Let’s hope their promises on its leak sealing capabilities are also as true!!
With the approach of Spring work has started in earnest on the “special projects” as well as on-going maintenance of the gardens. The trees planted on the verge between 8 and 10 Shiraz had become overgrown extending into the road and reaching for the sky at an alarming rate. 4 of these have been removed and rather than just chopping them down they have been transplanted to other parts of the estate. Currently we have planted 2 trees by the dam, 1 tree on the circle at Honeysuckle and the last went to the top of the estate on Pelargonium. Our apologies to all who were inconvenienced by the road being closed for a short time while the Crane Truck did its business.
Please note there will be further tree removal and planting this week with a 4 trees being removed at the start of Chardonay. We will endeavour to keep the disruption to a minimum but if you happen to be caught behind it, remember we are closing the road for your safety so please be patient. 2 of these trees will be installed on the circle at Honeysuckle as part of its landscaping up-grade, 1 will be transplanted to the top of the estate where we intend to develop the public land adjacent to the undeveloped ERF 5981 and 1 will be transplanted to the right hand side of Shiraz in front of No 7 to make a trio with the existing trees.
Where possible we intend to put in automated irrigation systems which will ensure the correct amount of water is applied at the correct time reducing water wastage, reducing the number of man hours spent with hose in hand and hopefully resulting in a better garden display. We have gone out to tender to get prices for the water point installation and once the bids have been evaluated will be getting them installed ASAP.
Unfortunately this will mean a disruption to the water supply in localised areas around the estate but we will inform people of when it is going to happen and hopefully the disruption will be kept to a minimum.
The major projects that we have embarked upon are as follows:
Other smaller “projects” are on-going using the gardener’s spare time, such as removal of the grass opposite 5 Sagewood which will then be planted to match the area on the left as you go up Sagewood. If any resident has a particular area that they would like the Landscaping Trustees to consider for a “make-over” please advise Kim Hunter, Simon Packer or our Estate Manager Renier Combrinck. In order to give the residents as nice a garden as we can without it costing a fortune we intend to produce the majority of ground cover plants ourselves only buying in “feature” plants as and when necessary and when we can get a good price. If any resident is revamping their garden or simply thinning / pruning, please keep us in mind.
Rather than paying Tommy to take stuff away give us first refusal as you will be amazed at what our Garden Manager can do with your waste !!!