Export of SA gated estate management

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06 Dec 2012

Global best practice in gated residential estate management in South Africa is now being ‘exported’ to other countries in the Southern African region – with Seychelles as the first step in the process.

Eden Island ( in the middle with red roofs and boat moorings) residential marina in the Seychelles became a member of Association of Residential Communities a year ago.

Mozambique, Mauritius, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola are among the other countries that feature in the planned rollout.

The organisation behind this initiative is the Association of Residential Communities (ARC), which assists Home Owners' Associations (HOAs) to manage their estates more efficiently in order to protect and grow the value of the homes within them.

HOAs on ARC’s 140 member estates have assets of close to R400 billion under their management and pay annually, around R4 billion in levies and R2 billion in municipal rates and service tariffs.

“Our first port of call outside South Africa was the prestige Eden Island residential marina in the Seychelles, which came on board as a member a year ago,” says ARC President Jeff Gilmour.

While the basics remain the same, management of estates in other regional countries presents different, and often unique, challenges and complexities – not least in terms of logistics, procurement, language, culture, employment policy and local legislation, says Gilmour.

He explains that ARC’s experience at Eden Island over the past year has formed the basis of a management template that will now be rolled out into gated estates in other SADC countries – before raising their sights even further afield in Africa.

The challenges of Eden Island

According to Terry Keller, general manager of the Village Management Association, language poses some difficulties in a multi-cultural development like Eden Island.

“Approximately 48 percent of the properties are South African-owned, with the balance made up of French, Italian, Russian, Middle Eastern and other foreign owners.”

Most of them use their apartments, duplex maisons and luxury villas either as second homes or holiday destinations, says Keller, who previously managed the Arabella Country Estate (also an ARC member) near Hermanus in the Western Cape.

“With Eden Island being predominantly a resort and holiday destination, the short-term visitor is not always familiar with the rules governing community living, and management have to be vigilant for rule violations.”

Furthermore, he says security services and personnel present major challenges in the Seychelles.

It is an industry that is in its infancy, with scarce resources and little depth of training.

So much so that Nepalese Ghurkas are being increasingly widely used as security guards in both the public and private sectors, says Keller.

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