(for more details see the Home owners Association Rules)
- I am concerned about the security – exactly what procedures are in place?
The Estate is surrounded by a 1.8m high electrified fence, which is split into 2 zones. Each zone is energised by the most powerful energiser the law allows. In addition, the fence is connected to a cellphone based unit, which monitors the fence, controls the sirens if the fence is activated, switches on lights and sms’s selected people to notify that the fence has been triggered. In addition, if any Home Owner sends a “P” via sms to the cellphone, it will activate the lights, activate the sirens, communicate with the second zone, which will also then set off its sirens and sms “panic” to everybody in the Estate. Further enhancements to be decided by the Home Owners Association could include a sms to a local armed response company.
- Access Road?
There is a tar road right to the start of the forest after which there is a 2½ km hardened (shale) road through the Sappi Forest. The road is safe at 40km an hour due to blind rises / corners.
- How do you control access to the Estate?
Each Home owner is allowed 3 cellphone numbers which will be programmed into the cellphone based unit, which also controls the gate. By dialling the number, the system automatically drops the call so that it will cost you nothing and the gate will open and then automatically close after 15 seconds. In addition, there is a key pad both in and outside the gate and a normal gate remote. For added security, if the gate is somehow left open, it is automatically closed at 17H30 by the cellphone based unit.
- Is the water supply to each site safe to drink?
Please note that there is no human habitation upstream and at the last test, the Ecoli count was zero. Despite this, a system has been installed, which was designed by Natal Water Treatment Group, which comprises: injection of chlorine, flocculates and soda ash (to get the PH levels right). The water is then pumped uphill into a clarifier in which the bulk of the solids settle out. The water is then filtered through a one and a half metre potable water filter and then as it contains iron, the water is also fed through a four bag swimming pool type filter, which contains magnesium dioxide. The water is then stored in 6 x 10 000 litre tanks, with sufficient size pipes running down to the houses, to supply the houses and various fire hydrants with enough water pressure and flow if needed.
- Can I water my garden using the drinking water system?
No, the system is fairly complex and expensive to maintain and each house has a limit of 1200 litres per day. The houses are however allowed to pump directly from the dam for garden watering purposes.
- I believe in the past, Annual Duck Shoots were held, would I be able to organise a Duck Shoot?
No, the Estate is a Bird Sanctuary and we do not allow any hunting of birds or mammals, or discharging of firearms including air rifles / pellet guns.
- I am a keen fisherman and also fish for the pot. What is my allowance fishing wise?
The bag limit is 3 fish of a suitable size per day, however, barbel have been introduced upstream and are invading the dam. There is no limit on barbel and everyone is encouraged to remove them from the water. The local maids or gardeners love barbel and in addition, you could turn them into fish meal and feed them to your dogs.
- I do not want to spoil my view by erecting fences around my property.
There is no requirement to have a fence, however, if you have dogs you are obliged to ensure that they are kept on your property. The maximum fence that can be erected is a weld mesh-bonnex type of 1.8m high and you are required to plant a hedge or creeper to screen the fence. No walls or pallisade type fences are allowed.
- Am I allowed to bring pets on to the site?
Yes (home owners only). A maximum of 3 dogs. If the dog is a bitch, she has to be spayed. All dogs have to have valid rabies inoculation certificates. Cats are specifically prohibited as it is a bird reserve and any cats found on the site will be assumed to be wild cats and will be dealt with appropriately. Visitors / guests are not allowed to bring any dogs onto the property.
- I love swimming and intend swimming in the dam. Is this safe?
A designated swimming area will be marked off and boats will have to stay out of this area. If however you want to go on a long swim to the dam wall and back, you will be swimming outside the designated area and in this case, you will have to stay out of the boat path and tow a yellow torpedo buoy for visibility. The yellow buoy also gives a safety factor in that if you get tired or cramp you have something to hang on to.
- I wish to put a boat on the water, what are the rules?
Each site is entitled to a small boat, with a maximum of a 5 HP motor. Under no circumstances will larger motors be allowed. Please note that all boats have to stay out of the skiing area which is the slalom course plus 25 metres on either side. This is for safety reasons as the boats are travelling at a high speed and do not have brakes. Please also note that irrespective of the size of the motor, no wakes are allowed under any circumstances.
- I am a keen skier and have purchased a ski site. What exactly are my rights?
Each of the 8 skiing sites is allowed to have 1 boat of an unlimited horse power, in addition to the small boat. Each ski site can nominate up to a maximum of 4 individuals who are the nominated skiers. Any excess over this number do not have water ski rights, however, they will be allowed to ski provided no nominated skier is skiing. The moment an nominated skier is ready to ski, the non-nominated guests have to leave the water immediately.
- How do you control the use of the water surface, if somebody disobeys the rules?
Please note that the Home Owner is responsible for his own nominated skiers and any guests. If somebody consistently disobeys the rules, there are mechanisms in place, which starts with a verbal warning and goes up to a 12 month ban on using the water.
- I believe the top section of the dam is like the Okavango Swamps and there are channels with a large number of birds. It would be nice to able to go up and have a look from a larger boat.
A community pontoon boat will be purchased and each of the 25 sites will be allocated an equal number of days to be able to use this boat. The boat will be on the basis of bring your own petrol and bring your own gas bottle for the braai.
- I love long walks or riding my mountain bike, what are the options available to me?
The estate has 49 hectares of land and in addition, we have traversing rights over the neighbouring 100 hectares owned by Cramond House. Please note that if you walk on other than these 2 areas, you run the risk of being prosecuted by Sappi.
- What is the procedure with outside fires and or burning garden rubbish?
Please note that in the fire season, no outside fires other than in the properly designated, designed fire place are allowed. In the non fire season, you may burn garden rubbish from Monday morning through to lunch time Friday when the fire crews are on duty. No burning of garden rubbish is permitted after 12pm on Friday until the following Monday morning.
- I have 3 skiers in my family, does this mean that if all 3 are in the boat, I have 45 minutes of water time?
Technically yes, but practically no. The way the system works, is that each skier has 15 minutes, however the second skier’s 15 minutes starts immediately the first skier stops skiing i.e. any time spent finding gloves, life jackets, getting ski on etc., comes out of the second skier’s 15 minutes. Please note that all skiers have to change over at the designated waiting area and once all 3 skiers in the boat have had a ski, that boat has to join the back of the queue at the designated waiting area.
- What are the procedures to get my building plans passed?
Please see the Architectural Guidelines. The theme is Natal / Colonial Farmhouse, with minor variations allowed. The procedure to be followed is that the local Home Owners Association’s Building Committee will initially approve the plans and once they are approved, they then have to be approved by the local municipality. The local municipality’s building inspector will not allow building to proceed, foundations to be poured, etc. unless he has satisfied himself as to all these requirements. Any changes to the plans must be referred back to the HOA Building committee for approval.
- Can I teach someone to drive on the estate roads – A licensed driver will be in the vehicle?
No. Due to pedestrians having right of way, etc. only licensed drivers may drive a motor vehicle within the estate. Also see rule A8 which does not allow contravention of the Road Traffic Act.
- The development is in the middle of a forest. Am I at any danger from forest fires?
A forest fire is a very dangerous occurance. Precautions include the maintenance of firebreaks, a ban on smoking or fires in common property and fire hydrants. Each house is required to have its own hosepipe capable of reaching all the way around the house. In additon, no garden refuse fires are allowed in the fire season. No fireworks will be permitted under any circumstances.
- The sites are freehold and not shareblock or sectional title. Why then is there a H.O.A. with rules which have to be complied with?
The land is zoned agricultural and when the DFA tribunal gave their consent to the development, they imposed some conditions, two of which were each site had to belong to the H.O.A. and be bound by its rules, and all plans have to be passed first by the H.O.A. and then the local municipality.