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064 - August Estate Newsletter 
Dear members and residents

National Arbor Week is from 31st August to the 4th of September and is an opportune time to call on all South Africans to plant indigenous trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management. This year we are taking our efforts to a new level and we are looking at really making a great environmental difference to our Estate with the planting of a number trees in areas where they are needed. More information further along in the newsletter.

With the move to level 2 it is indeed great news that we have now opened all our community facilities including the new pump track at the Crystal Downs community centre. All 7 community centres on the Estate are open as well as the playgrounds at The Watershed and at the tennis courts and the cricket nets at The Green Brier community centre. We ask that all residents act responsibly and follow the Covid-19 protocols that are still in place - please wear a mask, social distance and sanitise. 

Please note that the tree project in Hoylake Drive will be completed during the course of next week. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.


ESTATE NEWS
  • Community facilities are open
  • Urgent appeal - please keep control of your dogs when out on the Estate. Please pick up after your dog!
  • Planning & aesthetics
SECURITY
  • Security ambassadors of the Month
  • Meet the security team - Moses Sibonelo Mbonambi
  • Control room competition
  • Pass out letters
  • Estate 1 fence line
LAND & ENVIRONMENT
  • Garden pests
  • Arbor Week
I do hope you have a great weekend.  If you have any questions/queries please feel free to contact me on desiree@mountedgecombe.com

Kind Regards

Desiree Stone
CEO
ESTATE NEWS
 Community Facilities
The pump track, cricket nets and all the community centres, as well as the playgrounds at The Watershed Cafe and the tennis courts, are now open.
 
The Yoga and Pilates Studio at Copperstone (the old  Estate 1 office) will be open for use from 1 September 2020.  There are toilet facilities available at the venue.
Booking of the studio:
  • There will be a hire charge - please enquire and book at the Estate Office – speak to Ilene on 031-502 5360. 
  • Please book two weeks in advance. 
  • Keys can be collected from the Estate office during working hours. 
URGENT APPEAL – PLEASE KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR DOGS WHEN OUT ON THE ESTATE
An urgent appeal to all owners to please keep your dogs on a lead at all times.  Dogs are unpredictable and as such you need to keep your animals under strict control when outside your property. 

We have recently had two dog incidents. Please keep your dogs under control and please pick up your dog poo!
Planning And Aesthetics
We would like to outline the processes for homeowners to be followed when you are planning to undertake any form of work at your home.  We trust this will assist you:

When are only sketch plans required?
For fencing, lattice screening, awnings, blinds, trampolines, jungles gyms, swings, air-conditioning units.  In other words, anything that does not require building work.

If I want to build a retaining wall, swimming pool or do alterations to my home, what is the process of application? 
  1. Submit a plan drawing (by either an architect or technologies) for any type of building work that you would like to undertake on your property. 
  2. First submission is to be made directly to the Estate office for consideration by the Planning and Aesthetics Committee.
  3. All plans are assessed at our meetings – dates of these meetings are available from the office. 
  4.  Once the plans have been assessed, there may be some referrals which you will need to ask your architect/technologist to attend to.  Please then re-submit to the Estate office
  5. Once approved and stamped by the Estate, you will need to submit these stamped plans to eThekwini municipality for their approval. 
  6. Once approved by eThekwini, you will need to advise the Estate to arrange a site handover before commencing.
 
My plans have been approved and I want to commence with work on-site, what is the process to follow?


Once eThekwini has stamped your drawing and given you a letter of approval, please arrange a site handover with the Estate office.
  1. The registered building contractor, architect/technologist and owner are to attend the site handover meeting.
  2. Upon conclusion of the work, a site completion inspection is to be arranged with Estate office by the building contractor.  This inspection is to ensure that the alteration has been built in accordance with the approved plans.

What happens if I want to deviate from the approved plan during construction work?
Please submit an urgent plan to the Estate office with the proposed deviation depicted thereon.

Please do not instruct your builder to carry out the work without the Estate's P&A Committee approval.  This often leads to unauthorised work being carried out which then has to be removed as it does not comply with the design guidelines. 

eThekwini’s building inspector can close a site should there be ongoing unauthorised deviations from the approved plan.  This is a costly exercise as the inspector will issue penalties.

I want to install blinds or awnings on my property.
  1. You will need to submit an application showing the exact position of the installation, the colour, and type to be installed.  
  2. If this is for a sectional title unit then written approval is required from the Body Corporate.
  3. The installation needs to be done by a registered supplier.
  4. The work can only be undertaken once approval has been granted by the Estate.
 
I want to install an air-conditioning unit, satellite dish on my property.
  1. Please contact the office to arrange a site inspection to confirm if the area where you wish to install is appropriate in terms of the non-visibility/screening rule.
  2. Written approval from the Body Corporate is required if in a sectional title unit.
 
I want to install a jungle gym or trampoline on my property.
  1. You will need to submit an application showing on a copy of a site plan of the property exactly where this will be installed. 
  2. Specifications of the product together with a brochure or picture needs to accompany your request.
  3. Written approval from the Body Corporate is required if in a sectional title unit.
  4. A site inspection will be conducted to ensure that your request complies with the rules.
 
I want to build a deck around my existing swimming pool do I need plans.

If your deck is replacing a grassed area or tiles and is flush with the ground plans are not required.
However, if the decking is 100mm or higher and is also going over building lines then plans need to be submitted and the neighbour’s consent must be obtained.

I want to install a Solar Panel / Photovoltaic panel at my home.
  1. An application needs to be submitted showing the exact position on a site plan.  An elevation drawing is also required.
  2. Dimensions and number of panels to be erected (Maximum size 1,25 x 2m) must be indicated on the plan.
  3. Details of the supplier and a brochure with the specifications are to be provided.
  4. Consideration of neighbours is to be given in respect of visibility.
  5. Panels are to be flush with the gradient of the roof. 
  6. Only flat panels are permitted no tubular.
  7. Panels to be one combined unit.
  8. Panels are to be SABS compliant.
  9. Tank to be concealed in the roof / courtyard.
  10. The Estate and eThekwini approval required prior to installation.
 
I want to install a Jo-Jo tank at my home?
  1. Please provide the Estate with a site plan of your property showing the exact position of installation as visibility is a major priority. 
  2. The specifications and the colour of the Jo-J0's tanks are to be provided. 
  3. If it is to be placed in an area that is exposed, it will need to be screened off. 
  4. If it is to be installed over the building line, the neighbours consent will be required prior to the Estate igning off your application.
  5. Any tank that is 2000 litres and over will require approval from eThekwini as well prior to installation.
 
I want to install fencing on my property. What is the process?
  1. The Estate will require the position and extent of the fencing to be indicated on a site plan of your property (copy of site plan).
  2. Please indicate the type of fencing and supplier to be utilised.
  3. If in a sectional title unit, Body Corporate approval is required.
  4. The application needs to be submitted to the Estate office who will undertake an onsite inspection.

How much FAR do I have available on my property?

Each property is different depending on the square meters of the built-up area.
Please contact the P&A departments at the Estate offices on 031 502 5360. Alternatively, you can find this information on your plans. 

If in the case of a sectional title unit you will need to check with the Body Corporate as we do not know what FAR is available for a specific unit as the Body Corporate have their own rules in terms of the distribution of FAR.

If I want to build over the building line will it be permitted?

Building lines are considered upon request and on merit. It is all dependant on which building line is to be relaxed and the purpose thereof. The surroundings and neighbouring properties are taken into consideration.  The type of structure to be built is also a deciding factor and how excessive or intrusive it will be. 

In all cases, neighbours consents must be obtained before the Estate can authorise building over the building line.

My neighbour is doing building alterations why have I not been consulted?

The only time that a neighbour is consulted is if their consent is required for building line relaxations.  If there are no building line encroachments, then neighbours’ consents are not required. 

The possible impact of a view is not a legitimate reason hence no consent is required.

Contractors associated with the Estate for the different types of work.
Please see the list of registered contractors and contractors who have worked on the Estate on our website – www.mountedgecombe.com.


I want to use a builder that is not on the registered list what do I need to do?

A builder can apply to register and to work on the Estate.  The application will be assessed by the Planning & Aesthetics Committee to ensure that he has complied with the relevant requirements.  The builder will need to provide Estate 2 with the following:
  • Company portfolio
  • Written references
  • NHBRC registration certificate
  • Workman’s compensation
  • Public Liability
  • Tax clearance
 
I want to use an architect that is not on the registered list what do I need to do?

An architect can make an application to the Planning and Aesthetics Committee for consideration by providing the following to the Meccema office:
  • Company portfolio
  • Written references
  • They must be registered with SACAP (South African Council for the Architectural Profession)
  • They must be registered with eThekwini municipality.
  • Provide us with a previous plan drawn.
 
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT
  • All applications are subject to a submission fee.
  • Written approval is always required from the Body Corporate if you live in a sectional title scheme.
  • In the case of leased properties, we require written approval from the homeowner.

If you are unsure of any procedure kindly contact our office for guidance and direction, we are happy to assist.
SECURITY
Ambassadors and AAA Certificates – August 2020
The following are our nominees for Ambassador of the Month for August 2020.

 From Left to Right:
  1. Thomas Gumede (Reaction Officer Estate 1)
  2. Siyabonga Khuboni (Gate 1 Officer)
  3. Dumisani Cele (Site Manager)
  4. Sunil Singh (Excellerate Retail Manager)
  5. Fakazi Mgenge (Shift Supervisor/Shift Manager)
  6. Cyril Lushozi (Reaction Officer Estate 2)
The following officers excelled and went over and above their duties for the Month of August 2020.
            Siyabonga Khuboni  – Estate 1 Gate  Guard.
Siyabonga, who works at Gate 1 was complimented via  a service provider to a resident for his awesome attitude and how he conducts his duties.         

            Cyril Lushozi – Estate 2 Response Officer.
            Thomas Gumede – Estate 1 Response Officer.  
            Fakazi Mngenge – Shift Supervisor.
These officers were commended by a resident who they had assisted with access into the property and assisting with lifting a family member who had taken a bad fall.

            Dumisani Cele – Site Manager
            Dumi was nominated for going above and beyond his normal duties constantly and this was the reason he was selected as the Ambassador for August.

          Cyril Lushozi and – Armed Response Officer
          Emmanuel Mngomezulu – Armed Response Officer

The officers assisted a resident in removing a trampoline that flew from one resident's house into another resident's pool.  The officers removed the trampoline from the pool and were soaking wet! They have been nominated due to their dedication and helpful attitude. 
Call The Control Room For Emergencies
We encourage all residents to phone our Estate Control Room (031 539 3144) for all emergencies who will then immediately send our Reaction Team out to the address to see where they can assist.  Vital information is then fed back to the emergency services while they are en route. 

Security will then assist and escort emergency vehicles into the Estate which speeds up their response times as not all emergency vehicles are familiar with the layout of the Estate Streets.


In the case of fire, our Reaction Team can assist immediately by attempting to extinguish smaller fires while waiting for emergency services.

Please do not hesitate to call the Estate Control Room - we are here to serve!
Meet The Security Team
Meet Moses Sibonelo Mbonambi
Moses is a familiar face around the Estate. He manages our Access Office for the Estate. He is well known for his helpful attitude and is always willing to assist when we need to extend the access hours to streamline processes. Moses is always at work before his shift starts and often leaves late. And always with a smile on his face!
 
Moses is married with four children and resides at Groutville Station Dube Village in Stanger.
 
Moses started working as a salesman and shop merchandiser at Patel’s Discount Centre in Queen Street, Durban from 1996 to 2006 thereafter he joined Enforce Security Services. He was posted to Estate 2 at Gate 6, where he worked for 3 years and was then promoted to Estate Control Room Supervisor in 2010. In 2014 he was once again promoted to Shift Manager. In 2019, from Enforce Security Services Moses joined our Estate Team in the Access Office.
 
When Moses is not in the office he spends time with his family and attends Church.
Control Room Competition 
As our Operational Security Team have received numerous compliments and commendations we are finding it difficult to commend our Control Room Staff as they are not always recognised for their efforts. We are therefore running a competition and asking residents to please provide positive feedback on your experience with our Security Control Room Staff.  Please email your feedback to estateadmin@mountedgecombe.com
Authorisation Letter For Household Staff To Remove Items Off-Site
When a resident gives their household staff any items to take home, the resident must provide the household employee with a letter authorising them to be able to take the items home with them.  This letter must include name, address, and contact number of the resident as well as the items themselves.
 
The letters are used to rule out theft if we do a spot check.  Security may make contact with the resident to confirm that they wrote the letter and that they can release the items. This is a security measure and we do not wish to ease up on this standard operating procedures at the gates. We ask that residents please ensure that they have provided a contact number in their letter so security can follow up and this does not cause unnecessary delays at the gates.
Estate 1 Fence Line
(Along Flanders Drive From KwikSpar) 
We are happy to report that our fence line has finally been restored in both areas that run along Flanders Drive from KwikSpar. This repair was very dependent on engineers being involved to reroute water flow away from the fence line.  The Board approved the implementation of our current temporary fence into a fully installed, functional permanent fence line. We moved the boundary of the fence line to veer the fence line away from the soil erosion and runaway. We have left the old permanent fence in place and are in the process of repairing the soil erosion damage.
Land & Environment
Garden Pests
With the warmer weather garden pests begin to make their presence felt from August onwards and they will be on the increase attacking your many loved plants … so keep an eye open for signs of infestation.

If you pull or rub pests off as soon as they appear on your plants you can stop them multiplying and causing more trouble later. Below are a few natural remedies you can use in your garden that are safe and environmentally friendly:
Small Pests – such as Aphids, White Fly, Scale Insects, Australian Bug, Mealy bug, Red Spider mite & Ants: Mix 1 teaspoon (tsp.) Bicarbonate of Soda + 1 tsp. ‘Sunlight’ liquid in 1 litre of water. (Do not use detergent). Shake well place in a bottle with a spray nozzle. Spray onto pests.
Ants:  Mix equal parts castor sugar & borax, sprinkle near ant nest & around your house.
Snails: A layer of ash around the plant base discourages snails & slugs.  Alternatively, you can use crushed egg shells or coarse salt as a deterrent around your plants.

Diatomaceous earth is also a very good preventative in the garden and can be sprinkled around your plants or swept in between the gaps in paving.

Should you find ant infestations within your home, residents should look at using a pest control operator / company that specializes in the control of house / structural pests.
ARBOR WEEK
31 August to 4 September 2020
South Africa celebrates Arbor Week in the first week of September annually. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), as the custodian of forestry in South Africa, is responsible for the campaign.

National Arbor Week is an opportune time to call on all South Africans to plant indigenous trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management.
  • It affords the government, the private sector, non-governmental and community-based organisations and the public to be involved in "greening" their communities. Planting trees and greening human settlements takes place in communities.
  • It is therefore important for us to join hands with partners across the country, and in our own gardens.
  • Greening refers to an integrated approach involving the planting, care and management of all vegetation in urban and rural areas, to secure multiple benefits for communities.
  • We challenge owners to plant at least one of the below-listed trees this year.  Let us know what you have planted … we would like to report back on how many trees residents have planted this year. If you cannot plant within your property, please let us help you find a spot on the Estate.
For Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate, Geoff Nichols recommends the following trees:
1. Xylotheca kraussiana
2. Searsia natalensis
3. Calpurnia aurea
4. Maytenus procumbens
5. Trimeria grandifolia
6. Ficus sur
7. Deinbollia oblongifolia
8. Trema orientalis
9. Olea woodiana
10. Acacia robusta now Vachellia robusta
11. Acacia natalitia or A. karroo now Vachellia natalitia or V. karroo.
12. Diospyros natalensis
13. Gymnosporia buxifolia
 
These are the most productive trees providing flowers and fruit for the various forms of suburban wildlife
 
Reminder when planting:
- Not closer that 5 metres from a road or building
- Not over underground services
Copyright © 2020 Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate, All rights reserved.


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