Communique from estate manager Gawie Marx

Dear Welgevonden Homeowners and Residents

It’s been three months since my appointment as Welgevonden Estate’s estate manager, and a good time to also formally touch base with you. On this note, I would also like to wish all of you a happy Spring Day!


The Welgevonden people

At the time of my appointment I was told that I will be working with a special and close-knit community. This certainly has been my experience over the past months. Throughout this time I’ve been in contact with residents who are proud of Welgevonden Estate, who care for one another, and who are keen to contribute towards making the estate even more special.


Thank you for the way in which you’ve welcomed me as a newcomer to your community and for the constructive interaction that we’ve had thus far. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be serving you as estate manager.


My commitment towards Welgevonden Estate

My function as estate manager is twofold:

  • I am an extension of the Welgevonden Homeowners’ Association (WHOA) and Excom. This includes having the responsibility to bring estate matters of importance to their attention and to recommend suitable solutions and actions, and the implementation thereof.

  • I have an operational role to manage the estate for the benefit of all stakeholders.

My primary objective in doing the above is to make Welgevonden Estate a preferred residential estate in Stellenbosch and to ensure that homeowners experience growth in their property investments. To accomplish this, my vision and focus areas are as follows:

  • Service delivery to homeowners, residents, and other stakeholders.

  • Managing and mitigating risk.

  • Maintenance of the aesthetic appearance of the estate and making sure that properties comply with the estate’s architectural guidelines.

  • Financial discipline and well-being; and

  • Upholding the estate rules.

On a side note: The estate rules have been formulated in accordance with the WHOA Constitution and approved by the homeowners. My viewpoint on the matter, furthermore, is that residents were aware of the rules at the time when they moved into the estate. It therefore serves no purpose to question the rules with estate management. We merely uphold and enforce the rules. The rules are set to serve the best interest of the community and they have not been designed to be punitive.


Communication

Constructive communication and responding to input, for me, are key elements in building a cooperative relationship between stakeholders. I would not be doing my job properly if residents feel as though their concerns and suggestions are not being heard or considered. I therefore encourage open dialogue via the various communication channels that are available to homeowners and residents. These include, amongst others, telephone and e-mail communication with the estate management office, one-on-one discussions, as well as the recently-introduced open forum events on the last Wednesday of each month from 18:00 – 18:30, where an Excom member and I are available for estate-related conversations.

At the same time, I am committed to keeping the community informed when it comes to matters of general interest. Such communication is sent out and published in various ways – via e-mail and via the GLOPortal GLOVisitor app. Information is also posted on the estate’s official Facebook page (https://bit.ly/3baIxzh) and the content of certain communication also on the Welgevonden Estate website (www.welgevonden.co.za). Important – please make sure that we have your contact details on our database.


Some initiatives to take note of

I also wish to touch on certain key initiatives that we will be finalising soon, or that are in the pipeline:


a) New security manager

We have appointed our own security manager – Petrus Brandt. Petrus took office on 1 September 2020 and is responsible for Welgevonden Estate’s full security portfolio. His main responsibilities include the managing of all risk related matters, compliance with health and safety requirements on the estate, and to oversee the Xone Security contract. CK van Rensburg remains the Xone Security Contract Manager.


b) Upgrading the R304 entrance building

Work will soon start with the upgrading of the interior of the R304 entrance building to make more effective use of the facility. The project will, amongst others, provide for an office for the estate’s security manager, an improved area for residents to register for biometric access, as well as a staff room. Work should be completed by the end of November this year.


c) Improving the dam area

We have made good progress with conceptualising and planning the improvement of the dam area to make it an appealing feature for the estate and a user-friendly leisure area for residents. The installation of the fence to prevent accidental and unauthorised access to the dam area (dealt with at the 2019 AGM) will be handled as a priority and the installation should be finalized by mid-October. We again wish to point out that we have made a concerted effort to ensure that the placement of the fence will not be to the detriment of the dam’s visual surroundings. Residents will, furthermore, have full access to the dam via a wave reader-controlled access gate.


d) Criminal background checks

At recent security and Excom meetings it was agreed that all domestic workers, gardeners and contractors who wish to be registered on the WHOA biometric access system, will have to have criminal background checks done before being able to register. This requirement is already in place at most other residential security estates and is yet another step in ensuring a safer environment for our residents. Detailed information regarding this new procedure will be communicated in due course.


e) Other projects in the pipeline

We are exploring the feasibility of creating some new facilities, mentioned below. It is early days and we are still doing our homework. Once we are ready, we will provide more details and obtain your input and preferences via surveys.

  • A funky, small café on the estate for takeaway coffee, other drinks and food items, to be operated by a reputable restaurateur and open during the day, Mondays to Saturdays.

  • A mountain bike track in a safe area for children and teenagers to keep them entertained and off the streets.

  • Pétanque courts to be prepared at the top of the main green open area for all to enjoy.

  • We are also planning to update and improve the Welgevonden Estate website by adding additional functionality, as well as getting resident’s input in providing photographs. More information will follow.

New office hours

We have implemented set times during which the estate’s administrative office at the R44 entrance will be open for walk-in residents with general enquiries. This new arrangement has become necessary to facilitate the smooth running of our day-to-day operations.


The new hours, Monday to Friday, for walk-in enquiries are as follows:

  • 10:00 – 13:00

  • 14:00 – 16:00

You are also welcome to make an appointment.


Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy communication. It was important for me to share my role and approach with you, apart from other content that I have also touched on. Future communiques will be more concise.


I would like to conclude with a quote from Simon Sinek that underlines my sentiment: “When we help ourselves, we find moments of happiness. When we help others, we find lasting fulfilment.”


Kind regards


Gawie Marx

Estate Manager

1 September 2020


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