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Welgevonden Estate: Estate manager’s newsletter: 14 March 2022

Dear Welgevonden Estate Homeowners and Residents

In the January 2022 newsletter, we reported on a resolution that was adopted at the AGM 2021 for Excom to review the rules pertaining to the keeping of pets, and measures to control stray domestic animals on Welgevonden Estate. Since then, the Excom subcommittee that deals with this matter has made good progress and should soon be in a position to table their recommendations.

In the same newsletter we also reported on two incidents where unleashed dogs attacked other leashed dogs, and on an owner of a leashed dog who was bitten by attacking dogs. At the time we again urged dog owners to take the rule that dogs must be leashed when in public open spaces seriously, and to pick up their dogs’ poop when walking them on the estate’s public open spaces.

The current situation

Unfortunately nothing much has changed since then. We still have to make use of the estate’s landscape contractor and own workforce to pick up poop that dog owners leave behind (not a satisfactory way of having to deal with the matter, as this is not part of their contract or job description). We also still receive reports of dogs being walked without leashes. In fact, it seems that certain residents are now becoming fearful to go out onto the public open areas due to their fear of dogs and a concern that they, or members of their families, might be attacked by such animals.

Most dog owners are not at fault

There are many dog owners on Welgevonden Estate who lovingly take care of their animals, especially making sure they do not become a nuisance for others. Regrettably, as with many other things in life, we’re probably dealing with a minority of dog owners who are giving ownership of a dog a bad name by not taking fellow residents into consideration as far as their dogs and their behaviour go.

Instead of again repeating the rules that govern the keeping of dogs, I rather wish to appeal to all dog owners to consistently consider fellow-residents as far as handling their dogs go. Where possible, go out of your way to befriend those around you with your dog – or, at least, create neutral ground – instead of pushing them away in what you do. Such a pro-active and positive approach goes beyond estate rules. It promotes understanding, respect and positive interaction between people. It elevates community living to a level where there is room for everyone within our estate, without having to revert to rules to make things work.

Reporting of pet-related incidents

At the same time we urge residents to formally report incidents and transgression of rules that pertain to keeping of pets to our security team. Estate management can only deal with complaints if we are informed about them. Please use the following details when you do so:

Residents are reminded that the WHOA can only act and fine offenders in terms of the Estate Rules. If a resident is bitten by a dog, if their dogs be bitten by other dogs, or if they suffer injury or loss due to the negligence of pet owners, their cause of action should be directed at the owner of the dog. This is a civil matter, and it is your prerogative to take legal action. The WHOA is not involved or a party in this instance.

The AGM resolution dealing with rules pertaining to the keeping of pets

With reference to the AGM resolution mentioned at the beginning of this newsletter, Excom is currently attending to its mandate in this regard. New and updated rules should follow, and an increase in fines can be expected.

Voliere Development

The developer of Voliere Estate will be putting up green shade cloth along the Fynbos Street perimeter on their side of the security fence from 59 Fynbos, all the way to 51 Haakdoring, including the properties in Sourfig. This is to try to limit the spreading of dust towards the Welgevonden Estate properties adjacent to the development.

Although a water truck will be spraying water to further help prevent dust during the civils phase of the project, there is no guarantee that dust will not be created. We therefore request Welgevonden Estate residents to be patient during the construction phase, and to take into account the long-term benefits that this new development on Welgevonden Estate’s doorstep might hold for Welgevonden Estate in general.

Time to prepare your home for winter

Winter is on its way, and it is time to get your home ready for the cold and the rain season! Here follow some practical hints and tips that might be of value:

  • Make sure that downpipes that channel rainwater from the roof of the house are directed towards the street so that this water is fed into the municipal storm water drainage system via inlets in the street kerbs. Do not channel rainwater into the municipal sewer system, which is separate from the storm water system.

  • Once the rain season has started, be on the lookout for storm water inlets along the streets that might be blocked, and which might lead to flooding in the area. Please report such instances to estate management without delay so that we can arrange for the blockages to be cleared.

  • Check the roof, starting at the top and looking for places where leaks could occur. This could be bent or damaged corrugated iron sheets, loose or missing roofing screws or roofing screw washers, even roofing screws inserted incorrectly in the trough and not in the crest of a corrugated iron sheet. Also be on the lookout for signs of blistering or bubbles which could be an indication of rust that is forming. Furthermore, check waterproofing membranes and materials for possible cracks or areas where it might start to lift.

  • Clear out gutters, drainpipes and outdoor drains from sand, leaves, roots or plants that might be blocking them. Cut back branches from trees that could cause damage to the roof or gutters during heavy rains or storms.

  • Seal any cracks in the outside walls, prepare the wall surfaces suitably, and cover the walls with a fresh layer of paint. Not only will this make your home look good, but it will especially help prevent ingress of water into the walls, which could lead to damp-related problems inside the house.

  • Before lighting a fire in the fireplace, make sure that the chimney is clean from soot that might have accumulated over time and, especially, from birds’ nests that could have been built inside the chimney. A crackling fire is cosy, but only if the fireplace is not belching out smoke into your house.

  • Seal the gaps. A well-insulated home keeps draughts out, heat in, and energy costs down. Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, apply new putty where needed, and use suitable sealing strips to ensure that windows and doors seal properly in their frames.

Do add to the above what you think is necessary to prepare your house for winter. But, it might be wise to start sooner rather than later. Winter is around the corner!

Best regards

Gawie Marx

Estate Manager

14 March 2022


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