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Welcome from the Editor – Estate Life Magazine

Estate Life is a monthly digital magazine about you, a resident in a residential community, whether you live in a small sectional title complex or a luxury lifestyle estate.  Our mission is to create a magazine with content that informs and educates you as to the many facets of living in a residential complex, from your general rights and responsibilities, to the roles of trustees and boards of directors and managing agents, how to resolve conflict and more.

It will also include general stories and articles written by experts on topics that affect residents in any closed community:  pets, gardens, security, home maintenance and improvements and more.  Lifestyle articles will add interest and veteran columnist, James Clarke, will top it off with his unique brand of tongue-in-cheek humour, with stories that will bring a smile to your face


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Why this new magazine?

Estate Life fills the gap for a magazine that focuses on the many general, but often, unique needs and interests of people living in a closed residential community.  Living in close proximity to one’s neighbours and sharing of common areas and amenities is a wonderful privilege, but it also comes with its challenges.

When I moved into a small residential estate in Centurion, I quickly became aware of the multiple issues that come with moving into a closed community.  There’s no question that residential communities come with great benefits, from increased security, access to amenities such as parks or swimming pools and, in larger estates, clubhouses and various sporting facilities.

But they also come with their challenges, as I quickly discovered when I joined our estate WhatsApp group.  WhatsApp groups are a great tool for communicating all kinds of information, such as messages from management or need-to-know information to neighbours such as the presence of a suspicious-looking vehicle or a pet running loose.  But they can also be used to spark neighbour conflict and create general discontent.

Often these conflicts relate to a misunderstanding of the limitations to one’s rights as a resident in a closed community.  If a live in a secure estate, does that mean that responsibility for my safety is solely the responsibility of estate management?  Where does my responsibility to ensure my safety start and end?  The same applies to when I have a conflict with my neighbour. Whose responsibility is it to sort it out?  Freedom of expression is enshrined in our Constitution, but public spats between neighbours can result in dire consequences.  The article on Whatsapp (in useful information) alerts readers to the dangers of engaging in public spats on social media platforms.

One of the major intentions of Estate Life is therefore to educate and inform, since information is one of the greatest tools for community building.  And when it comes down to it, we all want to enjoy the undoubted privileges that come from living in a gated complex.

One way we can ensure that we serve you well, is to publish your letters.  Do you have comments, or particular questions relating to issues in your own estate or complex?  We’ll get answers from experts who will assist you and anyone else looking for answers to the same questions.

Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy the read.  Stay in touch – with us, and also with news and stories that will make you feel at home.