General Info About The Area
- CAPE ST FRANCIS SEEMS A RATHER REMOTE PLACE . HOW SAFE IS IT FOR MY FAMILY? Cape St Francis does experience bouts of petty crime which include housebreaking, theft of items left lying around and the occasional break-in to motor cars. However at this stage the crime is by no means a problem and it is important to stress that the physical well being of people living in this area has never been threatened during any of these break-ins. Most houses still have no boundary walls or burglar guards but most have alarm systems. You are completely safe walking on the beach and walking around after dark.
- ONCE I HAVE A HOUSE HERE WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE TO MAINTAIN MY INVESTEMENT? There are a full range of services available in the area which include builders,plumbers, electricians, security companies, swimming pool maintenance, TV installations and many more. Cape St Francis residents are in the ideal position of being in close access to upmarket supermarkets, hairdressers, coffee shops, excellent restaurants, trendy clothes shops and hardware suppliers yet having none of this commercialization in their own village.
- ONCE I BUY A PROPERTY HERE, WHAT OTHER COSTS AM I IN FOR ? There are the mandatory rates and taxes which a property owner is obliged to pay anywhere in south Africa. These rates are currently under review. For a better understanding as to how they operate visit the Kouga Municipality website www.kougamunicipality.gov.za. These rates are levied per annum and can be paid in one annual amount of paid monthly. There are also electricity and water supply charges which are levied on an undeveloped property as well as a developed property. These charges pay for the availability of Eskom power and Churchill Pipeline water to your site even though you may not yet be utilizing them. This charges also include management of waste.
- IF I BUY AN UNDEVELOPED PROPERTY, ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS ON WHAT I BUILD AND WHEN I BUILD?Cape St Francis, unlike St Francis Bay, has no enforced building style and traditionally the houses built have had a definite ‘fisherman cottage’ type style. This is changing to a certain extent as younger, more affluent buyers enter the market but there still remains no enforced building style. All buildings have to comply with Standard South African Building Regulations and local building inspectors will ensure these are adhered to. Although these regulations are many, the ones that are most pertinent are the building lines for a property. These are the distances within a property that building may start:
FOR THATCH PROPERTIES : 5m in the front, 4.5m on the sides and 4,5m at the back
FOR ORDINARY ROOF DWELLINGS : 5m in the front , 2m on the sides and 3m at the back
All dwellings in Cape St Francis are restricted to a height restriction of 8.5m. This is calculated from the natural ground level to the heighest point of the roof at any one place on the property .
There is no restriction on how quickly a property owner builds on his plot. The only restriction is that the property owner is not allowed to build a small incomplete structure such as a garage. A property owner can build in stages but the initial construction cannot be less than 70sqm and plans for the entire dwelling must be drawn up and passed upfront.
- WHAT IS THE REAL TRUTH BEHIND ‘THE RIGHT TO A VIEW’..CAN I BE RESTRICTED IF I BUILD AND OBSCURE MY NEIGHBOURS VIEW? This whole saga originated from a case in the late 1990’s when a Durban property owner who had done extensive alterations which removed the views enjoyed by his neighbours from their property, was ordered to demolish the structure built. What was not made clear at the time and what has resulted in the whole “Legal Right to a view” issue is that this Appeal Court Order was delivered because the Municipality in question had not followed correct procedure when passing the plans for the building that took place. It was therefore a technicality involved in this particular case and although the judge at the time referred to the National Building Regulation and Building Standards Act of 1977 as his point of reference stating that if a Municipality were aware that plans passed on Property A would seriously reduce the market value of adjoining Property B, they should refrain from passing them. However it must be stressed, and subsequent court cases have upheld this, that this was merely an opinion expressed by this Appeal Court Judge and Municipalities are not bound by this. The facts of this matter are that a property owner whose property enjoys good sea views has probably paid a premium for those views whilst his neighbour has paid less and has been ‘borrowing’ those views for that period that the adjoining property has not been built on. A purchaser at the time of purchase should be made aware and make himself aware of all adjoining properties, developed or undeveloped which could be legally developed or altered and in this process remove the views enjoyed from his property.