About Balisa

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So far Balisa has created 19 blog entries.

Communicare Media Statement on the eviction of illegal occupant and tenant

21 January 2022   Communicare confirms that the Sheriff of the court implemented an eviction order against Moerida Morat as instructed by the High Court of South Africa. This is after Ms Morat had illegally occupied a unit for more than 3 years at Sakabula, a complex owned by Communicare. The High Court had previously issued an order in March 2019 restraining and interdicting Ms Morat from trespassing, illegally occupying and bringing third parties on to the property to break down entrances and illegally occupy Communicare’s property. The restraining order was issued after a security guard was attacked at gunpoint and forced to hand over keys to Communicare property in an attempt to hijack the property. A family member of Ms Morat was also evicted due to non-payment of rent. Communicare made several attempts to resolve the arrears with the tenant but had no option but to pursue legal action. The tenant currently owes Communicare about R150 000 in rental arrears. A crowd gathered at Sakabula in support of Ms Morat after the eviction. After the Sheriff and police left the premises a fence was cut and Ms Morat illegally occupied the unit again. Ms Morat was arrested and charged for trespassing and for violating a court order. Communicare has no authority to evict tenants. Only the courts can do that after tenants have a fair opportunity to state their case in a court of law. There is confusion about evictions during the National State of Disaster as a result of Covid-19. Evictions are, however, permitted under level 1 lockdown regulations. “As sympathetic as we are to the dire shortage of decent housing in the City, Communicare depends on rental income to take care of its property and invest in more housing developments. It has taken 3 years but tenants [...]


Media Statement 6 December 2021: Communicare looks forward to the court ruling on the ownership of property

6 December 2021 “The land claims court issued an order on 29 November 2021 compelling the Deeds Office to provide all the documents related to Communicare’s ownership of selected properties. Communicare looks forward to the court ruling on this matter. It will finally end the speculation and allegations made against Communicare over the last few years, as to its lawful ownership of the relevant properties. Like all legally registered companies, Communicare is registered and in good standing with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Communicare is also in good standing with SARS and conducts an annual audit by an independent audit firm. The organisation is compliant in every respect as a legal entity as confirmed by the audit. All property owned by Communicare is registered with the Deeds Office. The fact that this matter is before the court does not mean that tenants don’t have to pay their rent. Communicare advises tenants to continue to pay their rent if they don’t want a bad credit record or face the risk of their arrears being handed over for collection. Communicare has co-operated fully with the process. Unfortunately, the conclusion of this matter has been delayed due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are certain that the Deeds Office will provide all the necessary documents for the court to rule on this matter and bring it to a close.” Makhosi Kubheka, COO at Communicare. Read the court order here.


16 Days of Activism: Balisa’s reflection on GBV

Balisa reflects on her earliest exposure to GBV With the recent commencement of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, last week, our team member, Balisa reflects on her earliest exposure to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and calls upon everyone to speak out against GBV. Growing up in Marewini Location, a village nicely tucked under a stone quarry in Libode in the Eastern Cape, life was interesting! If it was a person, one would swear Marewini had multiple personalities. Marewini Location is a microcosm of the larger society, where GBV victims are still buried in silence. The village was particularly eventful by day. We’d be happily playing hopscotch. The next day, in groups of children, older men and women, under black skies each homestead in the community would be hitting pots and gongs and imploring the weather gods to have mercy on us and cease the looming rains. Embo Myalwane! Dlulela ngaphambili! Another day we’d be merrily making our way to mass as a group of believers, following our neighbour, who recently converted to Christianity and let go of all worldly things! Bargaining with the Lord, that if we submit to Him, could He, in turn, give us nicer food like those children who travelled to school from Mthatha. They always had the best lunch boxes! It was in the nighttime that things took a different turn. The mood would suddenly, stop being jovial. I know this because, somehow, it always coincided with my father’s return from the local isirhoxo (illicit pub). As tata’s incoherent footsteps became more vivid, mama would command all of us to get into bed and cover our faces. Of course, it never occurred to us why this was, we simply complied. As an adult and a mom today, I [...]


Housing’s Sustainable Development Goals are the foundation for lasting change

As world leaders congregate at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference #COP26, currently underway in Glasgow, Communicare reflects on our attempts to limit the consequences of the climate crisis, to which developing countries are vulnerable, as well as review our contribution to key the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were developed as a blueprint for the future, a way finder towards a better society for all. However, companies, organisations and even governments often pay lip-service to these, without truly connecting the dots about why the SDGs are a vital framework within which to plan. A set of directives that go beyond the nice-to-have, they offer tangible, inter-linked puzzle pieces that can help us navigate growth in precarious times. Times like these - where we’ve been shown the cracks in our society and how vulnerable we all are. SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere Here at Communicare, we know that many of our tenants know the effects of disposition first-hand. Providing affordable and dignified human settlement is indication that home ownership isn’t an ideal too far-fetched. Through providing safe, functional homes near to day-to-day essential amenities like places of employment, transport routes and education opportunities, communities can be revitalised. In a country where communities were systematically destroyed, rebuilding and healing them is the key driver of inclusive growth. By providing social and affordable housing you have a chance to break the cycle of poverty. In the words of Anthea Houston, CEO of Communicare, “a house is an empowering asset.” “It’s a social safety net, it protects us from the elements, it provides us with a place where we rest, recuperate, learn and we thrive. A house builds citizenship, because it connects us not only to our families but also to the community. In the eyes of [...]


Compass internship success stories feature: Onke Sotshongaye

The compass internship programme gives young people work experience as well as the necessary skills, to empower them in their career paths. Onke Sotshongaye's story is one of the Compass programme's celebrated success stories. Onke Sotshongaye: Rental Administrator     Q.  Where and how did you come across the compass internship? A.    I was browsing my LinkedIn profile looking for employment opportunities that are related to my real estate studies when I came across Communicare’s advert. The organisation was looking for someone who had studied Property Studies/Real Estate and other fields of studies. Q.    Tell us more about your qualifications and work experience you had before joining the Compass programme. How has Communicare contributed to your career development so far? A.    Back in 2017 when I was doing my third year in Real Estate at CPUT. I did my in-service training at the City of Cape Town under the Property Valuation department for three months. In 2018, I decided to further my studies and enrolled a Btech in Project Management as a full-time at my alma mater. The following year, 2019, I then worked at NSFAS as an administrator in the disability unit, but that job was not property-related, so I had no intentions of staying there for a long time. My goal has always been to work for a property management or valuation company and Communicare was exactly what I was looking for.  It has been a wonderful close to two years of being with the organisation. I have learned so much both career-wise and personally. I believe there was no other better organisation to kick of my career at than at Communicare! Q.    What were some of the challenges you faced during your internship and how has that prepared you for your new [...]


Compass internship success stories feature: Ntombizethu Ntantiso

The compass internship programme gives young people work experience as well as the necessary skills, to empower them in their career path. Ntombizethu Ntantiso's story is one of the Compass programme's celebrated success stories. Ntombizethu Ntantiso: HR Administrator Q.   What made you apply for the Compass internship? A.   I did not apply for the Compass program; my resume was found by then HR Officer. After receiving a call from her, I read up more about the organisation and the Compass Program. I felt that it was a great opportunity specifically in terms of providing us with experience, mentors, and other great initiatives and these are essential in the early stages of our careers. I also felt that my values aligned with the values of Communicare Q.   Tell me more about your previous exposure to work experience, and what your expectations were for the internship? A.    Back in varsity, I used to do student jobs such as tutoring and assisting lecturers with their admin. After graduating, I got an internship at a company in Stellenbosch. After completing my internship, I got the  Compass internship opportunity here at Communicare. I was a bit sceptical at first, as I was going to be doing another internship, but I am glad I took up the offer. Since I was still at the early stages of my career trajectory, my expectations of the internship were to gain as much experience within HR. Q.    How did the internship match your expectations? A.   When my internship commenced, we were hit with hard by Lockdown, but I gained a lot of experience specially in terms of the holistic HR function. My then manager was not afraid to throw me in the deep end and I got a lot of support too from my team [...]


Reflecting on Heritage as We Build for the Future

During September, heritage month, we collectively look at the traditions, ideas, and assets inherited from the past. South Africa’s complex story means that these reflections can be painful and raw for many who lived through the experience and who are still affected today. As we approach our centenary, Communicare’s own heritage is deeply intertwined with the story of our country. The organisation (initially founded as Citizens Housing League Utility Company) was formed in 1929 with a mandate to provide affordable homes. This mandate of providing affordable housing has remained at the centre of our purpose but, where once the mandate only benefited indigent white people, Communicare now provides affordable housing across all racial groups. Notwithstanding the circumstances of its establishment, the Citizens Housing League Utility Company addressed the housing needs of various people during its existence. During the apartheid era, within the constraints of segregation imposed by the government, it created housing developments for people classified as Black and Coloured and later also started developing housing for the Older Persons. As the organisation and the country changed, the organisation’s name changed three times (in 1964, 1981, and 1990). Over the ages, the organisation’s social enterprise model took on different shapes. Communicare’s income was boosted by running general stores, operating a construction company, providing utility services, and by building houses for sale on the open market. These different approaches over time assisted Communicare to sustain its discounting of rentals to people with low incomes. After South Africa emerged from the toxic regime of apartheid, the organisation publicly issued an apology for any role it had played that contributed to creating segregated housing and pledged to promote transformation and integration. Renewed in its purpose to create housing solutions for all, and for those who most need more affordable homes, the organisation harnessed [...]


Media Release: Statement on RCA protest, 28 September 2021

Statement on RCA protest 28 September 2021 For immediate release Communicare is disappointed that the Ruyterwacht Community Association (RCA) and others have embarked on yet another protest against house sales in Ruyterwacht after we agreed to their recommendation to buy the properties owned by their members. The RCA approached Communicare in August requesting that they purchase their members’ houses in Ruyterwacht as a group of tenants. Communicare requested a written legal mandate from the RCA stating that they have the authority to negotiate on behalf of tenants. This is a reasonable request under the circumstances. The RCA was asked to table their purchase offer which has also not been forthcoming. We have invited the RCA to join our regular meetings with tenants and their representatives to engage Communicare and the community about their concerns. The door remains open for the RCA to discuss their issues. “I am surprised that the RCA has now had a change of heart and want to stop the sale of property in Ruyterwacht. Both tenants and Communicare are confused about the RCA’s current position on the sale. It’s unclear if they recognise Communicare as the legitimate owners and want to purchase the property or if they oppose the sale,” said Makhosi Kubheka, COO of Communicare. Communicare cannot be accused of causing poverty in Ruyterwacht. Tenants have, for many years, appealed to us to implement a sales programme. On the contrary, we have provided decent serviced homes for tenants in a well-established community. We have made it clear that no tenants will be left destitute as a result of the sales programme. Tenants who do not purchase their homes will be accommodated in apartments owned by Communicare. Many tenants have already purchased their property in Ruyterwacht through this exciting initiative being implemented by Communicare. Our offer [...]


Formidable woman feature: Nelisa Mgxotheni

Nelisa Mgxotheni: Finance Manager Communicare doesn’t need just one month to celebrate its female employees! Celebrate with us as we feature our formidable women all year round! Nelisa Mgxotheni, Finance Manager gives us insight into her career journey. How to strike the balance? Work-Life-Fitness: Debunking the Accountant Stereotype Q.   You’re a qualified CA, take us through your journey of deciding on this career path? What was the key motivator? A.   What a difficult question! I think this came about by the process of elimination. It was important for me to find something that fits my personality, provides me with flexibility, excitement, the ability to make a difference in one career path! I also wanted something that was challenging and could afford me to work in any industry. Q.   You seem to have a good balance of your wellness in terms of Work-Life-Fitness, was it always like this? How did this come to be? A.   This was not always the case. Having worked in a challenging and stressful field meant that if I am to be effective in my work, I had to find ways to keep healthy and bring the best version of myself each day. Q.   The stereotype is that accountants are nerds and introverts. We’ve seen that this isn’t always the case with you. What are other untrue assumptions that are said about CAs? A.   This is hard to say as a society always has untrue assumptions about anything and everything. I would say that it is untrue that this is a man’s word. There is a growing number of females in this field. Q.   What practical tips would you give individuals especially, those who do work with specialised  skills to help them strike a good balance in Work-Life-Fitness? A.    Regardless of the field you [...]


Formidable Woman Feature: Kara Ascott

Communicare doesn’t need just one month to celebrate its female employees! Celebrate with us as we feature our formidable women all year round! Kara Ascott, Leasing Manager gives us insight into her career journey. How to lead from behind: Lessons in property management Q.   Take us through your journey in real estate, how did it begin and how did you know this was to become your career? Kara Ascott: Leasing Manager A.   Years ago,  two partners I was in business with at the time started looking at alternative options to renting office space in Cape Town Central.  Rental offices in Cape Town CBD were exorbitant and traffic in and out of the city center was a nightmare during peak season! We formed a property holding company and purchased a commercial property in Pinelands Business Park through Divaris Property Brokers and moved our offices from Cape Town CBD to Pinelands. A few years later, the partners came to a mutual decision to dissolve the business and the unit was once again sold through Divaris Property Brokers.  I was then approached by Divaris and asked if I would like to try out a career in commercial real estate.  At the time I thought they were crazy as I knew very little about commercial property, but, after some thought and much convincing, I agreed. I spent three years with the Divaris family “learning the ropes” of commercial property and loved every minute of it! An opportunity later opened up with JHI (now Excellerate JHI), where I managed to gain experience in facilities management (Old Mutual portfolio) and leasing (Sanlam, Capital, Nordic, Gemgrow, and Subrolinx portfolios). Q.   What are the biggest misconceptions about a career in property management and real estate? A.   That it is an easy job with big returns. Nothing [...]

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