Women in Construction Communicare doesn't need just one month to celebrate its female employees - celebrate with us as we feature our formidable women all year round! Carol Procter, Property Development Manager gives us insight into her construction career journey. Carol Procter, Property Development Manager at Communicare Q. Take us through your journey in construction, how did it begin and how did you know this was to become your career? A. My father instilled in me my love of construction and technical things as I was growing up. I studied Quantity Surveying at UCT and then followed by doing a master’s in Construction Economics and Management. My working career started as a junior quantity surveyor which gave me a good understanding of both the technical and financial side of construction projects. From quantity surveying, I then moved to project management and from there became a property development manager. I knew this would be my career from the start, as the construction and property industry has always filled me with excitement and passion. Q. What opportunities helped you become a force in the field? A. The best experience I gained was working on tough projects, with tight deadlines, and under very pressurised circumstances. I was also guided by some formidable people with high expectations. Although it was daunting at the time, I am very grateful for the opportunities afforded me by people who believed in me. Q. For many years we have known that construction is a male-dominated field, in your opinion how has that evolved over the years? A. When I started studying there was only a handful of women in the construction department at UCT. Over the years, more women have become part of the building industry. Sadly, I am still sometimes the only [...]
As we conclude women’s month, Communicare celebrates formidable women in its ecosystem and shares their career experiences. Kholeka Zama Communicare board Chairperson, WESGRO Chief Financial Officer Q. Take us through your journey as a Chartered Accountant, how did it begin and how did you know this was to become your career? A. I wanted to be a psychiatrist until I looked at the grade 11 biology file while in grade 9. The sheer volume and complexity intimidated me into choosing technical drawing instead. Looking at my subject choices, I could comfortably have selected a various number of disciplines. Resource limitations dictated that I could only apply to one institution, I selected accounting at Wits and prayed on it. I then followed it up with 17 funding applications. When the only response I received was one invitation to a panel accounting bursary interview and one acceptance into BCom accounting, I realised that this alternative career choice has chosen me. So I embraced it since then and never looked back, even while I repeated my CTA three times before successfully qualifying as a CA(SA) (still within the 7 years it takes to get the qualification). Q. What are the biggest misconceptions about a career in accounting? A. Although essential to every business, accounting is considered repetitive, tedious, and boring. The reason why mathematics is the key ingredient in an advanced accounting career is that every strategic intent is justified through a financial assessment. As an accountant, if you volunteer to apply your skills as part of a multi-discipline project team involved in innovations and strategic implementations within your industry, you realise that numbers are alive and tell a story very critical to decision making. Q. What have been the proudest moments in your career? A. Handing over the keys [...]
6 March 2021 Social enterprise non-profit, Communicare will exit its operations in Ruyterwacht after 83 years of owning and managing property in the Cape Town suburb. All property in Ruyterwacht is being sold. This includes freestanding houses as well as flats, group housing, and townhouses. The momentous decision creates an opportunity for the tenants in the free-standing houses to become home-owners. Communicare is encouraging tenants of free-standing houses to purchase their properties. These houses will be sold below market value. Communicare will discount the property taking the condition of the house and the value of the property listed in the 2018 City Council roll. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for tenants to own a house. Communicare will make attractive offers and facilitate other options with banking institutions and government agencies to enable tenants to purchase their homes. Flats, group housing and townhouses are being sold to property investors to take over the management of the rental apartments. It is anticipated that the investors would include smaller investors from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, a move that will facilitate, some much-needed transformation in the property sector. Some of the interested buyers are new black entrants into the sector. The new owners will take over lease agreements and the management and maintenance of the properties. Since the1980s Communicare has had several sales campaigns to facilitate the sale of the free standing houses it owned in Brooklyn and Ruyterwacht. This has already facilitated home ownership for 1 500 former tenants. These are the last 271 houses in Ruyterwacht that will be sold. Apart from the free-standing houses, all town houses, group housing and 21 blocks of flats will also be sold. Ruyterwacht is not social housing Built in 1938, the suburb of Ruyterwacht benefitted the poor white community who could not afford [...]
Annique Hartzenberg (29) and Adolph Wayne Meyer purchased their first home in Ruyterwacht through Communicare. Earlier this year, Communicare started a property sales campaign in Ruyterwacht, enabling their tenants to be homeowners. Annique and her partner have been tenants of Communicare for two years and wouldn’t let this opportunity miss them! She describes the purchasing process as easy and worth it. Annique said that buying a house was a dream for them, but they knew that it was a long, stressful process but, with Communicare being the middleman, everything went swiftly and before they even knew it, they were well on their way to living their dream! "Communicare was kind enough to pay our transfer and legal fees and for that, we are forever grateful". This is a new start for Annique and her family. It is indeed a proud moment. "Should anything happen to me from today I will be at peace knowing that I left my children a home". Annique also had positive things to say about the Ruyterwacht community, as safety has always been a priority for her family. According to her, knowing that they have settled in Ruyterwacht gives her peace of mind about raising her two sons there.
Bothasig Gardens Phase 3 is the latest Communicare social housing development to be officially launched to the public. This brand new collection of homes has been created with secure, convenient lifestyle in mind and will give housing access to families who are otherwise struggling to find quality housing they can afford and enjoy. To meet the criteria for application, households should earn a minimum of R 1 500 and a maximum of R 15 000 as a joint income. Single tenants are welcome if they have financial dependents living with them and will find Bothasig Gardens Phase 3 a safe, communal environment for young families to bring their children into. If you’re thinking of applying for a rental at Bothasig Gardens Phase 3 it’s important to note that you will have to provide supporting documents and you will not be able to apply if you have previously been a recipient of a social housing subsidy. You will also not be able to apply if you own any other properties. The apartments at Bothasig Gardens Phase 3 have heat pumps and eco-fittings to bring down utilities costs, play areas and equipment for children and a community centre is being built. The complex has been designed to be close to schools, employment opportunities and transport routes – and it’s just waiting for you to make it home! The applications are flooding in so don’t delay. Start your journey to safe and secure housing by applying here https://bothasiggardens.co.za/how-to-apply/ today.
Ever wondered how to score a discount on your monthly rental? Wonder no more: Communicare is launching the Refer-a-buddy campaign! If you are an existing tenant in good standing, we are calling on you to refer your friends to us! If your buddy applies and successfully signs a lease with us (goodfind Properties, Shared Future, and Mother City Housing Company portfolios), you get a reward. You get 50% of the value of their first month's full rental as a credit on your rent account! The campaign opens on the 1st of August 2021. T&Cs apply* Terms & Conditions The referral must be in writing addressed to the Leasing Manager, Kara Ascott (email@example.com), setting out the following details: a) Existing tenants name, ID number, tenant code, and physical address b) Name and contact details of the person referred The person referred must not be a current tenant of Communicare nor have rented from Communicare in the preceding 12 months. Length of lease of the prospective tenant referred must be at least 24 months. The incentive will take the form of a credit on the existing tenant’s account in the month following signature of the new lease and payment of the deposit/1st month’s rental by the new referred tenant. Download campaign posters from the below links and share them with your friends and family! Referral 1 Referral 2 Referral 3
6 June 2021 Late Friday night, 5 June 2021 Communicare received reports from tenants that the security guards at our Bothasig Gardens residential complex were being held at gunpoint while a mob of about 50 building hijackers stormed a block of apartments. The apartment Block is brand new, part of Communicare’s social housing development in which 314 new apartments are being built. The Block in question is nearly completed with new tenants expected to move in during June and July as the apartments are completed. SAPS were called after the mob descended on the complex at about 9 pm on Saturday, 5 June 2021. The guards were held hostage in the security huts, they were robbed of their phones and radios. Doors to 17 units were damaged in an attempt to gain access to the units. This may delay their handover to the low-income families who were looking forward to moving in before the end of winter. Swift action by SAPS, the neighbourhood watch and the vigilance of our tenants in Bothasig resulted in 28 arrests. Communicare can confirm that 25 people were charged with housebreaking and will appear in court tomorrow, 7 June 2021. The police are still investigating the allegations of assault. The attempted hijacking follows a High Court order on 24 May 2021 to evict 40 people who, on about 2 March 2021, had violently overruled the security guards at the Goedehoop residential complex in Brooklyn. The Court ordered that the hijackers be immediately evicted from the premises where they have already been living illegally, rent-free for 3 months. The mob that attempted hijacking the units in Bothasig Gardens adopted the same modis operandi as those in Brooklyn. This points to an organised crime syndicate that are mobilising to hijack and vandalise buildings while intimidating tenants. [...]
14 March 2021 Update-SAPS watch while illegal occupiers hijack building in Brooklyn On Friday 12 March 2021 Communicare staff, security guards and tenants battled from 9pm to the early hours of Saturday morning to prevent lawful tenants from being assaulted and to secure their property from illegal occupation. All while SAPS from Maitland, Cape Town and Milnerton stood by and watched the violence unfolding without taking any action to stop the illegal activity. Communicare has experienced attempts to illegally occupy its units at Goedehoep Rental Complex in Brooklyn since 2 March. At the time the illegal occupations were reported to Maitland Police who refused to take any action to protect property and legal tenants. SAPS failure to act has now resulted in escalating violence and 24 apartments in the complex being occupied by the trespassers. Several violent scuffles broke out between a group of about 40 people led by 2 tenants from another of Communicare’s properties. Tenants are generally law-abiding and Communicare will not tolerate tenants and others breaking the law. Security guards were attacked with bottles. Bins were burnt, doors to tenants’ apartments were broken and cars were damaged by the crowd who were intent to violently occupy the vacant units. Members of the crowd threatened some tenants and said they would return to burn down the units and set tenants alight. SAPS stood by and watched all this unfold and refused to take any action despite pleas from tenants and Communicare. In one incident SAPS instructed a security guard to allow the illegal occupiers to move into the vacant units. SAPS claims that Communicare must apply to the courts under the Prevention of Illegal Eviction (PIE) Act. However, the people who were trespassing are not tenants or occupants being removed, they were storming the properties in the [...]
8 March 2021 COMMUNICARE’S RESPONSE TO OPEN LETTER Statement on a letter from the Ruyterwacht Community Association “There is nothing illegal about the acquisition or sale of land in Ruyterwacht. About 85% of property has already been sold since the 1980s. Communicare (and its fully owned subsidiary, goodfind Properties) is the registered and legal owner of property which we are selling. Ruyterwacht is not a social housing development regulated by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA). However, Communicare has been working with government to secure two finance opportunities for tenants. Some tenants may qualify for the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP). The second option is a non-finance linked subsidy, which we would like to access for tenants 60 years and older, and those with permanent disabilities. These are the two government subsidies that may be available. There is no other subsidy available to pay for the transfer of land or property to existing tenants. We understand the deep desire many tenants feel to own their own properties. The legacy of apartheid prevented this for many. Communicare cannot reverse this legacy but we are embarking on the sale of houses, at discounted prices to some tenants, as a great opportunity to help address this. We have invited the Ruyterwacht Community Association to meet us so we can understand who they represent and how we can address their concerns constructively.” -Megan Lennert, Stakeholder Relations Officer at Communicare. Download Press Release
5 March 2021 Statement on the illegal invasion of units Communicare condemns the actions of those who violently forced their way into 18 apartments at our Goedehoep Rental Complex in Brooklyn on the 2ndand 3rdof March 2021. Trespassers used crowbars to force their way onto the apartments which were being prepared for new tenants to move in. It is important to note that some of the trespassers included women and children. The trespassers welded the security gates of the apartments shut, to lock themselves in. Their actions caused much distress to our lawful tenants, especially tenants whose apartments were also forced open while they were not home. The illegal invasions were reported to the Maitland SAPS who refused to assist Communicare. We have reported the misconduct of the police,to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Provincial Police Commissioner. Urgent action was taken to protect innocent tenants, especially the elderly who have been traumatised by the invasion. Communicare had no option but to remove the illegal trespassers and reclaim its property. This follows the invasion of 3 other free-standing houses in the area. We are sympathetic to the severe housing crisis, but we cannot allow illegal occupation of our premises. Sadly, it appears that women and children are used to front this illegal activity. Communicare’s security guards are on-site to restore order and keep tenants safe, especially the elderly. Download Press Release