Top 10 Caves to Explore in and Around Cape Town

Top 10 Caves to Explore in and Around Cape Town

There’s no shortage of caves to explore within a few hours drive of Cape Town. The Western Cape has many dark gems to explore where you’ll see impressive views, experience the Cape’s long history and rock formations that dazzle you as much as they might inspire the occasional bit of trepidation.

Here are our picks for epic caves to visit near Cape Town.

More from Secret Cape Town see their website:
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Your Property Goal in 2019

Your Property Goal in 2019

As the New Year approaches, you may find yourself ready to fulfill an important goal; making the dream of owning your very own home a reality!  Or maybe you are fortunate enough to be considering a move to a larger home, or the time has come to scale down to something smaller and more manageable!

Where do you start? Many dive right in and start house hunting with no idea what their price range is and very importantly what the added costs are, but if you had an uncle or an aunt in the real estate business you could talk to him or her and get some objective advice.  Consider your Chas Everitt Cape Town South estate agent your direct contact to better real estate advice!

Southern Suburbs
False Bay

Without hesitation we recommend the services of a seasoned bond originator to pre-qualify you and also carry out a credit check on your behalf. Their services are free of charge and eliminates the hassle of shopping around for the best rate by yourself when the moment comes that you find your perfect home.
* Should you use them to get a mortgage the mortgage broker will earn a commission from the bank but they are contracted to all the banks so they are totally motivated to get you the best deal. 

As a buyer the added costs to be aware of are the bond registration costs as well as property transfer costs. These can not usually be added into the bond amount applied for. These funds need to be readily available before transfer of the property. The costs are dependent on your purchase price.

We have a good selection of starter homes in desirable areas but the best value less expensive houses are frequently sold by us before we ever market them.  We have a responsibility to contact our registered buyers before we go to the open market so be strategic in your planning in the new year and register with us to gain a competitive edge. Give us a call to assist you from step A to Z and you could also request an invitation to our Better Buyer Workshop that is held by our marketing manager Andre de Villiers who has 35 years experience in Cape Town property.

As service driven agents we look forward to helping make your dreams a reality in 2019 that is the difference that makes Chas Everitt Cape Town South one of the best real estate companies to deal with in the opinion of our buyers who collectively give us a 4.8 out of 5 star rating – which is something we are super proud of maintaining and improving if we can.

Valuation request

Contact a Service Driven member of our team 

Betterbond
https://www.betterbond.co.za/betterbond/affordability/

STBB
https://www.stbb.co.za/transfer-bond-calculator/

Getting your home ready for guest season

Getting your home ready for guest season

Tis the season to get the air mattress out, or is it? Here are five money-wise ways to ensure your holiday guests have the best time staying over.

Ditch the bad beds

It’s ever so tempting, and somewhat inexpensive, to just use a blow-up mattress and hope for the best. But holidays aren’t meant to be for bad backs and creaky bones. Rather, if your family is a regular host, think carefully about how you’ll accommodate guests now and in the future.

It’s a good idea to invest in comfortable beds and linen. You can’t offer everyone a hotel-like experience, but simply upping the thread count on the linen you buy is an inexpensive way to inject a little luxury into holiday life.

Bonus: this is an investment for your family too, as they’ll enjoy the luxury linen experience all year round too. Linen with a higher thread count generally lasts longer and that saves you money in the long run. We’d also suggest investing in a foam or similar topper for your guest room bed too, as this will help lengthen your mattress’ lifespan, and provide your guests with an extra layer of comfort while they’re asleep.

Declutter and pass down

If there’s one thing your home needs during guest season it’s: extra space. While you’re preparing to have friends and family over, take a little time to clear out the clutter.  Don’t forget to make three piles: one for items to donate, another for items to sell, and another for items to keep. It’s also a great time to save your extended family some money, so arrange a clear-out of your children’s cupboards too. Any clothing or toys they’ve outgrown can be handed down to younger siblings, cousins, or friends.

Guest room goodness

If your guest room doubles as a study, remove all computers and office equipment, and repurpose the desk as a dressing table. Spruce up the decor if your budget allows, or add a few indoor plants to brighten up the room. Make sure the cupboards are clear for your guests to easily store their clothes and belongings, and give the carpet a deep clean. Don’t forget to leave extra blankets and pillows in the room, just in case.

Bathroom bliss

Sharing a bathroom with your family is enough to drive you stir crazy on any given day, but adding guests to the mix can really up the ante. Temper the stress of bathroom-sharing by reorganising the room and ensuring there’s enough space for everyone’s toiletries and essentials. Invest in small baskets or containers so that everyone gets their own little storage solution, and buy a few extra toothbrushes too. That way, nobody ends up having to share in an emergency.

Scale back the itinerary

Having foreign guests or faraway cousins visiting for the festive season can tempt you into thinking that they’d enjoy the more popular tourist-type pursuits while on holiday. But, during peak holiday season, everyone knows that’s where you’ll find the craziest crowds. Instead, focus on spending quality time together, cooking a feast, or selecting activities that aren’t your typical tourist pursuits. Use your well-won knowledge of your city to find unique places to visit and sightsee, and you’ll soon find sweet opportunities to make real memories, with no crowds necessary.

By Cath Jenkin for Private Property 

Do You Employ a Domestic Worker?

Do You Employ a Domestic Worker?

Big changes on the cards for South African domestic workers – here’s what you need to know

Alongside the recent announcement of a new minimum wage, South African domestic workers are also set to receive new benefits under the Compensation for Occupational and Diseases Act (COIDA).

The proposed amendments are open to public comment until 18 December, with the changes expected to be officially introduced sometime in 2019.

Speaking to Businesstech, Johan Botes, a partner at Baker Mckenzie, said that the changes bring good news to both domestic employees and employers.

“Domestic employees may benefit from the Compensation Fund if they are injured on duty (i.e. disablement, diseases or death) and may, in addition to compensation, receive reasonable medical aid expenses arising from such injury for a period of two years (or longer in certain situations),” he said.

“Previously, domestic employees would only be able to claim against the Unemployment Insurance Fund and perhaps a civil claim against the employer.

“For employers, the proposed amendments mean that the Compensation Commissioner steps into the shoes of the employer where a domestic employee is injured on duty.

“A registered employer is protected against all civil claims arising from an injury on duty.”

Botes said that under the proposed amendments, an ‘injury on duty’ will include the transportation of a domestic employee by or for the employer to or from the workplace.

Therefore, where an employer entrusts a domestic employee to assist with school trips, grocery shopping and other day-to-day tasks, any injury suffered by the domestic employee whilst carrying out these tasks, despite not being at the workplace, will be deemed to be in the course and scope of employment, he said.

“An accident will also be deemed to be in the course of scope of employment of a domestic employee even if, at the time, the employee was acting (i) contrary to any law that applies to employment, (ii) contrary to any order from the employer, or (ii) without any order but in the interests of or in connection with the business of the employer.”


Do you have to register or pay?

The term ‘domestic employee’ includes a nanny, gardener, housekeeper and domestic driver.

Therefore, a single suburban household may – under the proposed amendments to COIDA – employ a number of employees.

For purposes of COIDA all persons who employ one or more employees must register with the Compensation Fund, said Botes.

“An employer may complete the registration process online and submit the earnings paid to a domestic employee, after which an invoice will be generated with the amount payable to the Compensation Fund.

“The employer is assessed according to the nature of its business operations on the principle that each industry should be responsible for the costs of its accidents.

“Adjustments may therefore be made depending on the accident record. A merit rebate may be given to an employer if their accident record is lower than others in the same industry,” he said.

The anticipated costs for the new industry class described as “Households”, attracts an assessment rate of 0.89 cents per R100 of earnings paid to the employee, Botes said.

“Which is why we believe that this is good news for both employers and domestic employees. For a reasonable R8.90 per R1,000 earning paid to an employee, both parties will get peace of mind that they are protected,” he said.

“It would be a disproportionate risk for any employer not to register with the Compensation Fund.

“Note, however, that the amount paid to the Compensation Fund may not be recovered from the employee,” he said.

He added that further responsibilities arise in the event of an injury on duty.

“In the event of such injury, the employer must submit the required forms within 7 days after an injury, or within 14 days of being notified of the diagnosis of a disease.

“The Commissioner may impose a penalty equal to the full amount of compensation payable plus interest from the date of the accident if an employer fails to report an injury or diagnosis within the stipulated timeframe.”

In general, most instances of non-compliance with the COIDA are now accompanied by such penalty, being the full amount of compensation payable rather than criminal sanctions, he said.

“However, if an employer’s domestic employee is an immigrant employee, without a valid work permit, neither the employer or employee will enjoy the protection under COIDA.

“Further, it is a criminal offence to employ a person(s) who does not comply with the Immigration Act.”


Responsibility to keep your home safe?

Botes said that in these circumstances, the employer’s home is the domestic employee’s workplace.

Therefore, employers must ensure they identify the hazards of their homes/workplaces and take steps to eliminate and mitigate such hazards, or potential hazards, he said.

“Training may need to be given in relation to these hazards and precautionary measures put into place.

“The employer must provide appliances and equipment which are safe and without risks to health. So that decade-old vacuum sporting exposed wires near the electrical plug, would need to be made safe.

“Providing chemicals which should be used in conjunction with masks, gloves or other personal protective equipment (PPE), without providing the necessary PPE may be cause for concern.”

In short, the employer would need to comply with section 8 the Occupational Health and Safety Act, he said.

Source of article: 

Bee deaths – a ghastly truth revealed!

Bee deaths – a ghastly truth revealed!

The vice-chairperson of Western Cape Bee Industry Association (WCBA) and commercial bee farmer Brendan Ashley-Cooper has already lost 100 hives and he sent a sample to be tested in the Hearshaw & Kinnes Analytical Laboratory in Cape Town.

This week, Ashley-Cooper received the sample back confirming his fears. It is from fipronil, a pesticide used on ants.  On Friday wine farm owners and bee keepers held a meeting to discuss using pesticides.

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