Boosting your home’s energy and water efficiency will not only help you cut costs and sidestep the effects of load-shedding and water restrictions, but could also assist you to reduce the time it takes to pay off your bond by several years.

That’s the word from Rudi Botha, CEO of SA’s leading bond originator BetterBond, who says that the ever-rising cost of municipal electricity and water supplies is having a negative effect on most household budgets, so it’s not surprising that home owners and buyers are increasingly focused on energy- and water-saving measures as well as alternative power supply systems.

“These range from LED lights and proper insulation to energy-efficient appliances, solar geysers, generators, solar panels and wind turbines – and the good news is that these ‘green’ choices can also help you to become bond-free in much less time than you originally thought.”

The way to do this, he says, is to use the savings generated from energy-efficient living to increase your bond repayment every month, or to make an additional bond payment once or twice a year.
“For example, if you were able to cut R500 a month off your electricity bill and add it to your bond instalment, you could pay off a bond of R1m (at an interest rate of 10,25%) in just over 17 years instead of 20 – and reduce the total cost of your home by R221 000 in the process.”

And such savings are not actually that difficult to achieve, notes Botha, if you add up all the ways that you can reduce electricity and water consumption from the municipal grid. For instance, just replacing 10 incandescent bulbs around the house with LED lights would save you at least R1350 a year in electricity consumption. And even though these bulbs are somewhat more expensive to start with, they typically have a lifespan of about 12 years (as opposed to four years for CFLs and six months for incandescents) so you won’t have to pay those costs again for a long time.

“Green” ceiling insulation made from recycled paper or plastic can significantly reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home, which accounts for a large percentage of your electricity bill, and you can make further savings by steadily replacing your old appliances with energy-efficient models.

To make things even easier, the Department of Energy recently introduced a new energy-efficiency labelling standard for new appliances sold in SA - and a cellphone application which allows consumers to calculate and compare the estimated annual running costs of any labelled appliances before they buy them. (See https://app.savingenergy.org.za/).

To save money on water, he says, your best move is to install rainwater tanks - or buy a home which already has them installed. If you also implement water-saving measures in your home, it is quite possible to consume less than 100L per person per day, while about 2000L can be harvested from the average roof in an hour of moderate rainfall.

And talking of water, the geyser is probably the single biggest power-gobbler in the house, accounting for approximately 30% of the average electricity bill, so of course it makes sense to replace it with a solar geyser as soon as you can afford to do so, and let the sun heat all your hot water for free. Or better still, buy a home which already has a solar geyser, as many newly-built homes now do.

However, you can also achieve considerable savings through the simple expedient of turning your geyser off during the hours when there is no demand for hot water and investing in a geyser “blanket”. Geysers only need to be on for about two hours to produce piping hot water which will stay hot for many hours if it is properly insulated.

Generators are useful during load-shedding but won’t really help you save money to put into your bond account because of the high cost of the petrol or diesel needed to run them. So converting to a solar power system with photo-voltaic panels and batteries is a better - and long-lasting - option, even though it is initially more costly.

On average such systems pay for themselves within 7,5 years, and that period gets shorter as electricity tariffs get higher and your other energy efficiencies kick in. “What is more,” says Botha, “your electricity bill will effectively be zero after that, and you can then put the whole amount that you used to pay the municipality, or most of it, towards paying off your bond.

“If you have 14 years to go on your R1m bond, for example, and you then start adding an extra R3000 to your monthly instalment, you will pay off your house in exactly nine years instead, and lower the total cost by more than R353 000 cost in the process.

“What is more, you will substantially increase the resale appeal and value of your property by making it ‘green’ and providing future owners with the opportunity to also save on utilities.”

Anne-Marie Bamber
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665
E-mail: anne-marie.bamber@betterlife.co.za


This Winter seems to be quite mild so far, and thankfully there have been a few days of decent rain.

Hoping for much more to fill our tanks and dams! July is perhaps the month in the year with the least need for human involvement in food gardening, and the plant list is the shortest in July.

So, here is this month's gardening tip: Stay warm, and perhaps go through old clothes and bedding to pass some of what you do not need anymore on to the many who do. Let's share the warmth this Winter!

Plant List for July:
Broad Beans, Beetroot, Chard/Spinach, Cape Gooseberry, Celery, Chives, Chili Peppers, Lettuce, Onion, Parsley, Peas, Potato, Radish, Tomato


Serves 4


  • 30mls butter
  • 30mls olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 x 410g tin cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 x 410 tin butter beans, drained
  • 1 x 410 tin white beans, drained
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 200g biltong-flavoured cream cheese
  • Sliced biltong to serve


  1. Heat butter and oil and saut̩ onion for 5 Р8 minutes
  2. Add all beans and stock
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes.  
  4. Allow to cool slightly and blend in a food processor
  5. Return to pot over low heat and stir in cream cheese.  Do not boil.
  6. Serve warm topped with biltong.
  7. Crusty bread on the side

Lyn Staples, Norgarb Properties Estate Agent
Cell: +27 (0)82 846 0739 | Office: +27 (0)21 674 1120 | Fax: +27 (0)21 774 4927
Email: lyn@norgarbproperties.co.za
Focus Areas: Kenilworth & Claremont Village


We are all aware of the influx in crime in the Village, however, it is very evident that that many people who witness or are victims of crime don’t always end up reporting or opening a case at the police station.

Many residents feel as though opening a case is too much of a time consuming act, whereas some felt that it would not make a difference Some residents have even reported that they were turned away or “put off” by police officers when they attempted to open a case.

W/O Geneke, our SAPS Sector Manager says that reporting crime is very important and stressed that it is essential that the public report crime on time. “By the public reporting crime we are given a true reflection of crime in our area and are thus able to ensure our resources are targeted in the right places.”

Reported crimes are analysed and can assist SAPS with painting a crime pattern in an area and if necessary justify for more resources to be deployed.

All crime should be reported, no matter how small. “By stopping people when it’s a small matter [crime], you may prevent it from becoming a bigger problem later”

HVCID encourages residents to report ALL crime. When reporting a crime, we also recommend that you take down the name of the SAPS officer assisting you. This will help HVCID follow up any form of bad service delivery.

Help us fight crime in the Village!

Manager - Harfield Village Community Improvement District (HVCID)
Cel: 081 412 6109 E-mail: admin@hvcid.co.za



Strydom executes an unlimited suretyship in favour of Engen for the debts incurred by Soutpansberg Petroleum, a company of which he was a director. He was married in community of property at the time, but his wife is not involved in the transaction as it relates to her husband’s ordinary work and business. However, when Soutpansberg is subsequently liquidated, Strydom denies liability for Engen’s claim, arguing that the suretyship is invalid due to the absence of his wife’s consent.

The Matrimonial Property Act states that a spouse who is married in community of property must have the written consent of the other spouse to bind himself/herself as surety. The prohibition does not apply where the spouse who signs the suretyship did so in the ordinary course of that spouse’s profession, trade or business.

In the above matter, finally decided in the Supreme Court of Appeal, the Court noted that it was a factual enquiry to examine whether an action was performed in the ordinary course of one’s profession, trade or business. Where the business was carried on through a company, the factual question was whether Strydom’s involvement in the company business was his business, and whether the execution of the suretyship was in the ordinary course of his business tasks (and not that of the company). As it was shown in Court that Strydom worked at the core of Soutpansberg’s business and that his activities there constituted his business, the exception applied and the suretyship was not invalidated by the absence of his wife’s consent.

Take advice when signing a suretyship to make sure what your and your spouse’s liabilities are.

Contact STBB for assistance on www.stbb.co.za.

STBB Claremont




Every new cat owner hopes their little kitten will grow into a well adjusted, healthy companion and most of them take steps to help ensure this by vaccinating and sterilizing.  However, we still occasionally come across an owner who is reluctant to neuter a young male cat. Below we will discuss the reasons why this procedure is beneficial to your cat.

What is neutering?

When a cat is neutered or castrated the testicles are removed under a general anaesthetic.  A small incision is made into the cat’s scrotum revealing the testes. These are pulled free clamped and the blood vessel is tied off. 

Please follow this link if you would like to see this procedure.

As this is not an invasive surgery no stitching is required.

The only good reason not to neuter your male cat is if it is a highly prized pedigree that you wish to breed with.

Benefits of neutering:

Behavioural - Many of the problems that arise with unneutered male cats are driven by the hormone testosterone. Fighting, territory marking, roaming and mating are all part of a wild cat’s normal habits but unfortunately in our over populated urban areas these behaviours become both problematic and dangerous for your cat. Don’t be fooled into thinking that owning an ‘indoor’ cat will change any of your cat’s inherent instincts!

Fighting – your unneutered young male cat will be driven to fight with other cats in an attempt to stake his claim on territory in his environment. Lacerations and abscesses will be common and the chances of him being exposed to, contracting and spreading diseases such as FIV and FeLV are much greater.

Follow this link to read more about these diseases.

Territory marking – unneutered male cats are prone to spraying inside the house, or someone else’s! 

Roaming – your male cat will try to expand his territory and may roam far from home. If an unspayed female is anywhere in the area your male will be there meowing his best loves songs! Roaming increases the risk of him getting lost or being involved in a road accident. 

Mating - welfare shelters are overflowing with cats desperately needing a home and unwanted litters of kittens only add to the problem. Your male cat is capable of mating numerous times in his life, thereby increasing an already unsustainable cat population.

A male cat should ideally be neutered between the ages of 5- 6 months although some welfare organisations neuter at a much younger age. Your cat will recover quickly from the procedure and grow into a happy, affectionate home loving feline!


If you would like more information follow this link.

8 Week ‘Nutrition Basics’ Program

Kim Hofmann RD(SA) from Nourish Dieticians presents a new online program

Join us on a journey of learning through an online program

8 Week ‘Nutrition Basics’ Program     
  • Starting Monday 3 June 2019
  • Cost R1200
  • Specific topics each week (week 1 – work out your individualised eating plan)
  • Topics are presented as a variety of lessons in the form of texts, presentations and videos 
  • Meet once a week (via Zoom) for a live group chat to discuss the week’s topic and activities (currently set for Wednesdays at 12:00; chats are recorded and made available if you cannot attend)
  • Join the exclusive Facebook community to ask questions and connect with fellow people on the program 

The program is set to teach you important nutrition concepts and support you through the 8 weeks to get you into better eating habits

For more information contact Kim on kimh.rd@mweb.co.za

Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715