Principal's Pen - Property Facts

As most of our readers live in either Claremont, Kenilworth or Harfield we thought you might be interested to see the growth these three suburbs have had respectively with a year on year comparison.

Did you know?
Sectional title in Harfield grew in value by 30.5% and far outstripped both other suburbs?
Free hold properties in Claremont grew in value by approx 21% and outstripped both other suburbs?
In Kenilworth free hold outstripped sectional title?
In Harfield it takes on average 11 days to sell a free hold house with approx 3.3% difference between the marketing and sales price?
We have put together a very interesting chart for our readers who are interested in property. Please click here to read more.

Below are a few examples of what the Norgarb Agents have just listed:
Lew Norgarb – Harfield Village, R2,850 000 – Click here to view the full details.
Lyn Staples – Kenilworth, above the line, R1,650 000 – Click here to view the full details.
Andre Ter Morshuizen – Lynfrae – R4,800 000 – Click here to view the full details.

If you are interested in viewing any of our properties or would like a free valuation on your own property, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Office Tel: 021 674 4627
Lew Norgarb: Harfield Village - 082 894 1004 or
Lyn Staples: Kenilworth/ Claremont Village - 082 846 0739 or
Andre Ter Morshuizen: Claremont/ Lynfrae - 082 602 1367 or

Princeton - False Alarms

Armed Response companies are strongly affiliated with being a reactive approach to security. 

An alarm goes off, and a response officer reacts to the information given to him by the control center. To add a proactive approach to this, we like to patrol and look out for suspicious behavior, which hopefully leads to a positive arrest. In this regard, the criminal is removed from the streets before he/she has a chance to commit a criminal offence.

The more false alarms our officers are responding to, the less likely we are to make these proactive changes. The more false alarms our officers respond to, the more likely it is that a burglary is taking place at the same time the officers are at the premises of a false alarm.

For some stats on false alarms: we received 2789 signals for the month of February alone, in Harfield Village and Surrounds. 2017 signals were cancelled due to the control room operators getting hold of the client who indicated it was a false alarm. Our officers had to respond to 772 alarms (averaging 27.5 signals per day). Only TWO of these alarms were positive incidents!

These are some mind-boggling statistics which makes you think; if it takes on average 15 minutes for an officer to respond to one alarm signal and investigate, that means that 11 580 minutes (193 hours or 8 days) are spent standing down and NOT being proactive.

For another case scenario; an officer responds to a panic signal. At the same time, we receive an alarm signal from a house a few streets away. The closest responding unit responds to the panic signal, while the back-up vehicle is dispatched to the alarm signal (Bare in mind that the back-up vehicle is further away).

a. First responding officer arrives at the premises for the panic signal in under 3 minutes; client says he's sorry but his child is playing with the panic button (FALSE ALARM)
b. Second responding officer arrives at the premises for the alarm signal in just under 5 minutes. The house has been cleaned out and the suspects have fled the scene.

Should the client at the address with the panic signal have called in to cancel the dispatch, the closest responding vehicle would have gone to the second alarm call, and would have been able to stop the criminals, ensure the belongings and priceless possessions are returned to the owner, and hopefully an arrest would have been made.

Let's also not forget about the 'cry wolf' situation you're putting yourself in. If your alarm is constantly going off, chances are that your neighbors will never take them seriously.

 Ensure that all people operating the alarm, know how to use it
 If there is a technical fault, then book a technician to correct the error
 Don't leave your windows open
 If you have pets, then make sure you have pet-friendly devices installed

False alarms are crippling our industry, which is why MOST companies choose to charge their clients for a certain amount of false alarms per month. In the defense of our officers on the ground- we need to protect them against getting into the routine of always thinking they are responding to another false alarm. This puts them in a dangerous spot! 

Join the campaign and reduce FALSE ALARMS!

Acupuncture for pets

Kenilworth Vet
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, but it is most commonly known as a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, the practice of inserting sharp objects (stones, bones, and later metal) to promote health was used by many ancient civilizations across the world and only organized into a formal complex system by the Chinese.
Acupuncture was first introduced to the West in the 1600s but only really gained popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, as scientific studies determined the mechanisms on which it has effects on musculoskeletal pain, like arthritis and chronic back pain. Further studies have shown it to even have effects on improving nausea, vomiting and bladder irritability. In modern day practice, both the traditional and western practices are used, either alone or in combination. 

Veterinary acupuncture is the placement of needles into the bodies of our companion animals, from dogs, cats and horses, to rabbits and cattle. It is most commonly used to relieve pain caused by arthritis, but also releases muscle spasms and can help normalize functions in the body, like the bladder, immune system and intestines, and improve wound healing time.
The needles stimulate at their point causing a release of natural pain killers, healing substances and increase blood supply to that area. The local effects can be quite profound, but there are also messages sent to the brain through the central nervous system. Molecules, such as endorphins, are released, bringing about an improved state of mind. This is important for us, as we don’t only want our patients to be pain free but also have a better quality of life. Some pet owners have noticed after initial treatment that, even though their furry companion doesn’t run with the same mobility, they are now more excited to play and go for walks!

Animals usually accept the fine acupuncture needles very well and usually very   relaxed during a treatment session. Some may even seem to look forward to this when they visit the practice again! Almost all patients do not require any sedative but some with such severe pain may require some sedation to allow us to just touch them. During a session, we may find the patient becomes sleepy or relaxed, indicating that they are good responders. It is also very normal for animals to be very sleepy after a session and pass out on their favorite bed for the rest of the day.

Acupuncture is a very safe form of treatment when performed by a qualified veterinarian, who will know the different anatomies and techniques specific to the species they are treating.  There are very few cases where acupuncture should not be used, but this will be discussed with you by the attending vet.

Acupuncture is a cumulative treatment and, initially, at least 4 sessions is the suggested to determine if your animal is or is not a good responder. Each animal is different, hence why they all respond differently. Some will show improvement within the first few hours of treatment, while others may take a few days or a few sessions before we see noticeable improvement. Some may even look stiffer for a few days after treatment. This is normal and they should show some improvement before their next session. Regular treatment means we can continue giving relief to areas that are giving our pets their problems, and eventually reach a point where they only need one session every couple of months.

Veterinary acupuncture as a form of therapy is growing internationally and is being taught in leading veterinary schools across the world. Using it in conjunction with prescribed, allopathic (mainstream) medicine, alongside physical rehabilitation, is encouraged. This holistic approach to pet health care means we can do more for our furry companions than ever before.
We are now able to offer acupuncture at our practice. If you are interested in this form of treatment for your pet, please do not hesitate to contact us for further details.

Noise pollution and home security alarms

Noise pollution is described as unwanted or offensive sounds that unreasonably intrude into someone’s daily activities. Generally people are tolerant of infrequent noise, but where the volume and frequency exceeds acceptable levels, frustration and anger result.  A home security alarm going off regularly can cause much aggravation – especially in cases where it becomes apparent that there was no emergency (and the alarm was triggered by a technical glitch or a domestic animal) or otherwise where the homeowners are not close byte disarm the installation.  In the below, we look at the provisions that are in place with regard to noise pollution.

The law
The Environment Conservation Act 73 of 1989 and municipal by-laws generally offer protection against intolerable noise pollution and we discuss below the relevant provisions incorporated in the City of Cape Town Noise Control Regulations of 2013 by virtue of the enabling provisions of the Act.

But before we do that, just a note that our courts, too, have laid down principles of acceptable behaviourin such instances.  In Prinsloo v Shaw, a 1938 judgment, the court stated that "...a resident in a town, and more particularly a resident in a residential neighborhood, is entitled to the ordinary comfort and convenience of his home, and if owing to the actions of his neighbor he is subjected to annoyance or inconvenience greater than that to which a normal person must be expected to submit in contact with his fellow-men, then he has a legal remedy."  And in Laskey and Another v Showzone CC and Others(2006), the Court distinguished two different kinds of noise, namely, disturbing noise and noise nuisance. A disturbing noise is objective and is defined as a scientifically measurable noise level and generally compared to the existing ambient noise level. A noise nuisance is a subjective measure and is defined as any noise that disturbs or impairs or may disturb or impair the convenience or peace of any person.

City of Cape Town’s 2013 Noise Control Regulations:
The Noise Control Regulations deals with different types of noises, being:

• "ambient noise" means the all-encompassing sound in a given situation at a given time, measured as the reading on an integrated impulse sound level meter for a total period of at least 10 minutes;
• "disturbing noise" means a noise, excluding the unamplified human voice, which:-
(a) exceeds the rating level by 7 dBA;
(b) exceeds the residual noise level where the residual noise level is higher than the rating level;
(c) exceeds the residual noise level by 3 dBA where the residual noise level is lower than the rating level; or
(d) in the case of a low-frequency noise, exceeds the level specified in Annex B of SANS 10103;”
• "residual noise" means the all-encompassing sound in a given situation at a given time, measured as the reading on an integrated impulse sound level meter for a total period of at least 10 minutes, excluding noise alleged to be causing a noise nuisance or disturbing noise;”
• "noise nuisance “means any sound which impairs or may impair the convenience or peace of a reasonable person;”
• "noise sensitive activity" means any activity that could be negatively impacted by noise, including residential, healthcare, educational or religious activities.”

The by-law goes on to prohibit someone from causing noise nuisance  (regulation 3) or of causing disturbing noise (regulation 2).

With regard to home alarms, it appears that regulation 3 is applicable. It specifically states that it is prohibited, unless in the case of an emergency,  to “emit a sound, or cause a sound to be emitted, by means of a bell, carillon, siren, hooter, static alarm, whistle, loudspeaker or similar device”.

This provision in regulation 3 acknowledges then that home alarms can constitute a nuisance, but are nonetheless allowed in as far as there is an emergency.  That’s the rub though, as it is no simple task to prove that a neighbor’s alarm went off due to a technical issue or a cat jumping through a window, and not as a result of a real burglary attempt.  Even if a complaint is laid in respect of such noise under regulation 2, i.e. in so far as it constitutes a disturbing noise, one will still have to deal with the owner’s argument that alarms have become everyday and accepted installations at homes and if it is triggered as a result of an attempted burglary, it is a necessary harm that all people live with across the country.  However, if it can be shown that the alarm is triggered more frequently than there realistically are burglary attempts and or that the alarm sounds for long periods without being deactivated by the owner or a security company, then the owner may have a case to meet.

Regulation 13 states that it is an offence to contravene regulations 2 and 3, amongst others, or to fail to comply with a written instruction issued by the local authority with regard to compliance with the regulations.   If convicted, a person is liable for a fine or imprisonment not exceeding two years.

Legal remedies
In order to show that a noise nuisance exists, a reasonable person must find a certain noise intolerable or seriously affecting his enjoyment of his property. A person who is too sensitive or easily irritable must accordingly think twice when considering taking action against his neighbor, as the action may not be successful if the reasonable person would not have been affected by the noise.

As harassed owner, you can lay a complaint with the Noise Control Unit of the City of Cape Town Municipality. They will in turn investigate the problem to see how serious the situation is. If necessary, they can instruct the reduction of the noise and if the offenders do not comply, can issue a fine, and in extreme cases even confiscate the equipment.

If no success is had with the above, a property owner can approach a court for relief, either by way of an interdict to prevent the neighbor from causing the specific noise, or to sue the neighbor for damages suffered as a result of excessive noise caused by him, for example where the noise has negatively affected your quality of life, your health, your comfort, and/or your general well-being.

No matter what the type of nuisance, for it to be subject to interference and relief by courts or a local authority, it must be substantial and continuous, and one must bear in mind that your claim for your neighbor to lower his noise levels, is subject to the principle that your neighbor enjoys the same rights as you do in respect of the use and enjoyment of his own property.

What is Stress doing to your Weight?

By Kim Hofmann RD(SA)
What do you do when you are under stress?  Most people find it difficult to continue with their healthy eating habits.  They either eat to fill their emotional void or grab some fast food just because there is no time to prepare something healthy.  But that's not the only reason why weight gain is so prevalent during stressful times.  The hormone that may be making life difficult for you is cortisol.

Cortisol is normally released in response to events such as waking up in the morning, exercising and severe stress.  Its role in the body is to regulate energy by stimulating fat and carbohydrate metabolism and maintaining blood sugar levels.  Cortisol is also involved in the 'fight/flight' response, where an excess of cortisol is briefly secreted due to a physical or psychological stressor.  The effects of cortisol become harmful when the hormone is constantly being secreted due to our ever-stressed, fast-pasted lifestyles.

From a weight gain perspective, the constant secretion of cortisol may not only promote weight gain, but it can also affect where you put on the weight. Some studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol tend to cause fat to be accumulated in the abdominal area rather than in the hips.

There are 4 ways that cortisol could influences weight gain:
1. Cortisol can take fat from stored areas and move it to the abdominal area!  It also helps fat cells develop into mature fat cells.
2. Cortisol causes a constant supply of glucose in the blood leading to increased blood sugar levels.  However, it also suppresses the effect of insulin, which causes the cells to be 'starved' of glucose.  This may cause you to feel hungry which could lead to overeating. 
3. Cortisol also stimulates appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods as it binds to the hypothalamus receptors in the brain as well as influences other hormones and stress responsive factors that are connected to appetite.
4. Eating may become the activity that relieves your stress!

How can you lower your cortisol levels?
 The best method for lowering cortisol levels is exercise
 You need to learn how to manage stress – some strategies include better quality sleep, breath work, acupuncture
 Eliminating (or at least reducing) your intake of caffeine and alcohol
 Eliminating refined carbohydrates and sugar
 Minimal intake of saturated (animal) fats
 Improving your intake of whole plant foods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains (this is to maximize the intake of fibre, antioxidants, phytonutrients etc.)
 Ensuring that you are getting enough omega-3 fatty acid

These dietary manipulations are often called an 'anti-inflammatory diet'.  Reducing stress and minimizing inflammation is the most powerful way to moderate the risk for illness and chronic disease.  We need to be aware of the way our body responds to the demands we place in it and remember that our bodies have extraordinary healing powers.  By putting the best diet and lifestyle strategies in place you can improve your health and increase your longevity!