In search of tran­quil­ity

A small West­ern Cape town is be­gin­ning to at­tract at­ten­tion for all the right rea­sons. Lea Jacobs re­ports

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

LO­CAL folk­lore would have us be­lieve that the Tow­erkop Moun­tain that dom­i­nates the sky­line of Ladi­smith in the West­ern Cape was split in two by a witch, who, im­pa­tient to get home, waved her wand, thus chang­ing the look of the moun­tain for­ever. While the truth may be a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, this large moun­tain that lit­er­ally sits on the town’s doorstep has added to the over­all beauty of the area.

This lit­tle-known town is at­tract­ing in­creas­ing in­ter­est from those seek­ing to es­cape the stresses of city life. Masood Hu­sain, Pam Gold­ing area prin­ci­pal, says that the area is a per­fect al­ter­na­tive in con­trast to a coastal get­away.

“The town sits amid pic­turesque, un­spoilt coun­try­side in the lap of the Swart­berg Moun­tain range and at the foot of the famed Tow­erkop Moun­tain. Sewe­week­spoort with its world her­itage site and beau­ti­ful pass and the Hoeko Val­ley are nearby.

“Home-buy­ers look­ing for a scenic and tran­quil haven away from big cities or week­end get­aways are find­ing very ap­peal­ing and affordable op­tions here.”

Just 78km from Rivers­dale and the N2, about 300km east of Cape Town and 100km west of Oudt­shoorn, Ladi­smith is ac­ces­si­ble ei­ther via the N1 through Laings­burg or a good tarred road from the Route 62 wine route, the main scenic road link­ing Cape Town and Port El­iz­a­beth.

Over and above the low crime rate and friendly com­mu­nity life, Ladi­smith re­mains a fer­tile, green oa­sis with unique fauna and flora, that pro­duces ev­ery­thing from wine and brandy to fruit and cheese for world mar­kets. Apart from the Ladi­smith Eco Fes­ti­val, the town is known for its cy­cle races, in­clud­ing the Sewe­week­spoort bike rally that takes place later in the year.

“Cur­rently, small­hold­ings and farms are where the ma­jor­ity of in­quiries are chan­nelled among both lo­cal and over­seas buy­ers — the lat­ter mainly from the UK and Nether­lands — from those seek­ing the sun, clean air, peace and tran­quil­lity. There is a good se­lec­tion of these prop­er­ties, vary­ing in size from 1,7ha for a small­hold­ing up to an 8 800ha game farm, at prices rang­ing from R385 000 to R16,6m. At present the strong­est de­mand is in the R1,4m to R1,5m price range.”

Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties has a wide va­ri­ety of farms avail­able, in­d­clud­ing game, apri­cot and mixed fruit, lucerne and olive farms, and to a lesser ex­tent live­stock farms. City dwellers are mostly in­ter­ested in ac­quir­ing life­style farms and small­hold­ings.

Va­cant land ranges from about 600m² to close to 5 000m² in size and is priced be­tween R120 000 and R500 000.

“These stands are ide­ally suited for pri­vate buy­ers look­ing to build their dream homes or city get­aways, while the larger sites may be of in­ter­est to prop­erty de­vel­op­ers,” says Hu­sain.

“At present a large plot of 4 83m² near the golf course and in­clud­ing part of a dam is on the mar­ket for R590 000.”

There is also grow­ing in­ter­est in the ex­ist­ing homes mar­ket in Ladi­smith, mainly in the R600 000 to R950 000 price range. “We have ev­ery­thing from small town­houses to Ed­war­dian/Vic­to­rian man­sions, and even a grand, sprawl­ing os­trich palace for­merly owned by an os­trich baron and which is well­suited for use as a guest­house.

“In be­tween there are a va­ri­ety of small, quaint cot­tages, sub­ur­ban-type houses and rel­a­tively mod­ern build­ings. Prices start from R340 000 for a unit in a clus­ter com­plex to R6m for the for­mer os­trich palace. Gen­er­ally, the above homes are used as per­ma­nent res­i­dences by owne­roc­cu­piers or let for a long term.”

Knowl­edge Fac­tory’s SAPTG sta­tis­tics in­di­cate that 18 sales have been con­cluded in the area over the past 12 months. The high­est price paid for a prop­erty in the re­gion was R800 000 and the low­est R75 000. The av­er­age value of prop­erty sold in the area hov­ered around R267 000.

Ladi­smith is es­sen­tially a small town where al­most ev­ery­thing is in walk­ing dis­tance, yet still of­fers shop­ping fa­cil­i­ties, schools and hos­pi­tals among other ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties. Sur­round­ing towns in­clude Bar­ry­dale and Cal­itz­dorp, with Mos­sel Bay within reach.

Lo­cal ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude moun­tain bik­ing and hik­ing, while restau­rants and beau­ti­ful his­toric guest­houses of­fer vis­i­tors a warm wel­come. Artists find inspiration in moun­tain re­treats, while vis­i­tors revel in a va­ri­ety of wine es­tates along the R62. De­spite its name, Ron­nie’s Sex Shop is in fact a pub pop­u­lar among lo­cals and trav­ellers alike, both South African and from over­seas. Con­tact: Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties Masood Hu­sain 028 5511783

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