Affordable housing is high on an extensive decades-old list of crucial needs in South Africa. Ironically, at a time when this country’s economy is at its lowest ebb in living memory, Balwin Properties ably assisted by Boogertman + Partners Architects, steps up with the vision, skills, and track record to roll out residential projects on a scale that mirrors the demand to begin to fill an ever-widening void.

Scale model of the Thaba Eco Village

Notable on Thaba Eco is the integration of the residential environment with the adjoining nature reserve through a network of leisure hiking and mountain biking infrastructure. Further complemented by a generous first of its kind in Africa land bridge that straddles the freeway across a valley, enabling the safe traverse of antelope and people to and from the adjacent nature reserve. Thaba Eco also answers the need for those with deeper pockets with the inclusion of the upmarket Legaro Properties brand of stand-alone residences perched on the high ground above the Thaba Eco development.

The benefit of audacious projects such as Thaba Eco are that scales of economy translate into the ability to produce, high-quality residential units in a green setting, that are affordable to entrants into the market with property ownership widely regarded as the cornerstone of a country’s economic health. A broader spread of investment by South African residents will be a vote of confidence that will mitigate perceived risk and attract quality foreign investment.

Spin-off in addition to property tenure includes job creation, skills development, stimulate secondary manufacture & supply, financial & professional services, including the sports & leisure economy, to name just a few of the obvious benefits. These incidentally also rank high on our country’s critical needs list. By default, the project will stimulate a much-needed increase in disposable income and a broader tax base will result.

Let’s hope that Thaba Eco and similar Balwin Properties projects will be a signal to government, business, and South African citizens to embrace initiatives such as this by investing in what is needed to supply projects with first-rate locally manufactured goods and curb the influx of imports.

As a nation, we need to begin to appreciate that the import of foreign products serves to grow the economies of and educate the children in countries where the goods are made with little benefit to our own.

Our wish: is that the Thaba Eco model will be a catalyst, that will stimulate sales, enable people to understand the broader vision, and the benefits that such courageous projects contribute to our economy. It is a fine example of how as a nation we can improve ourselves by our own efforts. In a country with so many needs, the entrepreneurial potential in providing solutions to each and every requirement is infinite and does not require a whole lot of imagination, but the will of those brave enough to venture as well as the endorsement of Government and its citizens.

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