In April, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) found that private estates in South Africa are entitled to establish and enforce their own traffic rules.
The SCA ruled that the roads within the estate are not public roads and instead form part of a private township.
“Whilst it is correct that some members of the public (or persons other than those residing in the estate) are permitted to enter the estate, there is no right on the part of the general public or any section thereof to traverse the roads,” said the SCA’s Judge Ponnan.
“This has been the historical position since the estate was first established. The non-owners who are permitted to enter the estate are persons who are there with the authority and permission of the owners, and are not to be regarded as forming part of the ‘public’ for the purposes of the definition of ‘public road’.”
He added that when the respondents chose to purchase property within the estate and become members of the Association, they agreed to be bound by its rules.
“The relationship between the Association and the respondents is thus contractual in nature. The conduct rules, and the restrictions imposed by them, are private ones, entered into voluntarily when an owner elects to buy property within the estate.”
According to New World Wealth’s 20219 South African wealth report, as much as 40% of the country’s wealthy either live in or have a secondary home in a lifestyle estate.
Reasons for their popularity include:
- Safety and security;
- Activities such as golf and gym;
- Limited and controlled traffic, which makes the area safe for children.
Below BusinessTech looked at some of the most popular lifestyle estates around the country and what their traffic rules state.
Val de Vie has strict speeding rules and has instituted a maximum speed limit of 40km/h across the estate.
If residents or visitors are found breaking this limit they can expect a R500 fine for the first offence.
However, this can rise to R10,000 for motorists who have been found to break the speed limit multiple times.
Pecanwood states that the speed limit is 40 km/hour and the appropriate regulations of the Road Traffic Ordinance shall apply.
Fines range from R250 to R1,000 for more serious offences.
Steyn City follows a similar system to Val de Vie, with a maximum speed limit of 40km/h instituted across the estate.
According to the estate rules, repeat offenders caught exceeding the speed limit can incur additional financial penalties over a six moth period as follows:
- Third offence – x2 financial penalty applicable;
- Fourth offence – x3 financial penalty applicable
Zimbali says that speeding on the estate is a serious offence, with a 25km/hr speed limit placed on all roads.
“The Association may – if it considers it necessary or desirable to do so – impose a speed limit different than that referred to above upon such roads or portions of roads as it may deem fit, either temporarily or permanently,” it said.
Pezula has a maximum speed limit of 30 km/h, while lower speed limits may be imposed by the homeowners’ association where it deems fit.
“These limits are enforced for the safety of animals and other road users. Drivers are expected to drive with due consideration and courtesy for all residents and guests,” Pezula said.
The sanctions, which may be imposed by the board of representatives, shall be a fine not less than R100.00, and not more than 10 times the annual levy.