I will never buy a property from Casperera or Pieter du Toit again!

“Why not?” you may well ask. Let met explain:

I decided to buy a property in Stonehedge, Gordons Bay, a development by Casperara which is owned and managed by Piet or Pieter du Toit from Strand.

Well, let me tell you what we got:

Our very enthusiastic sales person, Janine Barry from Platinum Lifestyles, completely lost interest in the development after it was handed over, and subsequently conveniently ignored the promises regarding golf membership. This issue will still be addressed, as it constitutes misrepresentation.

Magnificent hand chopped masonry. Now this was a spectacle! The masonry stones merely dropped out of the pillars laid by "Master Craftsmen" (their words!). Many of these had to be replaced.

The swimming pool is currently lying on its side outside the hole. The reason? It was poorly installed. Due to a combination of excessive rains and poor installation, the hole in which the pool was placed, became a fountain. Unfortunately support in handling this problem was non-existent.

Wooden Shutters play a large part in the overall picture of the development. Here Casperara used inferior material. The shutters did not last 8 months before they started to disintegrate. See the gallery for photos.

In fact, inferior material was used for a large part of the development; many showers had to be butchered in order to remove the old piping and replace it with new piping. Just imagine, matching tiles could no longer be found, resulting in retiling the whole shower. I can speak of personal experience about water seepage resulting in paint not wanting to stay put and budget toilet seats installed which had to be replaced with proper ones.

Ever since the beginning, the console at the security gate never worked. The units were installed with a telephone system to allow visitors through the gate, but this has never been operational.

Pieter du Toit is the most elusive and unprofessional developer I have ever come across. This is not an irresponsible statement but a well thought, defined profile of a developer who has played a great part in destroying many people's dreams.

Let me explain how Pieter du Toit and Casperara conduct their business and you can form your own opinion.

This development is now in its 3rd year and was on the brink of total collapse. The first, and probably the most serious issue is that the development (and two more of the same developer) was handed over to owners without a storm water drainage system. Now you can imagine what this does to the property when it rains, especially as it can rain in the Cape! How on earth could this happen, you would ask? The answer is sweet and short: we still do not know!

Herewith a short list of other serious issues regarding this development:

Many units were built under the water down-flow level. This means that when it rained, a massive amount of water ran from the higher areas into properties of the unfortunate owners on the Northern side of the development. These properties at times had water built up in their back yards for weeks! And I am not talking about a mere inch or so of water; it was deep, very deep. Add to that the mosquito nests which developed in these properties! I am sure you think I exaggerate. Believe me, I am not. Do take a look at the photos we will shortly add to this web site.

Sewerage pipes were not connected to the main outlet. This was one of the most amazing issues; sewerage pushing back up into the sinks. How, would you again ask, is this possible? It is easy; the storm water system was linked-up with the sewerage system and it obviously could not handle the load during heavy rains. Then, once the big rains arrived, you can imagine - sewerage all over!

Many of the unit's gutters created a flow of water which exaggerated the leaking of water into the units. Many roofs had, what we shall call (with the tongue firmly in the cheek), a free flow system. Water just ran right through the roofs into the top floor rooms.

There are many other issues but let me keep it short by stating this: if Pieter du Toit from Casperara initiated a proper and professional project to solve these problems, we could have lived with it. But unfortunately he adopted a duck and dive attitude. Up to today he still does not keep promises made on several occasions and the Body Corporate has to attend to it with a very limited budget.

Why would I create a website such as this and spent so much effort explaining the situation? Many owners have lost a lot because of this development, some were sequestrated and liquadated, tenants moved in and immediately out once they noticed the real situation with subsequent investments just flying out of the backdoor. The sad thing about the drainage system is that no single owner was informed about this looming disaster prior to signing the transfer documents!

I became chairman of the board of trustees in December 2008 and since then learned one important thing:

There is not a worst combination for an investment than a developer who is in it for a quick buck and a poor administrative management company.

Whilst I am at it; Trafalgar has handled this property since take over from Pieter du Toit. Up to now they still have not sorted out simple administration issues such as streamlining communication, etc. They, man-alone (or should I say company alone) created a debt situation of tens of thousands of rands for the property which the Body Corporate still battles to solve! Trafalgar Western Cape has now promised to look into the matter.

Pieter du Toit and Casperara developed two other properties in Disa Rd, Gordons Bay, namely Stonehedge Mews and ........., with almost similar problems. He is also currently developing a property by the name of La Perla, in Gordons Bay.

I also invited other owners of these properties to comment on their situation and this will be placed on the website soon. You decide for yourself whether you would like to get involved in a new property with a stake holder with such a reputation. My advice is this: be careful to get involved in any property developed, assisted or adviced by Pieter du Toit and Casperara.

A final word - Stonehedge is a lovely development and will, without doubt, be well sought after once all of the problems have been ironed out. As a result of hard work of the trustees and other stake holders, it is now fast becoming a worthwhile proposition. At least people investing in Stonehedge will finally know that any possible problems that may still be hidden in other developments, have been brought to the surface, and addressed.
Ultimately, investing in a Stonehedge unit should be a safe investment.

Marius Venter

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Marius Venter is an owner of a property in Stonehedge. Although the property has now become a viable option again, much water has flown into the sea before it happened. Read here how Casperera has destroyed people's lives and why you should be careful to invest in any property Casperera and its MD Pieter du Toit, are involved with.

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