Member Letter

Released - 13 November 2017

This message is from a member and fellow land owner.

Dear Neighbour and fellow landowner,

The Land Claim Committee has kindly allowed me to approach you personally by email to
put forward my views, as a fellow landowner, on the immediate prospects for progression
of the claim and the Committee’s dire need for payment of subscription arrears in order to
hopefully bring the claim to a successful conclusion. There has been no breach of
confidentiality here; I do not know your identity nor your email address or subscription
payment record.

The AGM last week was unfortunately very poorly attended and only just exceeded the
quorum of 67 members. That was a great pity as the Chairman recounted the most
encouraging report of progress and future promise that I have heard in many years of
attending these meetings.

In summary, a “no-nonsense” judge has been appointed, a pre-trial conference between the parties has been held, the judge has made it clear that she will not tolerate further delay by the Claimants and proposes to hold a further pre-trial conference before 15 December at which she proposes to set a date for a Court hearing, which our lawyers expect will be in the first quarter of 2018.

In order to represent our case effectively at Court, the Committee estimates expenditure of
around ZAR 900k, but has cash presently available of only ZAR 602k – a shortfall of ZAR 300k.

Now, let us look at the subscription position. There is a total of 287 properties represented and over the 12 years since the claim was lodged, the Committee has called on each of us for a total of R10,100 per property. This, incidentally, amounts to only R16 a week! A bargain if ever there was one. If every member had paid all their subscription dues, there would be no cash shortfall and no problem. Regrettably, however, only 67 (22%) of the 287 properties are fully paid-up. Another 127 (44%) are in arrears of R5,000 or less, 40 properties (14%) owe between R5,000 and R8,000 and 58 (20%) owe more than R8,000.

Total arrears amount to a staggering R1.2 million.

[The owners of the 67 fully-paid properties need not read any further!]
I can understand how many member’s interest may have waned over the years as the legal
process has dragged on with no apparent progress and this has contributed to lack of hope, indifference and an attitude of “why continue to pay subscriptions until there is some
demonstrable progress and hope on the horizon”. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I suggest that that point has been reached and the Committee now needs you to put your hand in your pocket and pay your arrears to enable them, and our lawyers, to bring the claim to a
successful conclusion.

I am sure that I don’t need to point out the advantages of having this claim out of the way,
either dismissed or settled in our favour. Property values will soar and one will be in a far
stronger position to sell one’s property. I suggest that this appears to be the best prospect
ever of having the claim settled in our favour. We need to put up the strongest possible
case and representation, because if we don’t, and if we should fail, we shall all be in big
trouble.

This is an impassioned plea from the 67 of us who have paid our dues, to join us as being
fully represented by the BLCAG and our lawyers and PLEASE PAY YOUR SUBSCRIPTION ARREARS now, or for those of you who may find this financially difficult, at least engage with the Committee to see how you can best contribute.

There is a separate, but related and important issue and that relates to representation. Do
you know if your neighbours are members and will be represented at the coming Court
hearing? Consider this: in the event of a favourable judgement but if your neighbour is
either not a member, or a member in default, then the Court ruling will not apply and the
claim may still subsist against his/her property and your neighbour’s property could still pass to the Claimants. This could be very unfortunate for you, so please talk to your neighbours and encourage them to join if not already members, and to become fully paid if not already so. This is a community issue and we are all in it together.

Many thanks for reading this and listening to me,

Yours sincerely
John Franklin
Broederstroom 13 November 2017

Our bank account details
26778 Land Claim Committee; Standard Bank; Van Der Walt Street PTA.
Clearing Code 010145; Cheque account 410776882.

Please e-mail deposit slip to accounts@broederstroomlandclaim.co.za.  Please use your membership number as a reference.

The opinions expressed in this newsletter are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the Committee or of the appointed legal team.

 

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