BY CORNÉ KOEKEMOER
About a month ago a saw an ad on a local property website for one bedroom house in Vredehoek, one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in Cape Town’s city bowl. This area is at the foot of the mountain, right underneath Devil’s Peak, with views all the way to Blouberg and lekker little shops and restaurants less than a kilometre away. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I noticed that this house was going for just under a million. What a steal!
For those of you from up north not familiar with Cape Town’s property prices, that is basically like buying a one-litre bottle of KWV 10 year old brandy and paying the same price as a half jack of Oom Pine’s tuisgemaakte brannewyn.
I immediately started counting the proverbial chickens; this is an investment I couldn’t miss. A few excel spread sheets, payslip inspections and phone calls to my bank later, those eggs started to hatch. But there were not a a lot of chickens to be seen.
Upon further inspection I realised that this is not a house, but rather a room the size of a spacious trophy cabinet behind someone’s house.
My new found enthusiasm disappears, the dream has fallen flat. Let us be honest, that is not a house, or a property, Eben Etzebeth’s biceps wouldn’t even fit into this “garden cottage”.
It is the same kind of setup our lovely domestic worker Alida lived in behind our house. Many houses had that type of room in the corner of the yard, but no one even thought about selling it for a breezy bar!
Do Capetonians see potential that others don’t? Or is it just overconfidence? I have heard of something called “bergbelasting”, a term used to explain why everything in Cape Town is more expensive than elsewhere in the country.
You can wrap a piece of boerewors in Bacon and rocket, put it in a gluten free bun, call it a “gourmet boerie”, charge R80 for it and watch the people queue from Muizenburg to Sea Point to buy one. It doesn’t matter what it is, as soon as something moves to Table Mountain, the value increases.
No organization is better at exploiting this phenomenon than the Stormers.
Just look at SP Marais. A year ago he couldn’t even catch a Kings contract, now he is catching Bulls players off guard as if he was a matric girl in Hatfield square. Like any Pretorian visiting Cape Town for the first time, the Bulls didn’t know what hit them.
“Dis dan net ‘n fokken stuk wors in ‘n fokken bun? Hoe de moer vra hulle R80 vir dit?” This is what Rinus de Klerk from Rietfontein in Pretoria’s Moot, asked his wife, Chandré-Marie, when he saw that Gourmet Boerie.
SP Marais is just like eating a Gourmet Boerie in that one bedroom house in Vredehoek. If it was in Port Elizabeth, Durban or Pretoria, it would just another place to store the stuff you don’t want to throw away, but in Cape Town the value increases and suddenly you see massive potential.
We have seen this before. Jano Vermaak and JC Janse van Rensburg seem like new players. Pieter Steph du Toit suddenly isn’t injury prone anymore. And I can’t wait to see what Bjorn Basson has to offer after the Bulls wanted to him into that room in the backyard. Look at Frikkie Welsh a few seasons ago, he surprised all as his value steadily rose. Bryan Habana and Jacque Fourie also had stellar seasons in the Cape. Hell, even Luke Watson had an impact in the Stormers jersey.
One can only imagine the heights Handre Pollard would have reached if he stayed in the Cape. Now he is like a 5 bedroom house in Waterkloof, which is like the equivalent of a 2 bedroom house in Bellville, without a pool. If we can lure him home, I feel we can turn him into a nice Clifton penthouse.
It is nothing personal, it’s just business. It is about growing investments.
I say we should bring all of the has-beens to Cape Town. Let the “bergbelasting” rejuvenate them. What about Wynand Olivier? I hear he is struggling, move him to Vredehoek! Where the hell is Kabamba Floors these days? Stick him in Sea Point! Victor Matfield probably could have played 4 more years if he bought a little fishing hut in Scarborough.
This is a third world country in tough economic times. We are coming out of terrible drought. The rand is struggling against all of the major currencies. To put the cherry on the cake, our rugby players can’t even beat Italy. The future is could be brighter.
Luckily we have Cape Town and the Stormers. A place that can turn turds into diamonds, and make the rest of the country green with envy while doing it.