Dear Resident and Members

The date is set for Bergie See!!! 19 November 2022. The champions will defend their prestigious title against the Bergie losers on this date!

For those who don't know what I am talking about, or those Bergies with permanent emotional scars after your last defeat, it is when the community is divided into two teams for the day. Fierce battles break out, best friends become mortal enemies, and intimidation tactics are the order of the day.

If you live in Mountain View, Village Falls or Terrace, The Brook, Hill Top or Aloe Hills, you can proudly call yourself a Bergie. If you reside in Ocean Vista, Ocean Side, Bayview, The Cove, Horizon, or Village Heights, you are a champion and a trophy holder. If you are not an Oubaai resident or a member of the Association, we are incredibly disappointed to inform you that we cannot accommodate you at the event.  

The fun day usually starts early, with some events before and after breakfast at the Golf Club. Cycling, trail walking, golf, squash, putting competitions or any other activity that may find enough traction amongst the community is included in the scoring. The idea is to participate and help your team accumulate points.

The See team is masters at placing their opponents under pressure. The Bergies are usually all talk, but the See team are generally victorious when the points are calculated.   As I recall, the last Bergie victory was when the adjudicators attended the gin tasting stations for too long and conspired with the fines master. Nothing is ruled out when bragging rights are at stake, not even biting, scratching or rabbit punches.

The day is concluded with early cocktails and a festive dinner. Many residents attend the fun evening where the day's horror stories are shared, fines are issued, and the winners are crowned. After that, the music is turned on, and it is a party!!

We encourage all residents to partake in the event. At the last event, pre-COVID, over two hundred people attended the evening's function. It is great fun, and you will make many new friends. Unfortunately, some may be Bergies. As you can ascertain, I am totally objective and not biased at all in painting the picture. ?

I will send out a survey soon to determine participation numbers. If you want to participate in the day, it is vital to provide us with the numbers as we have to cater to many participants. Golf is usually very popular, and we will cater for two shotgun starts if the demand exists. Perhaps, 7h30 and 12h30 starts. The organising team will confirm the whole day's schedule with all the slot times at a later date.  We will communicate the final cut-off date for the RSVP.  

We also collect for charity. We place a few bins out on the day and collect unwanted clothing items. If you have any previously loved clothes, please donate them. 

We have approximately 110 invalid email addresses on our system. An invalid address does not mean the syntax of the address is wrong. There could be several reasons why it is marked as invalid. Many email addresses are valid in syntax but do not exist. In other cases, people who are known to click the abuse links in mass email shots are flagged, and bulk email services refuse to include these email addresses in bulk email runs. However, it is not a problem to email them individually. Still, it is problematic for us to communicate effectively with the owner of the address in mass communication shots..

Since my last communication, many things have happened. We had a very successful AGM where new Trustees were nominated. Johanette Rheeder and Karien Hunter were elected to the board. They bring a wealth of experience to the table, and working with them is an absolute pleasure. Andre Roberts was re-elected as the chairman and Charl van Eetveldt as the second chair. Giel Hammel is completing his second term.

There are many capital and special projects on the go. Much-needed direction- and sign walls are being erected throughout the Estate, and roadworks to widen roads at specific points are undertaken.

We moved our small nursery to a new location and increased the production capacity allowing us to expand and improve our gardens faster.

The garbage processing storage area had to be upgraded and enlarged. Collecting, sorting and dumping the ever-increasing rubbish is challenging and will continue to be tricky as the community grows.   Village Unit rubbish collection is every day and the rest of the Estate, Mondays and Thursdays.

It is becoming increasingly impractical for taxis to stop at every house where there are domestic workers or gardeners. There are hundreds of workers entering the Estate daily using many cramped vehicles. It is challenging for most workers to find transport to and from Oubaai, and stopping at every house to collect workers is time-consuming for drivers and occupants. Most taxis have to drive from one suburb to another to collect workers. Please be patient when taxis stop to off-load or pick up our house workers.

The Go-George service is not ready to service the route.   However, we will keep an eye on the development.

Upgrading the internet is also somewhat challenging. Vodacom completed all its impact studies and will upgrade its infrastructure shortly, to maximise what it can handle with the current set-up. It will enable us to double the current speed for now. However, as the community grows, so will our demand for data services, and future Vodacom architecture upgrades are most probably inevitable.

We implemented a new Visitor Management solution. You can now take control of granting access to your visitors in advance. You can download the management app from the applicable app store. Search for "CloudKontrol", download and register. 

Before registering on the Visitor Management App, confirm that your telephone number is recorded in our biometric access system. If you have any registration queries, contact Elise Moolman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. She will be able to assist in sorting out problems. You can still use the Oubaai Resident's App to request an access code. Note that receiving a controller-generated code will take a bit longer. We encourage you to use the CloudKontrol app.

As you might have seen on your latest utility statement, the electricity rates and method of calculations have changed drastically. Domestic consumers' single and three phases have a basic charge, capacity charge and a flat fee for energy consumption. 

The Association will calculate the capacity charge using three phases as the default parameter. Suppose you want to downgrade to single phase or has a single-phase connection; in that case, your appointed electrician must provide the Association with a certificate of completion confirming the number of phases and the capacity of the phase/s.   Accounts will then amend accordingly.

For domestic-flex consumers (houses with PV installations), requirements have changed. It is compulsory for consumers with small-embedded generation (SSEG) to move on time of use metering (TOU). The Association obtained approval from members at the last AGM to replace all the applicable standard devices with TOU meters. Currently, there is a backlog, and meters are hard to obtain, but we will do it as soon as possible. For feed-in consumers exporting to the Oubaai grid, there will be an additional hundred-rand basic charge and different TOU rates.   All rates can be obtained from the George Municipality's website.

If installing PV, please notify the Association and complete the necessary application forms so we can replace your meter.

Also, a new water tariff was added for consumers using more than 100KL per month. If you love long showers, note it is becoming expensive.

With the introduction of the speeding cameras, it is noticeable that speeds decreased drastically, especially on the main road. However, we have had a few close accidents, especially at the entrance to Village Heights. Vehicles from the Villages exit, and others entering the Estate ignore the stop signs. Please be careful and take a moment to stop. The Association is contemplating removing the stop on the main road. It will eliminate confusion and who has the right of way.

There are currently thirty-three active construction sites all over the Estate. There are also nine new designs at the DRC, with many already approved.    The Developer has sold all residential properties and owns only the two commercial properties, Hotel and Golf Club.  

Fifty-plus property transfers have occurred this year, and another eleven owners requested clearance figures. The property values have gone through the roof!

The annual general meeting minutes will be available as soon as the Trustees approve the draft at our next meeting in November. I will make it available online and communicate via email once ready.

Oubaai has a squash Club. The team entered the local league. From what I can gather, it is going exceptionally well! I often see the players celebrating with a few drinks after their exhausting practice sessions. Well, they claim it is exhausting?

Please take note of the rules and allowed colour scheme for residents when contemplating acquiring a new golf cart. Register the cart with the Association and have permanent identification plates. Only battery-powered carts are permitted. The colour can only be, EzGo: Ivory (White), Club Car: Caregeme,  Yamaha: Ivory (White), Sandstone Gold, or Beige (light). Roofs can be white, black or the same colour as the cart.

It is warming up, and the daylight hours are extending. Many residents will go down to the whale and sundowner decks to enjoy the gorgeous views and striking sunsets. The maintenance team is working on the cart path leading to the whale and sundowner decks. Please be careful when driving down. Although they are very aware and attentive, please do not drive over them when they are head down on their knees.  

The Golf Club will be closed for Spring Hollow Tining from Monday, 26 September, to Friday, 30 September. If you want to join the Golf Club or learn more about the membership options, please contact Karen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you need additional information about any other Association-related matters, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Hope to see you soon.


Willem Marx




You’re watering the garden and discover a shed snake skin in a rockery. Where is the snake? What is the snake? How big is it?

When snakes grow, they get too large for their skins and need to slough the old skin. The process of shedding the old skin is known as ecdysis. In humans, and most mammals, we shed our skin in tiny pieces all the time. In snakes and many other reptiles, the shedding of old skin is one process and is often done in one whole piece. In snakes, shedding may occur between four and twelve times a year, depending on the growth of the snake and the humidity of the area it resides in. Snakes also shed when a wound has healed after an injury. 

Prior to shedding snakes will become a dull colour, and the eyes turn a milky-blue colour as chemicals separate the old eye cap from the newly formed one. We term this state as the snake being “in the blue”. Snakes usually hide at this stage as their vision is impaired and they are vulnerable to predators.

A Herald Snake “in the blue” - note the milky eyes.

Snakes may have increased blood pressure at this stage, causing the body to swell and stretch the old skin. The whole process may take a few days to a week or two and the snakes usually stop feeding during this period.

The snake will then find a rough surface, such as a log or rock, and rub the nose until the old skin starts coming loose. The snake then slides out of the skin, causing the skin to turn inside out. The whole skin comes off, from the tip of the nose, the eye caps, to the tip of the tail - including the eye caps. These skins will stretch up to forty percent, and the snake skins which are found are larger than the actual snake and are not a good indication of the size of the snake.


A Brown House Snake in the process of shedding.

Once snakes shed the old skin, they know many predators will pick up the scent of the shed skin and the snake is at risk. Generally, snakes move off after shedding. Some snakes like Black Mambas and Boomslang may be resident, if undisturbed, and may have an area or single tree or bush that they shed the skin in, and you may find more than one skin at this area. 

Identification of these skins is tricky and we generally need to start counting scales to confirm the species. Snake species have a unique scale count, although a number of them may overlap with other species. In many instances, the distribution will help eliminate species that don’t occur in the area and allow us to narrow down the potential species the skin belongs too. Other features such as keeled scales will exclude many other species. Some skins such as Rhombic Egg-eaters, Southern African Pythons, Puff Adders or Spotted Bush Snakes will retain the pattern in the shed and can be easy to ID.

Rhombic Egg-eater skin showing the characteristic pattern.

 It is useful to keep in mind that snakes have large belly scales, and small pieces of skin found in the garden without large belly scales are probably those of garden skinks.

As for the rest of the skins, there are three areas we need to focus on to count scales: The first section is the head. The upper labial scales that make up the upper lip can be counted, paying attention to how many are in contact with the eye cap. For example, in Angola Green Snakes, three upper labial scales make contact with the eye. In the Green Water Snakes only two upper labials making contact with the eye.


The important scales on the head.

The temporal scales behind the eye are also very important and are usually unique to a group. Cape Cobras have a number of large temporal scales whereas Mole Snakes have a series of small scales that are similar to the scales on the neck.

Snouted Cobra skin showing the large temporal scales behind the eye.

The second important part is the midbody. Counts of scales across the midbody are quite unique, although again, there may be overlap between species. A Brown House Snake will have 25 – 35 scales across midbody whereas a Boulenger's Garter Snake only has 13.

How to count midbody scales.

The subcaudal scales and anal shield under the tail are also useful to tell apart some groups such as the small black snakes. Natal Black Snakes have a single row of subcaudal scales, and the anal shield is entire. The Common Purple-glossed Snake’s subcaudals are paired and the anal shield is divided.

The difference in subcaudal and anal shield scales on snakes

Scale counts for all southern African species can be found in the Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa. Other field guides for Africa, such as the Field Guide to East African Reptiles, will have scale counts for the species of those areas. Snake skins are often ripped, and some parts like the head may be missing. In these cases you will have to use what counts you can get and the distribution and you may have to settle for a handful potential of species.