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Ask Freddie Lombard Your Own Question
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2607
Experience:  Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.
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There - We want to install a Photovoltaic Power System (PV-Panels,

Customer Question

Hi there - We want to install a Photovoltaic Power System (PV-Panels, inverter and batteries) on our property at a total cost of ZAR 250'000.00 in order to become 'green' and 'sustainable' but the board for our Estate doesn't want to let us do so as they have reservations concerning the appearance of the PV-Panels on the roof as it doesn't comply with the Estates rules and regulations. We don't agree with these old-fashioned documents as today the whole world is recommending to install green(er) and sustainable technologies - how can we 'fight' these old-fashioned rules and regulations? We have hear ed that there are court cases where their verdict in all cases where for such projects - can you assist us?
Hans R. Zwicker
Cape Town
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 2 years ago.
Dear Hans
Thank you for your question. I will try to assist you in answering it today but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.
The short answer to your question is that if the Estate rules prohibit this then your first step would be to attempt to convince the board to change the rules. The rules and architectural guidelines etc of any estate can be changed by the members if the majority, or in some cases only by unanimous decision, chooses to do so. I would suggest that it should not be too difficult to get the majority o the owners on board with the idea as you rightly mention, the entire world is leaning in that direction now in any event. Also, the fact the Escom is seriously unreliable.
If that is not successful, then your only remedy would be to challenge their decision in court. If the court finds in your favour, then the court will grant an order to enable you to proceed with the installation.
In order to decide if you have a strong enough case to take to court is a different thing altogether and will entail perusal of all the documentation including the estate rules, your application as well as their response thereto.
For this reason I would suggest that you consult with a expert litigation attorney with instruction to obtain a formal opinion from counsel before you embark on a costly legal exercise.
I hope this answered your question.
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