Archive for the ‘Wealth Management’ Category

Places Of Interest Along The Garden Route South Africa

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

By Gerald Crawford Stellenbosch

Between Mossel Bay and Storms River, the Garden Route runs parallel to a coastline which features lakes, mountains, golden beaches, cliffs and dense indigenous forests.

From sources high in the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains, amber-coloured rivers plunge into an ocean of mercurial moods.

On this enchanting stretch of coast, holiday resorts from the simple to the luxurious cater for fitness fanatics as well as the unashamedly indolent. Secluded coves such as Herolds Bay and Victoria Bay, and the long beaches of Wilderness, Sedgefield and Buffels Bay attract those who enjoy sun, sea and a laid back holiday agenda.

Scheduled flights link George (principal town of the Garden Route) with all the major centers in the country. Surrounded by indigenous forests, the delightful town of George nestles on a coastal plateau at the foot of one of the highest peaks in the Outeniqua mountain range. Knysna has fabulous sea and mountain views and a tranquil lagoon – one of the finest sailing, cruising, swimming and fishing spots in the country.

Connoisseurs claim that Knysna oysters are the most succulent in the world. In addition to golden beaches, Plettenberg Bay features trendy boutiques, affluent holiday homes and jet set hotels. Hikers follow meandering trails through the Garden Route; the rain forests invite long, leisurely drives, while the lakes and rivers lend themselves to swimming, boating and fishing. Capital of the Little Karoo, Oudtshoorn is easily reached over the streamlined Outeniqua Pass. In contrast the lush greenery of the coast, the Little Karoo is a semiarid valley which provides the ideal habitat for ostriches. ‘Feather Palaces’, built at the turn of the century, are reminders of an opulent era when feathers fetched more than their weight in gold.

Cango Caves

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Regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders, the fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. Tours are conducted into the caves. A restaurant, curio shop and crche are available at the entrance.


Scenically situated on a coastal plateau at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains. The George Museum, housed in the old drostdy, includes a splendid collection of Victorian bric-a-brac. Steam enthusiasts should not miss a ride on the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe, one of the few remaining steam trains in the country. It runs between George and Knysna. Two scenic passes, the Outeniqua and Montagu, link George to the interior.

Jeffrey’s Bay

A popular holiday resort, especially among surfers. The almost rock-free coastline is noted for its shells. the local library also houses a fine collection of sea shells.


This well-known holiday resort on the Garden Route was established by George Rex, reputedly the son of George III. The town lies on the Knysna Lagoon, the mouth of which is guarded by two promontories known as The Heads. The lagoon is an excellent venue for water sports and pleasure and cabin cruises are available. Other attractions include the Featherbed Nature Reserve and the Millwood House Museum. Vast tracts of indigenous forests occur around Knysna.


A spectacular 2-km gorge through the Swartberg Range. A feature of these mountains is the dramatic folding of the sandstone strate which is clearly visible in the towering cliffs flanking the road.

Mossel Bay

Site of the first landfall made by the Portuguese explorer Batholomeu Diaz in 1488 and today a popular holiday resort with fine beaches and much else to offer the tourist. The Batholomeu Diaz Museum Complex comprises historical, maritime and shell museums. Launch trips are offered to nearby Seal Island with its noisy population of some 2,000 seals as well as gannets and cormorants.

Nature’s Valley

Mainly a village of private holiday homes in beautiful surroundings with a long stretch of beach.


Known as the ‘Feather Capital’ of the world because of the large ostrich industry in the area. Attractions include two ostrich show farms Highgate and Safari and Arbeidsgenot, the home of poet and write CJ Langenhoven which is preserved as a museum. The CP Nel Museum in town is also worth visiting. At the Cango Crocodile Ranch and Cheetah land, besides crocodiles cheetahs and a snake park, lions, pumas and jaguars can be viewed.

About the Author: Gerald Crawford: born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and african travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa and the United Kingdom. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me on. E-mail Address: Website Address:


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Nsecured Loan To Secured Loan How A Loan Company Can Convert Your Debt And Claim On Your Home

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

By R.Green

Warnings have been issued recently by debt counselling charities, regarding an increasing trend by some of the high street lenders to issue ‘charging orders’ on borrowers’ homes in order to recover bad debts. Major names in loan provision such as Abbey, Alliance and Leicester, Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Lloyds TSB, Nationwide, and Northern Rock have all admitted to using these measures to turn an unsecured loan into one that is secured against the borrower’s house.

When a loan is taken out, it can be either secured against the borrower’s property and should repayment defaults occur then the lender can still recover their money through the sale of the property, or it can be unsecured so that no such guarantee is offered by the borrower. Due to the obvious financial risk advantages to the lender and the much lower default rates which occur with secured loans when compared with unsecured loans, increased borrowing limits and lower interest rates are usually available for those who choose to opt for a secured loan.

Charging orders are a legal means of converting a loan that has been taken out without the provision of securing that debt against your house into one where the debt is secured against your property. Having a charging order put on a house means that when the property is sold and the mortgage is cleared, any money that is then left over will automatically go to pay the remaining outstanding debt. According to this means that you ‘cannot sell your house until you’ve paid off your mortgage, any second mortgage and other secured loans, plus the amount due under the charging order.’

It should be noted that before a court will consider an application granting a charging order, the lender must have issued a county court judgment against the debtor and the borrower must have failed to make the required payments on that judgment as agreed by the court. Also a charging order does not of itself ensure that the lender gets repayment of the outstanding debt but it does prevent the debtor from selling their property without paying what they owe. The debtor is not under any obligation to sell their property once the charging order is put in place; however, there are some extreme circumstances where it is possible for a lender to apply to a court in order to force a sale. It is very rare for the court to allow a creditor who has a Charging Order Absolute to sell your home. It is up to the court to decide whether to make an Order for Sale.

Currently the number of charging orders being issued is about 35,000 per year; however this figure is gradually rising. According to the BBC, ‘Advisers say the practice is becoming so common that the way loans and credit cards are being marketed should change to include mortgage-style warnings that your home may be at risk if you miss repayments.’

Whilst most people would agree that lenders should be able to recover the money lent, the whole point of an unsecured loan is that it will not put the borrower’s home at risk if future financial difficulties are encountered and they cannot meet the repayment schedule. Peter Tutton of the Citizens Advice highlighted that the banks are also profiting from this practice as they are still charging the higher interest rate of the unsecured debt, “lenders are kind of getting it both ways, they are getting the risk premium off the borrower, but they are getting the security of the charge and that seems unfair.”

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Malcolm Hurlston of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service told the BBC, that if the practice of using these orders to force unsecured loans into secured loans increases at the current rate then, ‘it’s something that ought to attract the attention of the Department of Trade and Industry or the Financial Services Authority.’ The Financial Services Authority in turn stated that they had no authority to intervene and that it was a matter for the Department of Trade and Industry.

With the current lack of regulation covering the situation, the best thing to do is prevent yourself getting into a state of affairs where you could become subject to a charge order.

* Compare as many loans as possible using sites such as Moneynet ( )

* Check your own financial situation – can you afford the repayments now and do you expect to be able to meet all future payments? Using loan calculators such as ( ) can help decide whether you can afford to take out a loan.

* Read through all documentation and any agreements carefully.

* If you do obtain a loan, and later have financial difficulties and miss repayments, immediately speak to your lender to discuss the problem.

* If your financial situation becomes serious, contact Citizens Advice or the Consumer Credit Counselling Service for free expert advice on how to proceed.

Useful resources:

Moneynet loan comparisons ( )

Financial Services Authority loan calculator ( )


All information contained in this article, is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as advice under the Financial Services Act 1986.

You are strongly advised to take appropriate professional and legal advice before entering into any binding contracts.

About the Author: Richard lives in Edinburgh, occasionally writing for the personal finance blog Cashzilla ( ), and listens to music no one else likes.


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