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Lady Selborne: Lady bountiful

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Lady Selborne has been likened to a phoenix which has risen from the ashes of the effects of apartheid's Group Areas Act

With properties going for as much as R4 million, Lady Selborne defies its history as one of the areas where the more marked effects of the infamous Group Areas Act played out in the 1960s.

This neighbourhood next to Suiderberg in north-west Pretoria, has grand houses and opulent properties, having “risen from the proverbial ashes to become one of the most sought-after suburbs around”, says Peter Mokwana, Seeff principal for Pretoria North (Jakaranda).

Werner Best’s favourite places of interest in Lady Selborne

Mokwana is referring to evictions that took place in Lady Selborne from 1961 when residents were forcibly removed to Ga-Rankuwa and other areas after the Group Areas Act came into effect.

“There is a high demand for land in Lady Selborne especially from people who where forcefully removed but now have the opportunity and means to resettle,” says Mokwana.

Lady Selborne was at the centre of forced removals during the apartheid era, but is now a conveniently located area of prime real estate where some residents come to settle for historical reasons – Peter Mokwana, Seeff Principal for Pretoria North Jakaranda

In addition, the location is convenient.

“The suburb lies just off the busy R80 and its proximity to Pretoria Central is an attraction.”

Lady Selborne also affords easy access to Laudium, Pretoria West via Bremer Street (R55), an arterial that terminates in adjacent Suiderberg, itself a part of the original Selborne and built after the evictions.

Among Lady Selborne’s housing stock are mansions and grand properties. Houses closer to the Magaliesberg are more expensive. Picture: John Makoni

It helps that the smallholding areas of Zandfontein and Andeon AH are nearby as these add to Lady Selborne’s character as one of Tshwane’s quietest suburbs.

Until the 1940s, Lady Selborne was popular with migrant workers as it gave residents access to centres of work, including Iscor where many residents were employed.

Today, Wonderpark Shopping Centre is a magnet for most residents. Mokwana says the renovation of the iconic Holy Cross Home, a frail-care centre and hospice run by the Holy Cross Sisters, has helped raise the profile of the area.

“The suburb has become one of Tshwane’s prime areas and demand both for homes and vacant land has increased.

“You can still find vacant land selling for about R450 000 and properties going for between R1.2m and R4m and even higher.

“Prices in virtually all the suburbs near to the Magaliesberg are similar in that the closer to the foot of the mountain, the more expensive the property,” says Mokwana.

He says Suiderburg, Mountain View, Capital Park and Nina Park are the most similar to Lady Selborne in terms of values, lifestyle, LSM and other comparison indicators.

Lady Selborne was established in 1905 and named after Lady Beatrice Maud Selborne, the wife of Lord Selborne, then High Commissioner for Southern Africa and governor of the Transvaal and Orange River colonies.

It was a racially mixed area whose former residents were relocated to Eersterus, Derdepoort, Laudium, Ga-Rankuwa, Atteridgeville and Mamelodi.

Today, Lady Selborne is one of the few areas with a mixed-housing development in another section, with former claimants able to choose homes from RDP, low-income, conventional bonded, finance-linked subsidy or rental stock.

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