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WESTERN CAPE: Our insider’s guide to Malmesbury

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With highway upgrades and eight entry points to the metro, plus being located alongside the road to Namibia and Angola, this region offers great residential and commercial opportunities. Land tends to be cheaper and house prices offer more value for

A mere 65km from Cape Town CBD makes Malmesbury a realistic choice for those wishing to live in the country without giving up on city benefits, says long-time resident John Quintal.

“I commute at least three times a week to Cape Town, sourcing supplies for my business, and the drive is a pleasure. The recent highway upgrades – a dual-lane carriageway almost all the way – coupled with eight entry points into the metro, makes commuting from Malmesbury a doddle. And then there’s a lifestyle which offers so much; I’m a cyclist and the wide-shouldered, relatively quiet regional roads make training sessions enjoyable.”

Quintal has completed 25 cycle tour events. Situated alongside the N7 – the main highway to Namibia and Angola – keeps Malmesbury in sharp focus for residential and commercial opportunities.

The rental market is booming and this presents opportunities for investors willing to enter the
buy-to-rent space. – Rawson Properties Malmesbury Franchisee, Schalk Liebenberg
Picture: Supplied

Until now a dearth of industrial land stifled business opportunities, but this has been rectified. Developments have ignited a renewed interest in residential space, says Rawson Properties Malmesbury franchisee, Schalk Liebenberg.

“The generally slow economic environment impacted on the Malmesbury residential market. Having said that, the rental market is booming, presenting opportunities for investors willing to enter the buy-to-rent space,” says Liebenberg.

“The imminent completion of the highway upgrade is positively impacting on properties. The town is on the northern periphery of the Cape Town Metro, the sector undergoing huge growth. Commuting from Malmesbury to Cape Town takes a fraction of the time of a similar journey from Paarl to the city.”

“Freehold homes comprise the bulk of the market and fewer than 10% are in estates, but this is changing. “Developments such as Glen Lilly are changing the residential space with sectional title and freehold homes in a secure regulated environment.”

The broader west coast economy is looking up. Improved rainfall has strengthened agriculture’s outlook with a major effect on all the towns in the region. 

Promulgation of the Saldanha Industrial Development Zone in 2013 is now seeing growth, and the improved highway network makes easier commuting and transfer of goods and services in the region.

Highway upgrades have allowed Malmesbury to grow commercially. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

“Small town living has significant advantages over the city. Land tends to be cheaper, house prices offer greater value for money and crime levels are reduced.

“This, coupled with a skilled labour force, good schools and a significantly lower cost of living, are strong motivating factors for those seeking to escape the hurly-burly of city life. Malmesbury offers much and should be included among prospects for those looking at relocating

John Quintal’s favourite places and things to do

Highway upgrades – a dual-lane carriageway almost all the way – coupled with eight entry
points into the metro makes commuting from Malmesbury a doddle. – John Quintal, resident
Picture: Supplied

1 Outdoors If you’re an adrenaline junkie, Mother City Sky Diving is a real option for your next high. Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, join one of their professionals for an exhilarating tandem jump. You need to set a few hours aside and wear appropriate clothing, but they will guide you – all conducted in accordance with the Parachute Association of South Africa (079 337 2443).

The Marksman’s Nest offers formal firearm training as well as team-building packages in a safe instruction-oriented environment. All visitors and nonmembers must first complete a compulsory basic firearms handling course. From there on you can select a specific package. All include safety glasses, ear protection, range fees, briefing, instruction, firearms and targets. The minimum age is 13, and under-18s require a responsible adult to be present (079 849 6469).

2 Eat

Marvel Bistro is a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner, offering a wide range of freshly-baked bread and pastries and an a-la-carte menu. On the first Sunday of each month, they host themed lunches. Bookings are essential. They’ve teamed up with Bill & Co to host a street market fortnightly, bringing in local produce suppliers and winemakers (076 110 0337).

A takeaway that’s been around for 40 years is Swartland Fisheries, which have served their iteration of fresh hake and chips since the 1970s (022 482 2351).

Marvel Bistro holds themed lunches on first Sundays. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

3 Drink

If you’re looking for organic and natural, Dragonridge is for you. Certified organic and traditional with minimal interference. Besides a variety of delicious, low-sulphur red and white wines, exceptional sparkling wines are produced. The Dragonridge Supernova 2015 was made the ancestral French way (methode ancestrale). Unlike MCC, nothing is added. This bubbly was awarded four stars in the latest Platter guide. Wine tasting and cellar tours are conducted by appointment (0224871153).

Craft gins are certainly in vogue and the Swartland is not to be outdone. Relihan Gin is made in a small boutique distillery on a farm, in the family since 1865. The alcohol base comes from wine produced in the Swartland. They produce a selection of gins – Cape fynbos with botanicals and others infused with hibiscus or rooibos. Tastings can be arranged for groups of five or more or enjoy at the Bill & Co Street Market every second week.

4 Shop

Buy direct from the manufacturer if you’re in the market for baskets. Pella Crafters is worth the drive. Located in the missionary village of Pella, about 20km from Malmesbury, this venture has grown into a success story touching the lives of many unemployed and disabled people. They make a wide range of baskets serving the deli, bakery and retail markets, manufacturing a wide range of picnic baskets of outstanding quality. Call ahead to check on stock availability (083 458 3653).

Cherry Lane is the one-stop-shop for ultimate indulgence. While sipping a favourite brew have your hair done. Book for a beauty treatment or inquire about permanent makeup. Also, browse the used book shop or wander through the deli packed with local produce – Darling Toffees, Season’s condiments, Simply Bee products, Kloovenburg Olives (022 482 2877).


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