Managing Reserves in Sectional Title Schemes: A Guide for South African Communities

BY The Bellbuoy Group

Sectional title living has become increasingly popular in South Africa, offering residents the benefits of shared amenities, communal spaces, and a sense of community. However, effective management of reserves is crucial to ensure the sustainability and financial health of community housing schemes. In this article, we will explore the importance of reserves, the legal framework governing them in South Africa, and practical tips for managing reserves in community housing developments, and in particular, sectional title schemes.

Understanding Reserves:
Reserves in a sectional title scheme refer to funds set aside for future maintenance, repairs, and capital expenditure. These reserves act as a financial safety net, ensuring that the scheme can cover unexpected expenses and major repairs without burdening individual owners with hefty special levies. Managing reserves effectively requires a combination of financial planning, community involvement, and adherence to legal guidelines.

Legal Framework
The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act (STSMA) and the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act (CSOSA) are the primary legislative frameworks governing sectional title living in South Africa. These acts provide guidelines for the establishment, maintenance, and management of reserves. Section 3 of the STSMA, for example, mandates the creation of a reserve fund for future maintenance and repairs.

Key Components of Managing Reserves

1. Reserve Fund Planning:

  • Conduct a regular assessment of the scheme's physical condition and anticipate future maintenance needs.
  • Develop a comprehensive reserve fund plan that outlines the expected costs and timelines for major repairs or replacements. 

2. Budgeting:

  • Include a separate annual budget for contributions to the reserve fund.
  • Ensure that the budget is transparent and accessible to all owners, fostering a sense of community involvement in financial decisions.

3. Regular Contributions:

  • Ensure consistent and fair contributions from all owners to the reserve fund.
  • Review and adjust contribution rates annually, based on the reserve fund plan and the scheme's financial health.

4. Investment Strategies:

  • Explore responsible and legal investment opportunities to grow the reserve fund.     

5. Emergency Funds:

  • Include provision for unforeseen expenses that may arise between scheduled maintenance cycles. 

6. Regular Reporting:

  • Provide annual financial reports to owners, detailing the status of the reserve fund and ongoing projects.
  • Foster transparency and open communication to build trust among the community. 


Effective management of reserves is a cornerstone of successful sectional title living in South Africa. By adhering to legal guidelines, developing comprehensive plans, and fostering community involvement, sectional title schemes can ensure the long-term financial health of their communities. Regular financial reporting, transparent budgeting, and proactive planning contribute to a thriving and sustainable sectional title living experience for all residents.

Please contact us on if you require any further information, or to discuss what The Bellbuoy Group can offer your community.

 February 14, 2024
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Greenacres, Gqerberha

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