Development rights have been granted to 54 private properties by the Mozambique Government to develop private homes on specified sites on The Sanctuary. 17 homes have been built to date, with one under construction, all of which conform to a building code overseen by formal processes of application and approvals overseen by a sub-committee of The Sanctuary’s Board.
The developed homes on The Sanctuary are either sole-owned or held in syndicate share arrangements among multiple owners. Syndicated homes generally work on allocations of time blocks throughout the year.
Each site contributes a mandatory annual levy to meet the approved budget for the purpose of managing and maintaining The Sanctuary as a conservation area as stipulated in the various approvals by the Government of Mozambique.
The Board has recently given formal approval to private homes being let out for rental, subject to certain conditions so as to not compromise the commercial lodges on The Sanctuary or the terms of the original license agreement.
In keeping with the founding objectives and values of The Sanctuary all building activity is tightly governed to ensure minimal impact on the environment, both visually and practically. An Aesthetics and Building Committee appointed annually by the Board oversees all development projects to ensure that all stipulated criteria are adhered to.
It is the overarching aim of The Sanctuary that man’s footprint is kept as light as possible in order to ensure that its natural state is preserved and protected as far as possible. Furthermore the original parameters of the license agreement held with the Mozambican government are very specific in terms of what is allowed to be built.
The Sanctuary does not offer a building service itself and is unable to supervise works. This being said the team at The Sanctuary have much insight into what is practical, dependable and appropriate to the conditions and are available to dispense advice and guidance, and to refer you to the relevant contractors.
Independent contractors based in Vilanculos are generally engaged to build new homes and they are encouraged to work with local artisans from the community. For example, jecca roofing teams from the local community provide excellent roofing expertise.
The process of purchasing a developed property (i.e. a commercial lodge or holiday home) in Mozambique requires the signing of a notarial deed of sale and the payment of transfer duties. Thereafter the registration of the alteration of ownership is made at the local deeds office. It should be noted that property rights are entrenched in the Mozambican constitution, in that the State recognises and guarantees the right of ownership of developed property.
The process is substantially different when acquiring any land rights in Mozambique on land that is not developed. This is due to the fact that all land in Mozambique is the property of the State and should any person (legal or natural) wish to acquire a concession (usually granted for 50 years and renewable for a further 50 years) he/she has to make an application to the State which must include a development plan clearly indicating what the purpose of the development will be. A Mozambican registered legal entity (with foreign shareholding) may apply for land concessions.
It should be noted that in the event that a tourism resort or a lodge is constructed (developed) this is then registered at the Deeds Office and thereafter the property becomes privately owned indefinitely and may be sold to third parties. In short it becomes ‘freehold’ property.
The Sanctuary raises annual levies from all sites to meet the approved budget for managing and maintaining The Sanctuary as a conservation area as stipulated in the various approvals by the Government of Mozambique.
It must be understood that The Sanctuary Levy is distinct from the fees associated with operating private and commercial properties.
The Sanctuary Levy exclusively finances the following operations of The Sanctuary itself:
On acquisition of a property on The Sanctuary the owner automatically becomes a Member of The Sanctuary and is obligated to pay the mandatory Sanctuary Levy on an annual basis.
Failure to pay The Sanctuary Levy not only contravenes the rules of The Sanctuary itself but also those of the Mozambique Government. Levy defaulters risk facing legal action which may result in their site being reclaimed.
The current levy is R130,000 per annum for private sites, and a higher rate per bed on commercial sites.
The advantages of buying a ready-built home or share in an existing home on The Sanctuary are:
At any one time there are various purchase options for prospective buyers wishing either to own a home on their own or to acquire a share in a syndicated home.
Sole ownship of homes on The Sanctuary is the exception to the norm as the cost and responsibility of running a property alone is high. This being said some personaliites are better suited to sole ownership due to the restrictions to the use of syndicated homes and the perceived impersonal character of homes used by multiple owners who are often strangers to each other.
Syndicated ownership is the most common form of investment in The Sanctuary and the market in shares is bouyant with various options for interested buyers. The optimal syndaicte size is 6 shareholders as this allows regular access to the shareholders and also a sense of ownership which is often lost when there are too many shareholders.
The advantages of syndicated ownership are:
The Board has the right to suspend any building activity in contravention of any of the conditions laid down, including the design guidelines and Sanctuary Rules and Regulations. The Company accepts no liability whatsoever for any losses sustained by a member and or contractor as a result hereof.
The onus shall be on the contractor and his staff at all times to see to their own safety when on the Sanctuary. The liability for the consequences of any injury sustained on the Sanctuary or reserve whether in or on the sea or land or in the air from whatever cause shall not rest with SOA or Santuario Bravio de Vilanculos Lda, and all contractors hereby indemnify and hold harmless the SOA and Santuário Bravio de Vilanculos, Lda (the Authorisation Holder, its directors and employees, against any claim or loss howsoever arising therefrom).