Relocation from Gauteng to Eastern Cape

So here we are, 5 years later after our relocation from the suburbs to a freeholding.

We have learnt a lot, how to work sparingly with water and rainwater harvesting, and so on.

Now we want to relocate out of the city to a piece of land in the Eastern Cape. Reason being bigger place, no noise or air pollution and we’re closer to the sea (for the kids).

It is about 3 hours away from Port Elizabeth. We currently are in Gauteng (aka Gangsters Paradise).

Both my wife and myself are disillusioned with living in the city - incessant noise, increasing levels of violence, etc etc. I have noticed that our visits to big malls etc have dropped down and we only go to small shops.

And also this COVID-19 pandemic. This is a major part for our motivation to get out.

We had a look with Google Earth, there are no townships or squatter areas close by, which is a good sign. The area itself are not developed, it is a bit close to the mountains, so we will have no neighbours for miles.

We also want to go 100% off grid. Currently we are using electricity from our monopolistic supplier, but if things go well and we can do it, I want to get both solar panels and wind turbines to generate electricity. Should the wind be blowing for long periods of time (it is in the mountains) then we can rely on wind for electricity generation.

The downside is that it is in a winter rain catchment area, so we will get snow and serious coldness during the winter season, but what the hey… better than being in a desert.

Housing - there are none. It is just open veld. Our plans are to get a 2nd hand steel shed and use that to live in. Currently we are eyeing a 12.5mx24m steel shed (it have roof and side cladding). Wife have contacted somebody who specializes in that sort of thing, they will go out and eyeball the shed on Tuesday.

Said person also got a permit to work over provincial borders, so if the shed is 100% for us, we will ask the same person if he will pour a foundation and erect the shed for us. The it means we can just move in and start converting the insides to a house with living area and bedrooms etc. By doing it this way, we will be protected from the elements (rain, wind, sun etc).

Far quicker than going to an empty piece of veld and starting to build.

We already have put our existing freehold on the market, so it is a catch-22 situation at the moment, but I have faith in our Lord that the pieces will fall in position and we can go forward with this.

Things like doors and windows etc? Somebody in our area is busy doing house renovation, so we get all their old window and door frames. Hopefully both bathtubs and toilets can come out unbroken, so we’ll get these as well along with basins etc.

The only logistic part of this is to get everything packed and transported to the new place, but it is a worry for another day.

Kids are also looking forward to it - bigger place etc.

Have no idea what internet is like in that part of the boondocks, we are making plans to go there physically and have a look at the place before we sign the title deed etc. I’m pretty sure a WISP will be operating in that area, but that can wait for another day.

The biggest advantage of this is that I’ll have less stress with IT, and if we can find a market niche and start our own business up that side of the world, it’ll be a good new start.

So… now we wait and see what happens.


That’s an ambitious plan. Good luck, and I look forward to seeing / watching everything come together.

One dumb question - how well insulated will that shed be? You mention snow and constant winds, so I really do hope it’s well insulated to keep the cold out.


Good question, which I neglected to mention. The only dumb question is one that is never asked. :slight_smile:

It is not insulated. We will start by building a wooden structure inside, along with additional insulation which will keep the heat inside. The structure will not be modified for insulation.

By the time we move, the season should be turning towards summer, so that will give us a bit of respite, and we can use that for a good start to get going on the insulation plans before the new winter comes.

edited to add : since it is already enclosed inside a structure, we won’t need to worry about waterproofing or a roof. If the shed is high enough, we can easily add a 2nd floor for more space.

We also will look for something like a potbelly stove, but a lot bigger and one which you can use in the kitchen to heat the whole house with. Prepare food and heat the house in one go. Win.

Little Shed on the Prairie indeed :rofl:

Just remember that while there are benefits to isolation, it also makes it difficult to get help when you need it. Make sure your communication links are solid.

Thanks for the concern.

When we go down to eyeball the property, we will also inquire about a neighborhood watch scheme - I’m pretty sure there will be something. $wife and myself discussed this aspect as well.

Current area where we reside also have a neighborhood watch, and the kids take turn to do roll call in the evenings, so that they can get comfortable and familiar with radio procedures.

1 Like

Okay, that is SERIOUSLY off grid.
I wish you the best of luck.


Going tomorrow to the local cop shop to get permits for crossing provincial borders.

Hopefully they will be issued quickly and without hassles.

We plan to start driving 1200kms (more or less) early tuesday morning, sleep over at mother in law, then wednesday view the site, sleep over at MIL, and thursday drive back home.

The person who will help us to build our house at the new site will also be going with so he can have an idea of the terrain etc.

1 Like

I concur with earlier comments… ambitions plan, wish you luck. That’s way out side my comfort zone.

I swear man, it’s a whole other world where you live. If I moved 1200 km it would be still in the Midwest and pretty much exactly where I am now, certainly wouldn’t be able to just plop a building anywhere, or need to get a premium to cross state lines.

That sort of scale is a little hard to wrap my head around. If I travelled 1200 miles I’d be in the ocean. I think I would be just short of reaching Australia. And I certainly wouldn’t want to be plopping a house down there :laughing:


1200km is about 750 miles. That would get me to El Paso, Texas. One road, straight (-ish) across the state.
Or Kansas City, MO, or St. Louis, MO, or Nashville, TN, or Tallahassee, FL (I can’t believe I spelled that right on the first try)

Ha! Roswell, NM is closer than El Paso.

1,200 km doesn’t even get me out of Ontario going west…

Map thingee…


Or me out of California going north. In fact, the quickest way out of California from here involves leaving the US entirely.

It should get you out of California as the crow flies. I looked up here and 1200km could get me to almost any East Coast state I want.

Depends on what direction. It will get us out of CA if we’re heading east, but CA is almost 800 miles long (1240km)

Hehe - you found the same site I did, eh? Very cool site, by the way. I used it to see what’s within a few hours drive (extrapolating by speed) of Porto so when we eventually go back I could figure out some day trips.

1 Like

My first thought to be honest was Google Earth used to be good for such things, but I didn’t feel like installing an applications etc.

My favorite use of Google Earth was calculating the time distance between NYC and Tokyo and using Math to explain to my boss that if voice packets had to travel between the two cities and back we were going to see latency even if we somehow had a cable run the fastest path under the North Pole.


@Ook - I hope your move out of Gauteng gets the green light, as I read yesterday that the CV19 count is starting to spike… Stay safe!



Got two or three potential buyers, one a cash buyer coming next week.

Also - somebody in the area was doing house renovations, and we got a couple of things (like doors and door frames) for free.

And also - somebody have a Pajero (4 door) - battery and tyres got stolen. We can buy it and have to get new tyres plus battery, which will be cheaper than buying a new 4x4. Friends of ours work on Pajeros, so we have somebody who can tell us yea or nay.
It is a petrol model.
Apparently some diesel models tend to give grief galore.

I will really try to post pix tomorrow.