Pinelands Development Company

Pinelands Development Company

The relationship between Garden Cities and Pinelands Development Company (PDC) goes back to when PDC was first established as a financing company to lend homebuyers who had been granted a State housing loan, a further 15% towards their deposit, which many could not raise.

The PDC financing was by way of a second bond at a lower rate of interest than could be obtained from any other source.

The move to provide this facility was necessary, as the Housing Act of 1920 stipulated that would-be house owners could obtain an advance or loan from the State of up to 80% of the cost of a house, including the land, but had to find the further 20% for themselves. Although plots sold by Garden Cities could be bought for as little as 20 pounds at the time, the average lower-salaried man, whom the Garden Cities Trust primarily intended to house, often could not raise the 20%.

Not only did Pinelands Development Company provide the financial assistance, but since 1945, has also built all Garden Cities’ houses. It remains the largest house builder on an on-going basis in the Western Cape and has received the NHBRC award for Best Builder.

The Memorandum of Association of PDC has as one of its objectives: ‘…to provide better housing and better social conditions for the people.’


  • The company held its first Board meeting on November 11, 1930
  • During 1931 PDC built the first two houses at £437 and £580 respectively
  • During 1936 a delay in building activities was experienced – due to township layout problems
  • 1937 saw the first electric geysers installed
  • During 1942 house prices reached £1 200 and cost-cutting measures were investigated.
  • During 1945 there was already a waiting list of 196 and preference had to be given to servicemen
  • In 1945 director Zerilda Steyn had to resign, owing to her being ‘under a legal disability’ – she was married in community of property.
  • 1945 also saw PDC deciding to build for themselves and the started with a team of 380 people at a weekly payroll of £1 600 pounds. The company erected two houses per week.
  • At the 1946 AGM the chairman stated ‘I would like to recall that when we decided to undertake our own construction work we had no equipment and our entire staff consisted of a secretary and his typist. We have now brought into being one of the largest and most efficient house construction companies in the Cape’
  • In 1952 PDC received a rebate from the Workmen’s Compensation Commission because of safety measures enforced on site and this tradition continues today with the company continuing to win local safety competitions.

Contact Details:

Pinelands Development Company (NPC)
12 Wildwood Close, Sunningdale
Tel: 021 554 0700
Fax: 021 554 0628