𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗗𝗥𝗔 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗻, 𝗜𝗮𝗮𝗻 𝘃𝗮𝗻 𝗡𝗶𝗲𝗸𝗲𝗿𝗸.

By: Lanie van Schalkwyk

The term 2022/2023 will be Iaan’s 5th year as Chairman of the DRA. This dynamic leader is well known for voluntarily leading our community with integrity and dedication.

His main responsibility as chairman is to lead the DRA Exco and provide the strategic direction for the Exco members in the different portfolios according to the vision as adopted by the DRA.

He is intimately involved in most aspects of the community to create the platform and infrastructure for the residents to live out their passions in the community.

He plans ahead for any probable future events and ensures that we as a community are prepared to face any challenges as far as possible.

I have asked him a couple of questions.

Q: How long have you been living in Doringkloof?

A: Since 1 July 2000 – now 22 years.

Q: What motivated you to get involved in the community?

A: I believe in the fact that your household is only as strong as your community. I grew up on a farm in the Northern Cape. I have learnt in the Platteland that neighbours have to look after one another. We are here to help, assist and support each other. We need each other. My household is not an island in the sea. It is from this viewpoint, that being involved in the community, is a normal way of life to me.

Q: You are also a husband and a father. Tell us more about your family.

A: Fransie and I met in our first year at Pukke and from then we do everything together. She is not only the love of my life, but also my best friend, my business partner, my co-worker in the community, and of course the mother of our 7 children. Our eldest son, Hanno, is working with us at Skitterblink head office, Andre is a 3rd year civil engineer at Tukkies, Christo is a 1st year teacher at Aros, Dawid and Elsabe is grade 11 and 8 respectively at Hoërskool Centurion, Pieter is grade 6 at Laerskool Louis Leipoldt and Sarel (4yrs) is at the Little Woodlands creche in Doringkloof. Dinner around the family table is a big event in our house, especially Friday evenings. 😊

Q:  You are also a business owner. Tell us more.

A: Fransie and I have started Skitterblink Cleaning Services in 1997 from our garage in Rooihuiskraal North. It grew to multiple teams and eventually in 2003 we franchised the business concept. In the years to follow we expanded to different types of services such as domestic cleaning, commercial cleaning, hygiene services, crime scene cleaning, solar cleaning, pest control etc. During the lockdown period with Covid we could not expand quick enough with the franchise model, so we implemented a contract expansion model also. Today we have a national footprint of 22 franchises and about 40 contractors in South Africa. Over the years we have developed a modular business concept whereby franchisees or contractors can buy in, one service type at a time, making it very affordable to start up as an entrepreneur. Our business coaching methodology not only caters for the cleaning operations but also include training for all other functional areas like marketing, QA, IT HR, Finances etc.

Q: Tell us about your dream for Doringkloof

A: I dream about a Doringkloof community where neighbours know each other and support each other with whatever the need is. I dream about a community where you can live, grow and do business in a well-balanced environment. I dream about a community where the infrastructure is looked after, the parks and Spruit is well-kept and everyone is involved in some way or another. But most of all, I dream about a community with such a sense of community and integrated communication system that we will be able to handle any emergency or disaster coming our way in the future. In short – I am living my dream currently in Doringkloof and seeing it being fulfilled.

Q: You have recently posted messages on emergency plans. Explain to us what are some of your concerns and why you think it is important to have these plans in place.

A: Looking at what is happening in our beautiful country South Africa currently, it is not difficult, nor pessimistic to see that we are heading towards some challenges in the very near future. In the last year or so we have lived through a Covid pandemic where there was no access to hospitals or oxygen at a point in time, we have lived though the riots in KZN with huge food shortages within 3-5 days, we are living through constant loadshedding and power outages for days, and now recently we have seen the catastrophe of the floods in and around KZN. Any emergency or combination of natural and man-made disasters can happen in a moments time. It is therefore imperative that we develop and implement Emergency Action Plans for households, businesses and the community. I strongly advise all Doringkloof residents and business owners to plan for a three-day emergency situation. If you have accomplished that, plan for 3 weeks, and if at all possible, extent it to a three-month emergency plan. Make use of the Emergency Action Plans that we have posted on the Doringkloof website to prepare your household. It is always better and cheaper to plan pro-actively than to react after an emergency.

Q: You made a big difference in Doringkloof. But what difference did it make in your life to be involved?

A: Seeing what is happening currently in Doringkloof, experiencing the neighbourly love and involvement, is such a sense of fulfilment. It gives me hope for the future. More than ever, I have seen first-hand that it takes a community to raise a community. What a privilege to stay in Doringkloof!

Q: What does a business director, chairman of DRA, husband and father of seven do to relax?

A: I enjoy nature. I love hiking and camping with my family, but I also love to relax with my chickens and vegetable garden in our backyard. If I am really stressed out, I just go and sit in the chicken coop and chat with my chickens. 😊