AboutTime no 42 #42 | Page 2

GENERAL NEWS From the MD’s desk The time has come for true symbiotic relationships By Sandy Kelly I guess it would be inappropriate to write about anything that did not refer to the Covid-19 pandemic, as it is having such a massive impact on our lives, families and businesses. The point is what to say that has not already been said and written about by every so-called expert in the world. What is vitally important for our readers to appreciate is what we have been doing during this time, what approach we have taken and how we have coped. In addition, what lessons can be taken home for our future existence together. Just as I went out and stocked up on beer a couple of days prior to lockdown is much the same as we did at Time Projects by adopting the Boy Scouts motto, ‘Be Prepared’. We got our staff who could work from home equipped with computers and internet connections, among other things. So, we have been able to function reasonably successfully during the lockdown. Unfortunately, all our development sites have had to stop, so that has held us up from completing Pinnacle Park and Setlhoa Retail Park, both of which were a few weeks away from completion. The contractors are now back on site and are cracking on, so we should be there in a month or two. Much of our business is related to and reliant on rental income, whether it be for ourselves at Time Projects in our properties or for our associate, PrimeTime, whose properties we manage. There has been much dialogue in the media with regard to whether tenants should pay rent even though they may be closed, whether landlords should grant rental relief, and if so, how much and what banks should be doing with regard to loan repayments, interest servicing and so on. Lawyers in every jurisdiction have written about the legalities of lease agreements and so forth. The crux of this is – either the tenants can afford to pay the rent, in full, if they are still open and operating, or in part, even if it is just their service levy obligations, or they can’t, because they don’t have the cash flow and could well be out of business already, or by the time the cloud lifts. The same applies to being able to pay the banks – either they can, or they cannot! The banks realise this – the last thing they need at this time is a whole bunch of keys to thousands of properties and businesses – small and large (thinking Edcon, SAA and Comair). Similarly, those whose businesses are able to survive by leopard crawling through the bush – we need to be there for them. As much as they need us, we need and do want them to make it through. So where does that leave us? Our philosophy is that we all need each other more than ever. This brings us to the true meaning of a ‘symbiotic relationship’. It does not matter what the legal terms are in the agreements – now is the time for true spirit of co-operation and co-existence to shine through. It applies to us as landlords, those who are tenants and our funders, banks, and institutions alike. That is the approach we are taking and, hopefully, to reuse my earlier word, when the cloud lifts, we are all still there to receive the blessings of the sun’s rays so we can flourish. ABOUT TIME, the quarterly newsletter of Time Projects Editor: Brett Marlin Managing editor: Faye-Marie Cloete Email: [email protected] Cell: +267 7137 6232 Contributors: Sandy Kelly, Brett Marlin, Heinrich Malan, John Kelly Tel: +267 395 6080 | Fax: +267 390 0160 | Email: [email protected] | Website: www.time.co.bw ABOUT TIME is published on behalf of Time Projects by Nova Communications (Pty) Ltd. The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and people interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor, publisher or Time Projects. While all precautions have been taken to ensure accuracy of information, the editors and publisher cannot accept responsibility for any inaccuracies which may inadvertently have occurred. 2 ISSUE 42 - JUNE 2020