AboutTime No 43 | Page 2

GENERAL NEWS From the MD’s desk By Sandy Kelly Covid-19 and the effects on our business “My last quarter’s message came from the comfort of my veranda at home during lockdown postulating how Covid 19 would affect our business, our industry and us personally at TIME Projects. There is no end to the consequences, the strategies to cope by governments and health authorities as well as how to manage or treat the disease from every expert around the world, so I don’t even wish to volunteer anything on that front, except what we are seeing in real life around us. We see a vibrant exuberance amongst our staff who have all returned to the office - couldn’t wait for that spirit of camaraderie (observing all the protocols of course); our associates, tenants and clients displaying similar enthusiasm to get the show back on the road - not only for economic reasons but because that is what we do. Elsewhere in the world, there are communities that seem to be happy to sit at home while the government picks up the bills and our neighbours who continue to loot and pillage rather than seek productive ways to live and contribute. Our team has excelled during these last few months.” That was the introduction to my latest quarterly report which I started writing prior to this latest two-week lockdown. Since then, we have all taken another knockdown. How many more rounds can we all go in the ring? Will we make it through the full 15 rounds or will the referee count some of us out, effectively a TKO (technical knock-out for those not familiar with boxing terminology), or will some ‘throw in the towel’ (also a TKO by the way) and who will be there at the final bell to fight another bout? Our metal is being severely tested at this time. All we can do is be as tough as we can; draw on all our hidden resources and resilience; those who are as fortunate as ourselves with immensely strong team spirit and support for each other, including all our associates, tenants, financiers, shareholders and the public at large with due consideration to everyone’s plight will have the best chance. It will be a long haul back but we are convinced that we will emerge stronger than before. No doubt by now, many of us had the experience of losing a close one to this dreaded disease – we cannot take it lightly. What’s our outlook for the short and medium term in the local property space? • Contrary to some people’s beliefs, we don’t see a massive switch to working remotely, so offices will not become abandoned. • In any event, there is only so much work that gets done in the office. So much is done outside – you can’t manufacture from home or build a new building or mine from home – all these must continue as before. • Especially in our relatively developed but also undeveloped economy and communities – the vast majority of the population does not have access to internet and technology to work or school from home – this applies to the whole of Africa – despite the government’s ERP to get digital education up and running as a priority – is that really going to happen, and at what cost, in the near future? The idea is nice, but is it realistically achievable? • Are we all now hooked on Amazon, Alibaba, Takealot, etc? Well, if you are in the UK, USA, Europe, Japan and parts of China, even the major cities in SA maybe, but probably only for the top 5% to 10% of the population? So – not likely to happen here anytime soon and even so, not to the extent that our retail industry will be compromised for many years to come. • Residential property will be drastically affected as people already have less income and depleted reserves; banks are under severe strain as they have had to provide credit relief to almost everyone; valuations will be negatively affected; banks will be more cautious and loan-to-values are already being reduced, increasing the number of distressed properties. We would recommend making every effort to reign in whatever unnecessary expenses one has and reschedule loan repayments with your bank to retain your lifelong, most important asset (apart from your own lives). Apart from all of that, there is not much else to say for now. The one word which we have learnt to appreciate more than ever before since the start of the first lockdown and more so now is ‘patience’ – it now has a totally enhanced perspective. We also all have to make do with less. Take care and stay safe. ABOUT TIME, the quarterly newsletter of Time Projects Editor: Brett Marlin Managing editor: Faye-Marie Cloete Email: [email protected] Cell: +267 7137 6232 Contributors: Brett Marlin, Heinrich Malan, Mmika Selei, Tapiwa Modise, Mike Hughes, Roy Mapharing, Funkie Moroka and Kagiso Sebetso 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 43 - AUGUST 2020