As I write my first 2021 CEO report to you, nearly two months of the year have flown by.
In the previous newsletter I expressed the hope that, by 2021, we would have returned to a more normal way of life. However, I suppose we will have to be content, for now, with a new normal. I think we are all frequently reminded these days of the fragility and preciousness of life, and I wish for each of you a very successful and prosperous 2021.
The year started without our having had an AGM and the usual estate formalities during 2020. The trustees will now consider dealing with the annual estate formalities differently in an attempt to address these without causing undue risk to you, our members. Once a decision has been made in this regard, we will inform you.
Work on the estate could not take a break and, starting in January, a new budget year with all the planned projects and activities came into full swing. Work on the redecoration of the gatehouse is progressing well, and should be finished by end of March. The refurbishment of the gatehouse interior will now also be addressed, and we are hoping that by May this year the refurbishment will be completed.
The HOA’s acquisition of the golf course and related assets demanded that we rejuvenate the ailing asset by way of enhanced horticultural activities and some much-needed acquisition of turf maintenance equipment to replace the extremely aged and ineffective existing equipment. There is more detail about these acquisitions further on in the newsletter. The course is starting to show signs of returning to its former glory and we hope that, within a reasonable amount of time, we can all be extremely proud of this asset.
The Kingswood Ridge development is progressing well and, by the end of 2020, the roads and other related infrastructure had been completed. We are looking forward to the possible start of some building activity at the Ridge during the course of the year. Discussions between the developer and the George Municipality to build a road linking the Ridge to the R102 (the airport road) are at an advanced stage. This road would be very convenient to residents on the southern side of the estate.
We were also recently informed that the council has approved the sale of Erf 464, George, which is approximately 23 hectares in extent and situated next to the R102 opposite Groeneweide Park and the George Showgrounds. It is envisaged that a new campus for the George Southern Cape College will be erected on this site. The TVET College advised that a budget of R280 million over a 24-month period has been allocated, and will be implemented in their coming budget cycle, which commences in April 2021. This campus will thus be built next to the southernmost boundary of Kingswood next to the Ridge development. This is good news for Kingswood!
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Kingswood BUZZard.
Stay safe and stay healthy.
And just like that we are almost in the second quarter of 2021.
Does anyone know what level of lockdown we are in? I feel as if I don’t even care any more. One year ago, when all of this started, we talked about this being our new normal. I read the gazetted regulations front to back every time a new level was announced. I made plans on how to keep the kids busy during lockdown, how to exercise, how to stay sane … we talked and thought about our new normal constantly. It was the topic of every conversation.
And now …? While we TALKED about this being our normal last year, now we LIVE it. Every day. Without thinking about it, much less talking about it any more. We still avoid large groups and unnecessary meetings, but it is instinctive now. It is not a lengthy debate or discussion any more. That is the magic of time, isn’t it? It only took one year for everyone in the whole world to change their behaviour. It only took one year for workforces, globally, to change how they fundamentally operate. One year. So what does this mean for us in Kingswood Golf Estate and the southern Cape in general?
People realised, more than ever before, that they could work from anywhere. It doesn’t matter where their clients are. We have Zoom, email, telephones and flights. To be fair, this is not a new notion for the southern Cape. This trend has been going on for quite some time here; however, it has definitely accelerated to a whole new level during the past year. Because not only did people realise that they could work from anywhere, they also realised that they could have a view while doing it. And while this is amazing for Kingswood and the property market, there is no denying that our economy as a whole has suffered immensely this past year.
I am here to welcome you to the latest edition of The BUZZard, dear reader, and not to bore (or anger) you with the state of our economy. But I do want to take the opportunity to remind you, because we just LIVE our new normal these days, we don’t talk about it any more. So please remember to look out for small business owners. Support local. Support handmade. Support your (Kingswood) neighbour/community. Support our farmers. I have heard people referring to George as a city with a platteland mentality. This is not a negative thing, because in the platteland we look after our own and we have the resources to do it. To all the newcomers, we welcome you to our community. We hope that you will prosper and then invest in our community. You are part of the platteland mentality now.
Stay safe and healthy out there
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