A special general meeting was planned for early December in order to share important information with the members. Unfortunately the Corona virus again intervened as the spike in Covid-19 infections in George led the Trustees to postpone the meeting to January 2021. Covid-19 has had a serious impact on life as we used to know it. The hard lockdown earlier in the year and even thereafter forced the Trustees into becoming very operationally involved in the affairs of Welgelegen Estate. In the process the Trustees identified inefficiencies and priorities that need addressing in order to become more cost effective. The Trustees subsequently adopted a strategy that focusses on Efficiency, Effectiveness and Economics. With Economics a goal in itself it is also a result of better Efficiencies and Effectiveness.
Covid-19 had a devastating economical and financial impact and Welgelegen Estate has not been spared. The Trustees are cognizant of the pressure on the financial situation on some or most of our members. This creates a fine and difficult line between the requirement for keeping expenditure (and levy increases) low but at the same time addressing challenges facing Welgelegen Estate. And Welgelegen Estate is facing some stiff challenges with specific reference to the management of stormwater and soil erosion as well as certain maintenance issues. This required strategic planning which resulted in a three year masterplan which will be shared with the members early in 2021 and as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.
Our financial year ends on 28 February with the new financial year commencing on 1 March of each year. But our financial process is a peculiar one as the new budget for each year is only presented and approved by the time of the annual general meeting in June of each year. This anomaly is created by the provision in the Constitution that an AGM is required within four months after yearend. This makes the financial management of Welgelegen Estate difficult. The Trustees therefore resolved to present and approve a new budget prior to the commencement of a new financial year at a SGM rather the AGM.
THREE YEAR BUDGET
The Trustees also created a three year financial plan. With the knowledge obtained from being operationally involved it is imperative to highlight the issues and the financial requirement that is foreseen. This is to ensure an optimal transition to future Trustees and the elimination of nasty surprises in the future.
ESTATE FACILITIES AND ENTRANCE GATE
Members have been kept informed through previous newsletters of the reasoning and process being followed in finalizing the creation of functional estate facilities and upgrading the entrance gate. It was a long process that had to take into account a number of considerations but also required acceptance and approval by the Developer as it will be funded by the Developer. The purpose of the planned SGM is also to obtain final approval by the members as the project is planned to commence as soon as possible, hopefully in March 2021.
The final proposals struck a good balance between functionality, cost, esthetics and practical considerations as upgrading the entrance gate will have to be done while it is still an active entrance into Welgelegen Estate.
If individual members wish to obtain more insight beforehand into the specifics of the designs, an information session (cognizant of Covid-19 safety precautions) can be arranged. Members are required to inform the Managing Agent (firstname.lastname@example.org) of such a need.
Various options were considered but in the end the upgrading and modernization of the current structure and addition of security related infrastructure to increase the efficiency of movement was chosen as the best option. The new design features the following:
- A fresh and modern look
- Bigger, functional and more secure security office
- Proper and isolated reception area
- Dedicated and isolated contractor registration area not interfering with the reception area.
- Dedicated pedestrian entrance and waiting area
- Fourth emergency entrance/exit
- Level exit lane
- Enhanced security system
Click on artist impressions (below) to enlarge
The estate facilities are functional facilities and not a clubhouse. The double story facility will be situated adjacent to the nursery and will consist of the following:
- Workshop and stores
- Ablution and dining facility for estate workers. (These are dedicated facilities for Welgelegen Estate contractors only)
Top Floor Section:
- Estate offices
- Conference room (which can double as a small function room)
Click on artist impressions (below) to enlarge
The planned self-storage/parking area will be a phase 2 project to be undertaken by the WHOA later.
THE FUTURE AWAITS
The year 2020 will be recorded as one of those challenging years in the history of the world and our country with specific reference to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic amongst others impacted negatively on the world and the RSA economy and also affecting the lives of each Welgelegen Resident in some or other way. The challenges of COVID-19 is not yet over and in writing this newsletter an increased infection rate in the Garden Route area is experienced on a daily basis and even some of our residents were not spared in this regard. However, the situation within Welgelegen is well under control and with the festive season on hand the influx of visitors to our area will bring further challenges in containing the virus. The Trustees want to emphasize the importance of, and the responsibility of every Welgelegen Resident, with regards the execution of the well-known protocols published in the media and many previous Welgelegen Newsletters to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
As the year draws to an end, it is clear that we cannot continue with the WHOA business as in the past and that we need to think out of the box to manage the estate smarter and more cost effectively. A strategy to become more economical, effective and efficient in the execution of our business and encapsulated in a Masterplan that is linked to a multiple year budget will not only bring peace of mind but will also ensure optimal transition to future Trustees.