The only radio show and podcast dedicated to Africa’s richest square mile, the weekly SANDTON TIMES HOUR brings the pages of The Sandton Times to life with an array of entertaining and informative interviews, now on Mix 93.8 FM every Monday at 7pm.
- Edith Venter Promotions CEO, Edith Venter talks about Playing For Pink, a lifestyle polo event, hosted at Steyn City.
- Details of the new Work From Home Index with Precious Nduli, GM: Head of Marketing and Technical Marketing at Discovery Insure.
- Amelia Beattie, Chief Executive of Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) with a business update.
- A behind the scenes rundown of the Miss South Africa 2022 pageant.
- Visit www.sandtontimes.co.za for more stories.
THE SANDTON TIMES HOUR is the go-to weekly digest on greater Sandton including fabulous food spots, luxurious lifestyle bits, first-hand travel tips, motoring notes, and world-class entertainment. In this week’s episode [Edition 80 | Week 34] The Sandton Times covers an array of topical news as well as these interviews:
PLAYING FOR PINK with Edith Venter CEO of Edith Venter Promotions
The 5th edition of Playing for Pink is all about sparkles, flair, glamour and elegance. Expect some of South Africa’s A-listers, influencers, sports personalities and all-round fashion enthusiasts to follow this glittering theme.
Playing for Pink Ladies Invitational Polo 2022 takes place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The campaign seeks to raise awareness and funds for Reach for Recovery, a non-profit Organisation facilitating the support and care of newly diagnosed breast patients, those currently undergoing treatment, as well as those in remission.
The initiative’s Ditto Project will benefit from the day’s proceedings and is aimed at helping women from lower income groups, who cannot afford to undergo reconstructive surgery, to be fitted with an external breast prosthesis to regain their confidence and dignity after diagnosis and surgery.
MSC Cruises has come on board with a fabulous prize to be won. Purchase a prize entry ticket at Quicket.co.za for R150 and stand a chance to win a once in a lifetime MSC cruises, World Europa Ship Launch cruise in Doha. This includes all flights from OR Tambo International. This spectacular prize is valued at R100 000!
The event intends to be a day of glamour and goodwill that will touch hearts and make a difference in the lives of many. Public and VIP tickets are now available at Quicket.
WORK FROM HOME INDEX with Precious Nduli, GM: Head of Marketing and Technical Marketing at Discovery Insure
Discovery Insure’s new Work From Home Index has revealed an average of three days per week that people are physically travelling between work and home. These are the two most common destinations between which many people travel – often more than once a week – ordinarily every week.
Index findings reveal a stark contrast between ‘home’ vs ‘work’ travels in hard lockdown compared to present day:
- A large percentage of Discovery Insure clients are not going into ‘work’ consistently on the same days each week. This points to a changed pattern of expectations whereby more workers are enjoying increased levels of flexibility in their workday.
- The number of days that people travel to work varies:
- The average number of days people are going into ‘work’ is three days per week.
- The proportion of people going into ‘work’ three or more days in a week is 10% less than pre-COVID levels.
- The proportion of people going into ‘work’ every day during the week is 20% less than pre-COVID levels.
- The most popular days for traveling to work appear to be Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The least favoured day is a Friday, with around 20% fewer trips recorded on that day.
The insights from Discovery Insure’s driving data also mirrors global trends of increased flexibility in other countries.
RETAIL RECOVERY with Amelia Beattie, Chief Executive of Liberty Two Degrees (L2D)
In its annual results for the year-ended 31 December 2021, L2D says its financial and operational metrics overall showed positive improvement in 2021. The recovery across the portfolio however remains uneven, with differing outcomes for certain sub-sectors.
2021 was a challenging year for the property industry. The retail sector has had to reassess its ability to address customer needs and keep up with the evolving nature of their demands. Workplace practices have been reshaped with a focus on flexibility and safety yet with a requirement for ongoing collaboration. With cautious optimism, we remain purposeful in creating value for all stakeholders in our business.
// Chief Executive of Liberty Two Degrees (L2D), Amelia Beattie
Owing to its quality portfolio of iconic assets, the primarily retail focused REIT continued to experience strong demand, with occupancy across the portfolio stabilising at 93.7% at the end of the year (June 2021: 93.7%; December 2020: 93.3%). The retail portfolio saw a marginal improvement in occupancy to 96.8% (June 2021: 96.7%; December 2020: 95.3%), above the MSCI Q3 2021 retail occupancy benchmark of 94.0%.
Over the year, Sandton City and Eastgate Shopping Centre have improved their occupancies from 97.9% and 92.9% to 98.3% and 94.6% respectively, ahead of the Q3 MSCI Super Regional benchmark of 93.2%. The rate of decline in the occupancy rate of the office portfolio slowed at 86.2% (June 2021: 86.6%; December 2020: 87.6%). L2D’s occupancy remains above the MSCI Q4 2021 office occupancy benchmark, which fell to an all-time low of 84.0%. The outlook for the office rental market remains a concern due to office oversupply and the change in usage patterns.
During the year, 291 renewals and new leases were concluded, equating to 147,507m² or 15.6% of total portfolio gross lettable area (GLA) (December 2020: 148,725m2 or 15.7%). The ability to retain and attract new tenancies remains critical in the current environment.
With L2D’s experiential retail offerings well established across the malls, along with the easing of restrictions and the return of workers to offices in retail nodes, Q4 of 2021 had 22.9% more customers visiting the L2D malls than in Q4 2020. Comparatively, it was only 3.4% below Q4 2019. Our analysis of footcount data indicates a shift in shopping patterns, with consumers spending more money over fewer visits to our malls with longer dwell times, translating in higher turnover.
Trading levels in the retail portfolio recovered well, and in some cases to levels exceeding those experienced in 2019. Annual turnover in the retail portfolio was 24.5% higher than in the comparable period, with turnover in Q4 up 15.8% on Q4 2020 and 5.1% on Q4 2019. Sandton City and Midlands Mall recorded the largest increases in turnover in rand terms. Sandton City, which outpaced 2020 and 2019 annual turnover by 31.3% and 4.3% respectively, has generated its highest ever annual turnover of c. R7.4 billion. Luxury brands, technology and grocery categories, continued to show an exceptionally strong recovery.
Serving a different catchment area, Eastgate’s recovery is slower which continues to provide pressure on achievable rentals. Various focused initiatives are in place to drive up turnover and dwell time at Eastgate. We are also working with management at Melrose Arch to find solutions to its high office vacancies.
The net property income contribution from the retail portfolio improved by 27.3%, an increase of R100 million compared to 2020 however still below 2019 levels.
While retail shows promising recovery, sectors such as hospitality, food services and offices continue to bear the brunt of COVID-19 related restrictions and weak economic activity. The hospitality sector, which was impacted by the lack of business travel and conferences, remained under severe pressure thus constraining income from those properties. While it positions us for the upside as occupancies recover in line with the opening of business and travel sectors, our outlook for the sector remains guarded.
// Chief Executive of Liberty Two Degrees (L2D), Amelia Beattie
The hospitality sector’s contribution to net property income (NPI) was c.R65 million less than 2019 and R17 million less than 2020.
Property rates and utility cost hikes above inflation and rental growth rates remain a concern. Apart from greening and other initiatives to lower consumption, L2D is engaging alongside industry peers with the relevant authorities. L2D continues to engage with the City of Johannesburg in respect of the finalisation of the valuation of Sandton City, against which an appeal has been lodged.
Rundown of the MISS SOUTH AFRICA 2022 Pageant
A radiant Ndavi Nokeri from Limpopo has been crowned Miss South Africa 2022 at a glittering pageant finale which was held at the SunBet Arena at Time Square in Pretoria.
Nokeri received R1-million in cash in a prize and sponsorship package totalling more than R3-million including the use of a serviced apartment for the year of her reign. She will also get to drive a Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan. The runner-up was Ayanda Thabethe from Pietermaritzburg in KZN who received a R150’000 cash prize.
Nokeri will represent South Africa at the world’s three most prestigious pageants – Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Supranational.
The Top 10 competing for the crown were Anarzade Omar, Ayanda Thabethe, Itumeleng Parage, Keaoleboga Nkashe, Lebogang Mahlangu, Luvé Meyer, Luyanda Zuma, Ndavi Nokeri, Pearl Ntshehi and Tamsyn Jack.
The all-female judging line-up was made up of some of the country’s most respected and influential personalities including former South African Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela; reigning Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu of India; former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi (2019) and Miss World Rolene Strauss (2014) as well as award-winning investigative journalist Devi Sankaree Govender; businesswoman and Miss South Africa 1990 Suzette van der Merwe and actor and TV personality Thando Thabethe.
SANDTON TIMES HOUR Music Playlist
- BTS – Dynamite
- Loud Luxury feat. brando – Body
- Robin Schulz feat. Erika Sirola – Speechless
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