These are difficult and unprecedented times with the negative impact being felt by us all, whether it be at home or at work. In light of this and as we enter our third week of the Covid-19 lockdown, I thought it important to share with you all the reality the impact of the virus has had on your Club. Please note my intentional use of the word "your" Club, and not "the" Club, as every Resident is a Member of the Club and thereby has a right and responsibility to know the financial sustainability of the Club due to its direct impact on your property values and the perception of the greater Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate.
The 2020 year started really well with golf income up 20% for the first 2 months of the year compared with the same period last year. Functions and other income was up and the rest of the year was looking really good. Then the Coronavirus struck leading to trading hours being significantly curtailed. Gatherings were also restricted in numbers. As each day passed we were dealt further blows having multiple product launches, presentations, corporate golf days, weddings, etc being understandably cancelled.
The ensuing lockdown then meant that every facility at the Club had to be closed down. The bottom line is that these events have meant that the Club will lose about R4.5 million in turnover over during this 2 month period. Fortunately, this does not mean a similar effect on profits. We have not had to purchase food and beverages to sell, our golf course maintenance costs have been drastically cut, electricity and water will see significant savings as have cleaning and function staff costs been eliminated over this period. Nonetheless, the financial effect on the Club is still material and concerning.
As per the above, management has taken whatever steps possible to curtail losses including negotiating with all its suppliers so as to be financially prudent. But apart from bringing Members up to speed with the status of your Club the main objective of this email is to inform you how the recent events have impacted our staff. A large majority of our staff have been with us for many years and are the sole breadwinners for their families. Almost all live in conditions that make isolation and lockdown close to unbearable.
The Board has taken the decision that all staff will be paid in full for the month of April. Those that are not able to work remotely will take a portion of the downtime as annual leave. Wherever possible we will liaise with all staff to find a solution so that they receive a full April salary. We have applied to the UIF for the Covid-19 TERS relief and hope to recover a material portion of this expense.
It is too early to advise on the May situation but we are hopeful that the lockdown will be over by then and normality will return with all our venues being fully utilised again.
Probably the only staff who will not receive their full income over this next month are the waitrons, barmen and caddies who rely on tips for a portion of their income. The Club will pay all these staff their basic wage but they will all be short of their normal incomes.
We would like to appeal to each Member that for the sake of the staff mentioned above that we band together as a community to assist them in their time of need. So, if you usually eat out once a week or more at the Club, The Watershed Cafe, The Bistro at The Range, use a caddie, etc and would tip R50 or so per outing - then we are appealing to you to continue to support these staff by contributing a similar amount for this period. A donation of R200 to R300 would make a significant impact on the quality of their lives. We will coordinate the amounts received to be shared in a fair manner between these staff. Methods of Payment:
You can either do an EFT with the word “staff” as a reference.
Account name: Mount Edgecombe Country Club
Bank code: 042826
Account number 051378817
Ref : Staff
Or use Zapper by scanning the QR code below. Add your amount and insert the word “staff” in the check number line.
We understand that times are tough but any and every donation would be hugely appreciated. In saying that, we want to also stress that no one should feel pressurised to donate to this elective cause. This is merely a way to offer further support to staff that enables others in a more fortunate position to provide help in some small way. Let us continue to be there for one another with whatever support we can muster and to keep demonstrating our spirit of ubuntu during this challenging period.
QR CODE FOR ZAPPER. PLEASE TYPE IN THE WORD "STAFF" IN THE CHECK NUMBER LINE.