UPDATE: OUTCOME FROM SOUTHPOINT AND STUDENT LEADERS BUILDING CONSOLIDATION MEETING
SouthPoint met with student leaders on 01 June 2021 at SouthPoint Central to discuss our building
consolidation process and how we can work together around the planned movements. We need to note to all our tenants that, although the consolidation was driven by very urgent business requirements, its execution was too hurried in that we did not pursue tenant consultations in advance or adequately engage with our tenants to provide enough notice. We further acknowledge the anxiety caused to our tenants and for this, we unreservedly apologise.
CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS INTO OUR BUILDING CONSOLIDATIONS:
• LOWER OCCUPANCIES PRESSURE: We have lower than normal/planned occupancies in the current year.
• IMPACT OF LOWER OCCUPANCIES: A large part of our operational expenses like municipal costs, cleaning and other contracted services are fixed and do not reduce if the occupancies are lower than planned. This means:
o If we do nothing, South Point will not be able to fund and/or pay all of its expenses in the current academic year and, hence, will not be able to meet our obligations to our tenants
o Our operating expenses also include payroll and should South Point not be able to afford to pay its staff it would most likely have to retrench staff, as it’s unable to meet its commitments to staff
• By doing this consolidation, it will allow us to save jobs as our staff who are working in our other buildings will be placed on rotation. This will enable us to save all jobs and not have to do any retrenchments.
• WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS?
To ensure that we can honour all our commitments we have two options:
o 1. RENTAL INCREASES: We’ll need to consider the implementation of increasing rentals to cover the fixed operational expenses. This is not our preferred option as we recognise that students will be adversely affected by this; or
o 2. CONSOLIDATION OF STUDENT OCCUPANCIES: This means closing some buildings for the 2021 academic year and consolidating students into the buildings that are to remain open.
• OUR PREFERRED OPTION:
Consolidation is our preferred option as we strongly believe that:
o Students who agree to move would not face any rental increases. We recognise that moving will be inconvenient for some students and for this reason we are providing an incentive in the form of a voucher for all students who move.
o It will also ensure that we do not have to retrench staff (we do however recognise that some staff will be placed on a rotational work schedule, which we believe is much better than the alternative).
REVISED PROCESSES WITH OUR BUILDING CONSOLIDATIONS, AFTER STUDENT CONSULTATIONS:
• MOVES TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED: Moving has been suspended to allow for consultations on the move, and for students to focus on the upcoming exams without any stress or anxiety.
• CONSULTATION & MOVE TIMELINES: A communication will be sent to students on 06 July, from
which students who don’t feel the need to consult and are willing to move can make an election to forego consultation.
o Students making such an election will be allowed to move from 09 July.
o Consultations for those students who elect to consult will take place from 9 to 16 July.
o Mutually agreed moves will then take place from 17 to 31 July.
• SCHEDULE PROVISION: A consolidation schedule will be made available to all tenants with the consultation dates per building post the exams.
• 90 DE KORTE: We have 4 students at 90 De Korte who will be allowed to move during June, due to consultations that have already taken place with them.
• GELDENHUYS: Given the low number of students at Geldenhuys, SouthPoint will consult with students in this building during June with the aim for these students to move by 30 June.
For any queries or comments on our 2021 building consolidation programme, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org