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2012 Reflections

On behalf of the Ingwelala Board and Staff, happy New Year to all Members and their families. May 2013 be a fantastic year for each of you, accompanied by good health.

Reflecting back on 2012 is a year that is unlikely to be forgotten, in an Ingwelala perspective.

There were three major environmental events that affected many of us, creating several long term challenges. The Dando floods, the Superstorm Sandy and the St Francis Bay fire terror touched the lives of many known to us through the Ingwelala family. These events tested and stretched us as a community. The restoration work at Ingwelala may still have some way to go, but what is inspiring to me personally, is to appreciate the positive approach that those worst affected chose, and to witness an outcome far better than expected. To those of you who sat patiently waiting for your bungalows to be repaired, unable to take up occupancy for lengthy periods thank you for your patience and understanding. Thank you for the manner in which you set about working with the Project Manager, Jacques Hoffman and his team of appointed building contractors and sub contractors. The liaison and negotiations through our company brokers, SATIB, with the Insurer and Loss Adjuster remain positive and consistently put the Insured’s (clients) interests first. We cannot feel short changed. Those serving on your Board deserve recognition and acknowledgement for their tenacious efforts and commitment to continue serving Ingwelala in the best collective interests of all Members.

The staff too has endured two extremely challenging years. The complete demolition and rebuild of the administration complex in 2011 against ambitious time lines followed by a hectic 2012 filled with infrastructure restoration needs no further elaboration. Suffice to say that here is a team of men and women who have risen to the occasion and kept the field operation moving along, almost uninterrupted. Natalie and I feel privileged to be a part of this journey, and it amazes me every day to see the friendly smiles and energy that greets one in the work place when it could have been just as easy to throw ones arms into the air in frustrating despair. My sincere gratitude is once again expressed to all the Ingwelala employees for their infinite contribution.

Last but not least, the staff wishes to thank the Board for its professional guidance and support, and for our respective employment. We wish to thank all the Members for the positive support and encouragement we continue to receive from you. Your kind words of acknowledgement and appreciation our always cherished.

So, what is on the cards for 2013? Well, from a governance point of view the Board is planning a strategy workshop in late February. The purpose of this is multi faceted, but two of the key areas are to better understand the new Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) required under the new Companies Act (but also in the context of the Share Block Act) and to formulate a general questionnaire which Members will be requested to complete in due course, reflecting on values, aspirations and needs of the Membership, i.e. what are our future desires for Ingwelala and preferred User experience?

Out and about in the Reserve, the hides and bomas will come off the back burner and undergo subtle make over and tweaking. With both tractors now operational (touch wood!) renewed effort will go into better shaping the roads surfaces and smoothing the bumps. The Environmental Impact Assessment undertaken to realign Mermaid Crossing and repair the wash out on Combretum/Nyati Drives was approved by the Department in December 2012, so we may now proceed with these repairs.

The grounds and surrounds around the new swimming pool will continue to receive user friendly upgrades, such as improved lawn areas and shade. There may be the provision of “pool furniture” and to achieve all of this the Garden of Remembrance will be relocated to a more private and tranquil place in camp.

Vuka Ingwe (Staff Village) will also see much needed improvements to raise accommodation standards. Budget dependant, the aim is to create as many single quarters as possible to alleviate “sharing” and to promote user privacy. In this way too, better accountability can be implemented in the spirit of respecting and “looking after company property”.

From a staffing perspective, there has been a change in the senior management team where John and Babs Lawrence will be settling in and learning the ins and outs of the considerable Ingwelala operation. John Lawrence has useful technical abilities and our intention is to offer routine services (after proper training and certification) for solar and gas maintenance. This will progress into new revenue streams for Ingwelala, whilst offering the Member useful “in-house” services at competitive rates.

Access to Ingwelala will receive detailed attention, to continually improve on security measures. This will include closer monitoring of the proper completion of Gate Forms and Indemnities and increased “policing” of traversing activities to ensure the Management Regulations are strictly adhered to.

Much to look forward too, and much to be achieved.

In addition, here is the New Year's message from Kevin Alborough. Please click here to download.

 

by John Llewellyn