Quoin Online has supported an NGO programme in Kewtown, Athlone for the last two years. BABS (Build a Better Society) had been started almost 45 years ago by Professor Richard van der Ross (the first rector of UWC) and the first social worker in the area, George Gibbs. Currently the programme runs an educare centre for 100 children, aged from 6 months to 5 years. It also runs a seniors programme and provides social programmes and meals to the elderly in the area.
Prior to the global pandemic which has, and will have, severe economic consequences, the property industry was taking strain. The Urban Real Estate Research Unit, based at the University of Cape Town, had concluded that the vacancy costs for a landlord had increased from 6 months of lost income to 18 months by the beginning of January 2020. This, together with rising operating costs and increased rates and taxes, has meant that landlords need to find more efficient ways of filling their vacancies, together with reducing the cost in doing so. Fears are mounting that the impact of Covid-19 could potentially result in thousands of job losses with businesses closing and vacancy rates spiking sharply. However, these changes are cyclical and structural and as some businesses close, other new industries are created. It is anticipated that the Covid-19 pandemic may just have accelerated the disruptor effect and that certain technology changes and shifts in behavioural patterns may occur sooner. This may well be the case for remote learning, online shopping etc., but it will still be important for humans to socialise, party, attend shows and other recreational activities.