Almost half of Jabulani Mall stores are back in operation

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Jabulani Mall was extensively looted during the July unrest.  But 45% of tenants have
reopened for trade. 
Photo: Resilient
Jabulani Mall was extensively looted during the July unrest. But 45% of tenants have reopened for trade. Photo: Resilient
  • Resilient REIT says 45% of Jabulani Mall tenants have reopened for trade. 
  • Two of the company's shopping centres, Mams Mall and Jabulani Mall, were looted during the July unrest.
  • Before the unrest, most of Resilient's malls were doing better than in the first half of 2020.

The owner of Jabulani Mall, Resilient Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), says almost half of tenants in that mall have reopened for trade following looting during the July unrest.

The company said only two of its 28 malls - Mams Mall and Jabulani Mall - were affected. Jabulani Mall, in particular, was extensively looted. But the landlord and its tenants immediately got to work, repairing damaged shopfronts and reopened some stores. Resilient said the damage to Mams Mall in Pretoria was limited. Now, 94% of tenants are back in their stores trading. 

The landlord, which also owns malls like The Galleria in Durban and Mall of the North in Polokwane, said the damage suffered by the two malls and the loss of rental income is covered by insurance.

Apart from the unrest, which took place after Resilient wrapped its 2021 financial year, the company has for far had a better 2021.

For the year ended in June, Resilient grew retail sales in its South African malls by 7.9% compared to the 12 months to end-June 2020.

But even when one excludes sales for April 2020 and look at an 11-month performance since only a few essential service retailers traded under lockdown level 5, many of Resilient's malls performed better, save for some in Mpumalanga, the North West and Gauteng.

Mahikeng Mall, in the North West, was the poorest-performing shopping centre as it largely relies on government employees who worked from home for extended periods.

Other malls, save for the likes of the Irene Village Mall and The Grove Mall, which continued to lose market share to convenience centres because of their strong entertainment and leisure offerings, Resilient's other centres held their own because of their focus on groceries and other convenience goods and services.

This helped put the company on a better financial footing than when Covid-19 first hit SA shores.

The group's property portfolio recorded net property income growth of 1.1% before Covid-19-related discounts, thanks to a better rental collection.

The company collected 97% of rentals and recoveries it billed in the 12 months to June.

While Resilient still had to bite the bullet and give rental discounts of R17.5 million to tenants, this was much lower than the R173 million in discounts reported in the six months to June 2020 or the R43.7 million in the second half of 2020. The group wrote off R13 million for tenants in arrears in the first half of 2021.

Not only is the group collecting more rent now and advancing fewer discounts than in 2020, but its malls are a bit fuller. Landlords reported a vacancy rate of 2.3% at the end of June 2021, a marginal decrease from 2.4% in December 2020. It has already signed more agreements after the end of its financial year in June for some of the empty space in Rivonia Village in Sandton.

The company declared a final dividend of R226.11 per share for the second half of its 2021 financial year. With the R202.70 dividend per share declared for the half ended in December 2020, Resilient shareholders will get a total dividend of R428.81 per share, a 16.4% increase from 2020. 

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