Mmegi Online :: Time Projects director honours PvR
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Friday 16 November 2018, 13:42 pm.
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Time Projects director honours PvR

On the eve of a memorial service to be held in honour of the late Patrick van Rensburg, PvR to his admirers, a property developer with South African roots, SANDY KELLY honours the fallen hero.
By Correspondent Fri 23 Jun 2017, 06:00 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Time Projects director honours PvR








The director of Time Projects says whilst he shares the same university heritage with PvR and had known of him from those early days, they both found themselves in Botswana for different reasons and hopefully have helped to “make a difference to the people and the communities”.

Kelly said as much as he did not share similar tear-away attitudes, that made one a radical in the eyes of their peers and even detractors, Patrick van Rensburg was simply one of a kind. “He became so outspoken after South Africa became a republic in 1961.

At that time he was in the diplomatic service and having worked abroad in the UK, the new Nationalist government threatened to lock him up along with Nelson Mandela and others. He decided it was best to leave and came to Botswana. My brother-in-law Tony Hall, was also a journalist (with PvR) with a newspaper called the Rand Daily Mail.

He too was also forced to run away from South Africa and he and his wife ended in the UK where they subsequently worked behind the scenes with the ANC (African National Congress) as well as Oxfam during the Ethiopian crisis. The family eventually returned to SA. He and PvR shared the same philanthropic values.

“Patrick came to where he has left a legacy of secondary schools and vocational institutions (brigades),’ said Kelly, the managing director of Botswana and Zambia’s leading property developer and managers, Time Projects and listed property fund, PrimeTime. After having known PvR in South Africa, the duo met again at the time when there was need to invest in a piece of land owned in Serowe by the Boiteko Trust.

“We had been looking forward to developing the land with Boiteko Trust in Serowe. Patrick sort of found his way to our camp asking if we can help him. We had been trying to develop that land for some time.  What you see in terms of development there, Patrick was far from a capitalist, but he recognised the value of what could be done to provide for the community. We were able to put together a joint venture whereby the trust gets a portion of the rental from the long term lease,” Kelly said.

PvR was also instrumental in establishing The Foundation for Education with Production (FEP), which was allocated a piece

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of land in Block 7. Kelly said they worked with FEP and PvR, despite the situation where his health was waning, to realise PvR’s dream of having something developed on that plot. “We had a long battle even with the Gaborone City Council (GCC) and the planning authorities which had a land allocated in PvR’s name. 

But in the end we helped both FEP and PvR in the process to run. What’s going to happen there will be an adult education facility,” Kelly said. Kelly said they worked hard to clinch the land and that the land will be developed and that hopefully Time Projects will be instrumental in helping everybody involved to benefit financially whilst maintaining PvR’s legacy of youth/adult education being the cornerstone to betterment of man. Apparently that piece of land is worth between P11million and P12 million.

In addition, the former Mmegi offices at Segogwane Way in Maruapula are worth between P3million and P4 million. However, Kelly said combined with the land in Serowe, it is an income in the region of P50million which according to the property developer, this means PvR not only left schools he built, but also land from which his Serowe community would benefit financially.

FEP stands to be well recompensed for the development which, together with its Maruapula property, former Mmegi offices, which PvR also incidentally developed with ‘Brigades hands’, will provide a financial platform from which his legacy will continue to work and be remembered for many years to come.

 “We are not sure what the trustees will have in mind, but there is no doubt that PvR has left a huge legacy for this country,” he said. Kelly added that, “Certainly, PvR stood up for what he believed in and not just being a conscientious objector, but also a doer who is hands-on.

Where politicians stand up and mouth off but seldom do anything, PvR got stuck in and helped the people to get somewhere. ‘Give a man a fish and he lives for a day – teach him to fish and he lives with his family forever’, was PvR’s action. He has made an incredible contribution to this country”. Kelly heads both Time Projects, a leading property company in Botswana since 1986, and Prime Time PrimeTime Property Holdings Limited, a Botswana Stock Exchange listed company.

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