Hi XTNDers,

At the same time last year, I shared with you some of the challenges and victories 2019 brought – the economy struggling, having to part ways with some old colleagues and some unforeseen challenges almost derailing our journey. But with the bad, we have also had some highlights – we attracted new customers across sectors we never engaged with before and we learned a lot about what companies really want and need from us.

At the start of 2020, we were all excited with a refreshed enthusiasm to change the world. We have also had personal goals and although only 8% of people follow through with the new years’ resolutions, we certainly had plans to improve ourselves and our situations.

Normally we are the ones breaking our new years’ resolutions, but in 2020, we were thrown a curveball stopping all our best plans and ideas out the window – an announcement by the president on my and Deidrés birthday – 24 March – an announcement we will never forget.

It may be a coincidence, but on our last meeting, before we break for the festive period, our president is set to make announcements after the country has officially entered the second wave of Covid infections. We can only sit and wait in anticipation for what is to come, but whatever is thrown our way, we have endured a unique phenomenon which changed our lives forever – we will get through the coming challenge as well.

I am grateful to you for your tremendous efforts and dedication in difficult times during the past year.

Always remember, our business is successful and growing because of YOU!

Fortunately, Christmas, the biggest festival in the world celebrated in 166 our of 200 countries brings joy, bright lights and happy family time.

Norman Peale, Methodist church minister and author of The Power of Positive Thinking in 1952, once quotes: “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful”.

For some, it is a time of spiritual reflection, for others just a time for celebration, but for almost everyone in the world, it is a time we spend with our loved ones and families.

Whatever your plans, I wish you a blessed Christmas and a much better 2021!

It sounds like a cliché but how fast did this year pass. It feels unreal that it is almost the end of another year and that we are approaching the year 2021.

At this time of the year we always consider and speculate what the next year will hold in store for us and at the same time it is also a good time to briefly reflect on the year gone by.

When reflecting on 2020 there are certainly different and divers’ facets of the year that needs to be considered. When thinking back to this time last year I am sure that many of us had dreams and resolutions in terms of living more healthy, relaxing more, going out more with our families, dreaming about a wedding, an important celebration, and I am sure most of us had new work goals.

Then came March 2020 and the world as we knew it came to a rude awakening. We were home bound, many of our clients suffered huge losses and some even had to close. None of us were unaffected, many of us lost a loved one, knew someone who lost a love one, have a spouse or partner who lost their job and so we can continue with all the negative effects of the year of Covid 19 that none of us will forget and which will financially and economically affect our lives for many more years to come.

Fortunately, it was also a year of reflection, of strengthening relationships with family, friends, and our spiritual bonds. It gave us breathing time to consider the pace of life, re-determine our priorities, resetting our financial expectations and most important of all to again start counting our blessings. Blessings like not losing our jobs, a company that did well despite all the unexpected challenges, despite salary cuts, still earning a decent salary.

It also gave us the opportunity to consider what we give instead of receive and in the past demanded in terms of personal relationships, our employers, our spouses/partners and overall the growth that came from this unexpected and devastating worldwide health situation, had so many positive effects on our lives.

How did 2020 treat our business? Suffice it to say that management is more that satisfied with our results given the tremendous restraints posed by Covid 19. For that we want to thank each and every one of you- without you and the support of your spouses and partners this would not have been possible and we very well might have become another statistic of a company that fell victim to Covid 19.

Like anywhere else in life some people contributed more than others, were more positive, worked harder, and were more loyal, less critical, and more supportive. It would have been nice to compliment each of those who really worked hard, never gave up, never complained, never criticised, always try to build our brand and income but it is unfortunately not possible. Please rest assured that we know who you are and that we are extremely grateful for having you on board.

I want to make one exception and that is to thank Servaas for his leadership and guidance through this very testing times. Servaas, when we think of you, we think of a person with:

  • A keen business sense
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Objectivity
  • A passion for his people
  • A keen interest in the well-being of every deserving employee
  • Undying loyalty
  • A sharp intellect

And above all a GREAT leader.

Servaas, each one of us have personal reasons why we are grateful to you- Thank you for leading the company through difficult times and for the wonderful person that you are.

What does the future have in store for us? None of us know, but what we do know is that with our leadership team, the loyalty and passion of every one of you and by the grace of God we will surmount every obstacle and just grow stronger and stronger.

To those of you who are taking off over the festive season- Please be safe, act responsible, enjoy the rest, and come back safe, healthy, and brimming with energy and new plans.

I wish you and your families a blessed Christmas and a wonderful 2021.

No matter how tough 2020 has been for us, we all have one thing in common, whether in our personal lifes or business, we have something to be grateful for.

This quote summarised it best for me:

“A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles”

So I thought if I listed the things that I am personally grateful for it might resonate with someone else reading this message.

  • I am grateful for my close family’s unconditional love whilst we spend more time together than ever before
  • XTND reached the end of 2020 as a sustainable business allowing us to not only keep our staff in a job but also helping our customers to remain sustainable in the fight against fraud and corruption
  • The Grace I received from my God strengthen my convictions

I want to encourage all my colleagues, associates, staff working at our customers to find time for your self. It is invaluable to find a purpose for 2021. Whether we agree with it or not, all of us are grieving something and need to identify what it is that caused or pain because of the COVID-19. When we encounter other people over the festive season let’s be in tune with others feelings through empathy and sympathy for their situation.

Thank you to every person whom contributed to us having gratitude at the end of 2020.

Have a peaceful Christmas and focus on sharing what you have in abundance with the less fortunate. Stay healthy and come back with a clear purpose for 2021!

After a tough year the holidays are here! Thank you for the hard work you have all put in this past year. Time is our most precious resource, and we thank you for the time you have dedicated to XTND. Your hard work makes us who we are and we are fortunate to have YOU. May this Christmas season bring you and your families enough joy and laughter to last a lifetime. Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year in 2021.