NEWSLETTER - 12 August 2011

City to be featured in "SA Top Spots"

The Tshwane Tourism Association has successfully hosted the photographer, Jeremy Jowell who visited Tshwane on the 09th of August 2011 to take images for a new coffee table book entitled "SA Top Spots", to be published by Struik Publishers in September 2011.

SA Top Spots will feature 21 of South Africa's most popular and prominent tourism locations and attractions, one of them being Tshwane and surrounds. Being featured in the book as one of the locations is going to give the city an exposure to the locals and foreign visitors who buy the book and will be a good publicity.

We would like to thank the following members to contributing their time and effort to preparing and assist in the project and all other stakeholders who offered their help in any other way:

  • Elsa Daniels and Dr Arend Posthuma of Voortrekker Monument for allowing us access to their premises and a guided tour
  • Rogini Govender of Freedom park for allowing us access to their premises and a guided tour
  • David Boshoff and Emmanuel Komana of Groenkloof Nature Reserve for allowing us access to their premises and a guided tour
  • Riaan Marais of Rietvlei nature Reserve for allowing us access to their premises and a guided tour
  • Srinivas Venkatkumar, Moses Mazibuko and Lucas Digauto of Arcadia Hotel/Tours & Transfer for providing us with transport to go around the city
  • Gita of Geet's Indian Restaurant for lunch
  • Julia Barnes and Mr Inus Swart of Tswaing Meteorite Crater for allowing us access to their premises and a guided tour.

Jeremy was taken around the city by TTA Secretary Vanessa and we look forward to seeing his work highlighting our city in major bookstores and other retailers by the end of the year.

Freedom Park invites South Africans to tell us about the special women in their lives

On Women's Day, 9 August 2011, Freedom Park invited the South African public to tell them about the ordinary women - the mothers, grandmothers, sisters, wives, women in the community or care givers - who make an extraordinary impact around them.

A massive canvas, which featured a picture of Albertina Sisulu, was made available at the Gallery of Leaders onto which members of the public attached photos and other written mementos dedicated to the ordinary women in their lives. The canvas will form part of Freedom Park museum's interactive exhibition space, thus ensuring that these women's stories become part of our history.

"In the lives of ordinary people like you and me, ordinary women continue to make extraordinary contributions every day. We all know at least one of them," explains Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Peggie Photolo. "A mother who worked two jobs to ensure your education. A grandmother who instilled in you the values that made you succeed. A care-giver or health care worker who provided for your physical or emotional needs. A religious mentor, who nurtured you spiritually. An aunt who listened as you shared your dreams - and then watched you achieve them. A best friend, who believed in you."

"Although these women's contributions might perhaps never be celebrated in the limelight, they are the fabric of our nation. 'Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Impact' is an opportunity to tell the world about them, to honour their contribution, sacrifice and beauty. These women are our legacy. Their stories need to be told."

For more information, please contact Ilse Posselt on +27 (0)12 336 4103 or ilse@freedompark.co.za.

Time for a reality check in the accommodation sector

Brett Dungan, Chief Executive Officer of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA) says it is time for a reality check in the accommodation sector.

"Somewhere something does not add up. While official reports indicate that South Africa's tourism industry is growing, the fact of the matter is that the hotel, guest house and broader accommodation sector is experiencing a particularly tough time, with many establishments being forced to close their doors."

He says the private sector, government and organised labour need to work together to ensure sustainable job creation in the hospitality sector. "This means agreement on the state of the industry, responsible and consistent messaging to operators and a clearly defined growth plan. When there's fire on a boat, passengers and the crew need to work together to put it out.

"Frankly I do not want to hear the words 'FIFA World Cup' again. Yes, it gave our industry an artificial window of opportunity, but now the economic recession is a definite reality - one that I do not foresee will disappear within the next two years. Tourist spending patterns may also be a factor, with visitors opting for cheaper accommodation options or staying with relatives and friends."

Dungan says he met with all major banks in South Africa in June 2010, alerting them to post world cup expectations. "It all fell on deaf ears, I'm afraid, and now over-exerted bonds and near bankruptcies are just about the order of the day."

According to the latest PwC accommodation report South Africa will have to gain an additional 3,5 million visitors per year to address the enormous oversupply of hotel rooms that was created before the world cup. Between 2008 and 2010 an additional 9 700 hotel rooms were placed on the market and it is expected the number of available hotel rooms will increase by another 7,1 percent this year.

Dungan says ownership of hospitality establishments often does not lie in the name of the business, but in the name of individuals who are pursuing their dreams. "Owners find it increasingly difficult to raise funds to settle their debts, often being forced to sell their properties for as little as 25 percent of their real value.

"My honest advice to owners who find it difficult to keep their businesses afloat is not to wait until it is too late. There is no shame in closing a business to rather avoid liquidation. When the market picks up, you can always re-enter the industry, on a solid and positive foundation."

FEDHASA represents the interests of all sectors of the hospitality industry in Southern Africa.

For more information, please contact Brett Dungan, FEDHASA, 083 444 1222.

Mandela Day - Kwalata gets their hands dirty

This year, Kwalata Game Ranch identified building needs at the TLC (Tender Love and Care) old age home as their project for Mandela Day. Kwalata circulated a fund raising proposal to address the homes' needs and the Tshwane Executive Mayor, David Kgosientso Ramokgopa, adopted the project as his priority and the following sponsors also came on board.

  • DESTO Skills Centre (dug the foundations)
  • The Kwatlano foundation (sponsored 30 000 bricks)
  • Oasis Church (2 trucks +12m3 ready mix cement for the foundation)
  • Immunadue Herbal Supplements (140 bags of cement)
  • Build-It Hammanskraal (40 bags of cement)
  • Empyreal Construction (building sand and facilitation)
  • FNB Corporate services (building supplies)

Great thanks also go to Nelly Black of the Mayor's security detail for arranging:

  • Executive Mayor David Kgosientso Ramokgopa of Tshwane Joined in the foundation laying
  • SALGA MD (Previous Executive mayor of Johannesburg) Masondo Joined in the foundation laying and contributed blankets
  • City of Tshwane parks donated trees
  • Foodbank - lunch for 200 elderly and 200 visitors
  • Isipetso Wellness - hand and back massages for the elderly
  • Sekela Company - brought the groceries and blankets

Kwalata would like to thank everyone for their participation! Their next target is to open the accommodation block. "We are planning on throwing the accommodation block's floor and invites will be sent soon for all to come and participate and get our hands dirty!" says Charl Pretorius of Kwalata.

If you would like to participate please contact Kwalata for their Needs Lists, on 012 711 8200 or charl@kwalata.co.za.

Upcoming industry conferences and exhibitions

The following conferences and exhibitions may be of interest:

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