Category Archives: Nelson Mandela

Tourism Month 2015: foundation for Western Cape Tourism development in next five years!

Cape Town fogYesterday Tourism Month 2015 was launched by Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde, who spoke at a media briefing about the province’s plans to grow employment in the tourism sector by 100000 by the year 2020.

The Western Cape Khulisa Project focuses on growth-generating sectors of our province’s economy, and Tourism is one of the most important to meet this goal! Minister Winde mentioned the investment of R 179 million by the V & A Waterfront to build a cruise liner terminal, as well as the doubling in size of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the new R680 million Tsogo Sun Hotel in the city centre, and the new Continue reading →

Mandela Day celebrates Madiba’s link to Western Cape!

Nelon MandelaMandela Day will be celebrated around the world today, commemorating the birth-date of the late Nelson Mandela. The Western Cape will be celebrating the important date too.

Amnesty International has announced that it plans to display a large tapestry, to be called ‘Flying Madiba’, in honour of the late Nelson Mandela in the International Arrivals Hall at Cape Town International.

The tapestry is still being made by Atelier Pinton in Aubusson in France, and measures 6 x 3 meters, as a partnership between Amnesty International and Cape Town International, with the support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Celebrities Bono, John Legend, Peter Gabriel, Yoko Ono, and Sting Continue reading →

Montblanc-sponsored ‘Power of Words’ international launch in honour of Nelson Mandela anything but excellent!

Montblanc Lectern Caroline Rupert Whale CottageMontblanc’s pay-off line is based on Excellence.  Its launch of a special community project to honour the late Nelson Mandela last Thursday was anything but excellent, coming second in the worst organised events we attended in Cape Town this year (the other was the World Design Capital 2014 ‘Gala Dinner‘ Braai held at the end of February).

My invitation to attend initially came verbally from Elzilda Becker, MD of African Sky Communications, when we met at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel for the launch of the Diners Club Platter’s Wine Guide.  Her promise (at the same function) to fly me to Johannesburg for the launch of the Diners Club Rossouw’s Restaurants Guide disappeared into thin air, and never materialised.  She raved about the fabulous Montblanc event that was coming up, and wanted me to attend that function too.  Surprisingly the invitation arrived a few days later and I accepted.   Ms Becker became extremely annoyed with me about my feedback about the drama her company put me through to obtain a copy of the Rossouw’s Restaurant Guide, which was delivered three days after the launch (in Johannesburg!) with the most shocking inefficiency!  I never heard another word from African Sky Communications about the Montblanc event, but decided to go anyway, as I had sent my RSVP.

The function venue was The Reserve at the Taj, and we were specifically told to use the St George’s Mall entrance, and arrive at 19h00.  I walked inside, and a staff member looked at me as if I had lost it, as there was no Montblanc function in The Reserve, he said.  I was Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 1 September

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  It’s the start of Tourism Month, and Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has advised South Africans to visit the sites that pay homage to the late Nelson Mandela at the launch of the month long focus on tourism, culminating in World Tourism Day on 27 September.  The theme this month is ‘Tourism Transforming Lives’.  Domestic Tourism is an important focus for our country, especially given the decrease in international tourists which can be expected due to the new Immigration Regulations.  A target of 18 million domestic tourists has been set for 2020.  The theme of World Tourism Day is ‘Tourism and Development in the Community’.

*   Coca Cola has won Grand Prix Awards for Overall Favourite Brand as well as Community Upliftment at the Sunday Times Top Brands Awards, as well as Favourite Soft-Drink Award.  Eskom received the ‘Green’ Grand Prix for preserving the environment, and Shoprite was named the top Grocery Store Award.  Other winning brands are Nokia, Tastic, KOO, Nike, KFC, and Ricoffy.

*   MasterChef SA Season 3 Finalist Sipho Mdlankomo has made headlines in the UK Telegraph, for her Continue reading →

‘Going Gooding: A Play on Radio’ by Malcolm Gooding documents golden era of SA radio!

Malcolm Gooding Whale Cottage PortfolioMalcolm Gooding’s name has been synonymous with radio since the ‘Seventies, and he has a most beautiful face for radio!  At the Franschhoek Literary Festival, Gooding performed his autobiographical play ‘Going Gooding: A Play on Radio‘ last night,  which was also the name of his show on the English programme of the SABC.  In one hour the audience was transported back to an era of radio personalities and cigarette advertising.  It is a shame that there were so few attendees.

Gooding opened a guest house outside Franschhoek recently, but appears to spend most of his time in Johannesburg, still doing voice-overs and documentaries.   The play tells the story of Gooding’s career in radio, which started close to fifty years ago.  A chance invitation by a friend to attend an audition as radio presenter opened the door which remains open for Gooding.  He described himself as a ‘voice prostitute’, having been called the ‘Golden Voice‘ of radio.  He demonstrated his diversity as a voice artist, doing at least 24 voices in his one-hour play.  He started off with an advertorial skit, of which he does many now, for ‘Blomail’, a play on words for Glomail, which uses Gooding for such infomercials!  He reminisced about his colleagues on radio, who have passed away, including Robin Alexander, Nigel Kane, Bill Flynn, Paddy O’Byrne, Bea Reed, and many more.  He did a hilarious piece on Patricia Kerr doing ‘ForcesMalcolm Gooding Patricia Kerr Whale Cottage Portfolio Favourites’, reading a letter in her very poor Afrikaans.

It was an era of radio dramas on Springbok Radio, the best known being ‘Squad Cars’, which exceeded 800 episodes. Gooding did an episode for us, in which he played every voice, including the narrator, an Indian and an Afrikaans policeman, a Dutch crime victim, and an Irish crime perpetrator.  Gooding described the very popular program as ‘SA police propaganda’.   Other popular radio dramas included ‘Taxi’, and ‘Consider your Verdict‘.  Radio advertisements for Chevrolet (‘Sunny skies and Chevrolet‘), Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 8 May

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  The New York Times has listed Cape Town as its number one ‘52 Places to go in 2014′.  Cape Town is linked to the late Nelson Mandela, and how Table Mountain was his beacon of hope. World Design Capital 2014 is also highlighted.  ‘Cape Town is again reinventing itself, and the world is invited to its renaissance’.  The other top ten Places to Go are Christchurch, North Coast in California, Albanian coast, Downtown Los Angeles, Namibia, Ecuador, Quang Binh in Vietnam, Perth, and Rotterdam.

*   In a surprise move, the City of Cape Town and Golden Arrow Bus Services have signed two memorandums of understanding, agreeing to work together, in the bus company will form part of the MyCiTi Bus service, utilising the City’s bus company branding, and having a common integrated schedule.  In the past the Golden Arrow Bus Services has taken the City of Cape Town to court.

*   An American property site’s vacation page recommends Cape Town as one of ten destinations around the world in which to celebrate Mother’s Day!  In Cape Town they recommend going up Table Mountain, visiting the V&A Waterfront, Cape Point, having a picnic on the False Bay coastline, and having dinner at any of the city’s ‘great Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 4 February

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Chef Heston Blumenthal has temporarily closed his Michelin 2 star Dinner restaurant in London due to an outbreak of the norovirus, which affected 24 patrons and 21 staff.  It follows the closure of his The Fat Duck restaurant five years ago for the same reason!

*   Despite making a close to R1 billion loss in the latest financial year, SAA has bid to take a share in Senegal Airlines, which is facing bankruptcy!

*   Facebook is celebrating its 10th anniversary today, and is a lucrative communication platform for tourism.  The official Australia page has attracted 5,5 million ‘Likers’, while Love Great Britain has 2 million ‘Likers’.

*   Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is celebrating the 2oth anniversary of our country’s democracy by means of a series of videos showcasing how the political transformation has touched people in the wine industry. A new video will be released on the WOSA website weekly, for a six week period.  ‘From fifth-generation labourer to co-owner of a major farming venture, from refugee to nurseryman, from scholarship student to renowned winemaker and role model, from drug-addled  gangster to farrier, each of the intimate stories in WOSA’s The Democracy Series movingly charts a journey of progress‘, states the media release.  Each video ends with a quotation by the late Nelson Mandela. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)

*   Bubbly Isabella Niehaus is celebrating the two year anniversary of the Palms Market at the PalmsDecor & Lifestyle Centre with a ‘Spectacular Cook-Out with Spekko Rice‘ on Saturday 15 February.   Six top foodies will have their cooking challenge (the dishes have to include Hermanuspietersfontein wine and 1 Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 25/26 January

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Queen Elizabeth will honour the late Nelson Mandela with an invitation-only memorial service at Westminster Abbey on 11 February, the day on which Madiba was released from the then Victor Verster prison in 1990.  It will be the first service for a non-British citizen, reports The New Age.

*  David Williams from The Observer has selected three South African wines as his ‘wines of the week:   Reyneke Organic Syrah 2011, Ken Forrester Workhorse Chenin Blanc 2012, and De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc 2013.

*   A trade and tourism delegation from the Miami-Dade county and Enterprise Florida Inc will visit Cape Town, as well as Johannesburg and Continue reading →

Robben Island problems unlikely to be fixed in a hurry, bad for tourism!

Robben Island Museum logoSouthern African Tourism Update published a letter about the poor state of Robben Island and the tour experience for visitors to our city from Cape Town tour operator Francoise Armour of Tours du Cap late last year. More than 30 comments were received in response to the letter, most echoing her sentiments.  It has taken a month for Sibongiseni Mkhize, the CEO of Robben Island Museum (RIM), to respond.

His reply below reflects some willingness to hear and accept the negative feedback, but also finding excuses as to why the problems exist, by highlighting what has been improved (no more funds mismanagement or staff strikes) and blaming most of the problems on the ferries used to get one to the island, rather than focus on the island and the former prison experience.  He acknowledges that his operation may have been poor at communicating with the tourism industry to date!  He is particularly defensive about the state of the island, saying that it has improved considerably since Robben Island Museum took over its maintenance from the Department of Public Works. Hilarious is his reference to the ferry breakdowns not being due to mechanical reasons only, but also due to ‘sabotage’, without explaining this outrageous allegation!

Reading his reply does not give the tourism industry the confidence that anything will change on Robben Island in a great hurry.  Robben Island is a top tourism icon (or should be), but increasingly tour operators cut out the island from their tour itineraries due to its poor tourism impression.

‘I would like to sincerely apologise for the delay in responding to the letter from the tour operator who had a bad experience while on a visit to Robben Island. Her concerns, observations and comments are being taken seriously by the management of the museum. It is through comments like these that the museum will be able to improve its customer service. I have also taken Continue reading →

The Madiba effect: boost to Tourism?

Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben IslandIrresponsible newspaper journalists like Bernard Sathekge of The New Age give journalism a bad name, by creating headlines which mislead their readers, especially those who just scan the headlines and do not read the content.

Writing one month after the passing of Nelson Mandela, Sathekge creates a headline ‘Madiba magic boosts tourism’ for his story, but quotes SA Tourism arrival figures for the period January – September 2013 throughout his article, clearly misleading the readers of the newspaper.  He follows this with a secondary headline, which is even more misleading and downright dishonest: ‘Late statesman’s stature contributes to raising number of visitors from around the world‘.  He underlines his dramatic headlines with his view that ‘Nelson Mandela continues to do the country a power of good as his death has spurred interest worldwide as well as locally in Mandela heritage sites‘, quoting visits to the Mandela Museum in Qunu, very much off the beaten tourism track, to have ‘spiked‘.  This is the sum total of his information foundation of the article, filling the rest with unrelated 2013 tourism trend information!

He does not mention the Robben Island museum in Cape Town, which does not support his findings, it having seen a 5% decline in visitor numbers in December 2013, according to information provided by the City of Cape Town.  In part the decline was due to Continue reading →