Entries tagged with “Anton Groenewald”.


Cape Town fogWhilst it is good news that the Western Cape province and the City of Cape Town have workshopped the perennial Winter Seasonality problem in Cape Town and the Western Cape with industry players, one wonders if once again it is too little too late, discussing Seasonality at the tail end of Winter! The outcome of the workshop has been a promise that all stakeholders ‘have committed to working together to address the negative impact that Seasonality has on the industry’, a Cape Town Tourism media release states!

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said at the workshop:  ‘We live in a global village and if we want to be a world-class city then we need to stop being complacent and only enjoying the benefits of tourism in our summer months. If we can re-position Cape Town as an all-year destination by leveraging Events and Business tourism, our incoming flight numbers, income generated from the tourism industry and jobs in tourism will improve significantly’.

At the workshop it was agreed that a ‘collective strategy and framework involving all parties in the tourism field‘ is (more…)

CapeTownCup_300The Cape Town Cup, which took place on 24 and 26 July last weekend, is the biggest Football Flop the City of Cape Town has thrown ratepayers’ money at, estimated to be R 30 million!

I am not a supporter of the ANC politics in the City of Cape Town Council meetings nor those at provincial level, but the reports yesterday, quoting both Tony Ehrenreich and Marius Fransman, made me sit up and take note.

Driving past the Cape Town Stadium last Friday at 18h00, the starting time of the first match, I was surprised at how easy it was to get to the V&A Waterfront, my usual route leading past the Stadium. Other than the Stadium (more…)

CapeTownTourism AGM Cake Whale CottageLast night Cape Town Tourism held what many say is the best AGM ever, with a dynamic and funny keynote speaker Vusi Thembekwayo, and a very entertaining Anton Groenewald from the City of Cape Town  Tourism, Events, and Marketing Directorate, being the highlight of the event held at the Tsogo Sun Cape Sun, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of Cape Town Tourism since its re-invention in 2004.

I arrived late, returning from Franschhoek, as Groenewald was speaking.  He kindly gave me his notes, for use for writing this blogpost.  His Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, Councillor Garreth Bloor, was present, and many a joke was at his expense.  Groenewald started his talk by reflecting on the past three years in which he has headed up theCapeTownTourism AGM Anton Groenewald Whale Cottage Tourism Directorate of the City, and has spent R1,5 billion.  He confirmed the three-year agreement signed with Cape Town Tourism, which came with a promise of R120 million over the next three years.   Reflecting on the successes of the past year, Groenewald presented its highlights as being World Travel Market Africa, a collaboration with Thebe Reed, which attracted 4500 trade visitors and 220 media, and for which the city has signed for another two (more…)

Cape Town StadiumWhat excellent news it was to see on Twitter yesterday afternoon that now former Councillor Grant Pascoe has defected to the ANC for ‘personal reasons’, a decision Mayor Patricia de Lille (who appeared to be a close friend), said caught her by surprise.  She announced that he has been stripped of his position as Councillor and as Mayoral Committee member of Tourism, Events, and Marketing with immediate effect.   We have been very critical of Pascoe’s lack of marketing knowledge and leadership, once again leaving our City’s tourism industry without a marketing plan for the forthcoming winter, which kicked in earlier than usual last week!

The announcement was made by the ANC, and not by Pascoe himself.  The political party said: ‘Councillor Pascoe joins an overwhelming number of South Africans, who despite finding themselves in other political parties, recognise the ANC as the only organisation with the track record, capacity, and determination to build a South Africa’.  Pascoe explained that he was unhappy with the direction which the DA was taking, and had discussed this internally.  To avoid a fight, he decided to leave. He said he feels ‘at home‘ in the ANC, EWN reported! Yet on Pascoe’s Facebook page for his ‘political organisation‘, his ‘About Grant Pascoe’ still states: ‘The Democratic Alliance is South Africa and Cape Town’s best hope for a better future for all our people‘!

Pascoe served as a City of Cape Town DA Councillor for 13 years, and as a Mayoral Committee member for eight years, the last four of which were heading up the Tourism, Events, and Marketing portfolio.  Two years ago he initiated the creation of a Tourism, Events and Marketing directorate, which reported to him and is headed up by Anton Groenewald.  Pascoe’s sole contribution was to bring soccer events to Cape Town, which made no impact on the tourism industry in terms of bookings, reflecting his personal interest in soccer.   From the outset we have criticised Pascoe’s incompetence in the Tourism portfolio: (more…)

Cécile and Boyd FoundationOn Friday The Guardian published a very lengthy article about Cape Town’s role as host of World Design Capital 2014 (WDC), and highlighted the unusual locations of design gems in Cape Town, including the townships and previously run-down city areas, as opposed to art galleries.  Unfortunately this is the second international article about Cape Town in two days with errors!  The article highlights what a visitor to Cape Town should see during this design-centred year, and contains shocking news for the Tourism industry.

Journalist Lisa Grainger anticipated visiting upmarket galleries, style emporiums, and seeing craft art, but instead she spent most of her week in Cape Town in townships with guide Fernie, to experience real creativity born from poverty. ‘Because it is in these townships that some of the most inspiring people live: people who are incredible, positive, engaging, brave. And I want visitors to see the good there is here, the real heart of South Africa’, he explained to her.  

She was told by Priscilla Urquhart, PR and Media Manager of Cape Town Design NPC, the company responsible for implementing World Design Capital 2014 for Cape Town, that our city’s budget (supplied by the City of Cape Town) is R 40 million, compared to close to R60 million spent by Helsinki two years ago, when that city carried the honour. Budget constraints prevented the creation of City-led design projects in Cape Town, but allowed the city’s design industry to offer its design projects for consideration, and about 450 have become official World Design Capital 2014 projects, summarised in a fold-open brochure. There is no showcase for these projects, the Design Indaba and Guild design fair having been the only two exhibitions where some of the work linked to some of the projects could be seen, unfortunately having run concurrently at the very busy end of February.

A shock is reading Urquhart admit to the journalist that ‘the WDC programme wasn’t designed to attract tourists, but to try to (more…)

City of Cape Town logo newOn Saturday we revealed the City of Cape Town’s dreadful new logo, which spread virally, apparently made public in the wrong colours, intended by the designers to be in the colours of the South African flag!  The new pay-off line, to replace the current slogan of ‘The City that works for you‘, is ‘Making Progress Possible. Together‘, positioning Cape Town as the Opportunity City!

Due to the criticism the City has received about the logo design itself, and also to the perceived cost and the greater benefit that the monies could have been put to (the City claims the cost is only R313720, which is what it paid ad agency King James, and of course does not reflect the implementation cost of many millions, which it estimates at exceeding R 7 million as per its statement below!), it issued an elaborate statement yesterday, and hosted a media conference. Interesting is that the City media spokesperson Priya Reddy said that no public participation process has been followed, it not being required legally!  It is thus clear that the City will steamroll the rebranding, and will not take cognisance of the public uproar about the rebranding, described as looking like a gear cog, a Rotary logo, or a police badge!

The statement is seven pages long, and comes across as very defensive and overly verbose and technical in justifying the design.  The rebranding of the City appears to have been at the core of a dispute within the City of Cape Town, its Tourism, Events, and Marketing Directorate headed by Anton Groenewald and falling under Councillor Grant Pascoe, having been subject to a forensic investigation, which included having the computers of Pascoe and Groenewald as well as other staff removed in November to check the irregular City rebranding tender allocation.  At that stage the Cape Argus reported that the multi million Rand rebranding tender was in danger of being cancelled, which would have been contrary to the City’s supply chain management policy!

The rebranding process appears to have been led by Carol Avenant, of the City’s Integrated Strategic  Communications and Branding department, who once worked for the Western Cape government, and was at the centre of a row allegedly relating to an advertising contract awarded by the province to the TBWA/Hunt Lascaris group.  She left Yellowwood, the King James agency in the same group, when she moved to the City of Cape Town, which may indicate a conflict of interest in itself!  

In the Cape Argus yesterday the City spokesperson said they would implement the logo with (more…)

Festive Lights Switch On 2012City of Cape Town Councillor for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, Grant Pascoe, has a lot of image polishing to do after he and his Tourism, Events, and Marketing Directorate were in the dog box, having to undergo an embarrassing forensic audit recently.  It is annoying to read his misleading optimistic view of the Festive Season, clearly without substantiation.  The same applies to a media release from Cape Town Tourism, making projections based on poor market research techniques.

The Councillor brags in an article in the City of Cape Town’s weekly newsletter, just two days after the Cape Town Tourism media release was dispatched,  that Cape Town ‘is gearing up for a bumper festive season‘, undefined and unsubstantiated, adding that the City plans to position itself as the ‘Events Capital of Africa’, a surprise given that no events have been created since the Councillor established his Directorate headed by Anton Groenewald.  In fact the Directorate, with an annual budget of R500 million, has not shown any sign of tourism marketing action, other than laying on some small scale soccer matches at the Cape Town Stadium, a sport which Pascoe personally is particularly fond of!  Groenewald ironically was quoted recently in saying that Cape Town has lost out on a number of events due (more…)

Cape Town StadiumA week ago we picked up an article in the Cape Argus that intimated tender irregularities in the City of Cape Town’s Tourism, Events and Marketing Directorate, headed up by Executive Director Anton Groenewald, reporting to Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing.  Now action appears to have been taken, with a follow up report about a forensic investigationGrant Pascoe and the removal of laptops used by staff in the Directorate, including Councillor Pascoe’s computer!

The original article was difficult to follow, and we have re-read it, to summarise the report as follows:  A three year multi-million Rand contract for branding for Cape Town (no logo has been created for brand Cape Town byAnton Groenewald Whale Cottage Portfolio Groenewald’s Directorate yet, as far as we know, and certainly has not been revealed for comment to date) was at risk of being cancelled, just as it was to be awarded.  The proposed cancellation was denied by the City of Cape Town, even though the Cape Argus has documentation confirming the proposed cancellation.  The branding was to be used at events, the City of Cape Town’s Finance department spokesperson Priya Reddy said.  She also denied that cancelling the tender would be contrary to the host city agreement for the Chan soccer tournament in January, which includes a R6 million marketing commitment.  The cancellation of the tender would be contrary to the City of Cape Town’s supply chain management policy.

Central to the branding drama appears to be Carol Avenant, and here the (more…)

 

 Cape Town StadiumThe City of Cape Town has lost 12 bids for new Events for Cape Town in the past six months, and has lost two existing events to other cities, said Anton Groenewald, Executive Director of the City of Cape Town Tourism, Events, and Marketing Directorate, at the Annual General Meeting of Cape Town Tourism two weeks ago.

According to Southern African Tourism Update, Groenewald blamed the ‘City’s limited bidding budget‘ and the stronger international currencies of other bidding countries for the poor track record. The weaker Rand this year affected the costs of bidding for international events, he said:  ‘Exchange rate fluctuation impacts on our ability to bid because almost all competitive bids are in euros, pounds or dollars. This means that at the time of bidding earlier this year, the exchange rate was such that events and concerts at that time became financially unviable because the dollar or euro equivalent was more than we could absorb. Secondly, events and global brands are asking higher and larger fees because other city destinations are paying larger upfront fees to secure their participation. So a fee last year of R3,5m for an event has now increased to US$1,5m (R9,9m), because that is what another destination paid this global brand. We simply cannot compete at these rates.  While Cape Town seems to enjoy international recognition and awareness as a destination, what we do not have is an increase in enquiries and how to convert this into purchases’.

Groenewald’s Directorate has a massive budget at R560 million, out of the (more…)

Babylonstoren Long Table early Whale Cottage PortfolioThe invitation I received from new Babylonstoren Food & Beverage Manager Simoné Rossouw did not reveal what a special honour it was to be invited to the third anniversary celebration of the innovative wine estate, with a top restaurant, boutique hotel, wellness spa, wine tasting and shop, and retail outlet.

We met outside the retail area, which has been expanded to add the shop which originally was located opposite Babel restaurant.  Owner Karen Roos (with husband Koos Bekker) has created the most amazing transformation of the wine estate, which had commenced behind the scenes three years prior to their opening, with their GM Terry de Waal and his team planning and implementing their future direction. Karen is one of the most stylish South Africans, having won most stylish dress awards when they were still awarded, and having been the editor of  Elle Decor.

We were welcomed with three drink options, being home-madeBabylonstoren Bread Sticks Whale Cottage Portfolio ice tea with waterblommetjie, mint and lime; melon and mint cordial with fresh thyme; and strawberry and rose geranium with lavender and lime.  Alternatively one could drink the Babylonstoren wines.  On the table was the most interesting ‘pick up sticks’ presentation of smoked salmon and Serrano ham bread sticks.  The new Spa will be the reason for a future visit, as I never saw it, being distracted with the extensions to the retail building. (more…)