While I have shopped at IKEA in Southampton with my son now living in the UK, I have not been near an IKEA anything in Cape Town. This changed last week, during Design Indaba 2019, when IKEA had a prominent IKEA Överallt ( meaning everywhere in Swedish) outdoor stand at the foot of the Artscape Theatre building. It reflected the best creativity in design in Africa, a social responsibility project of the global Swedish home interior design company. But there is little chance of the company opening any stores in our country within the next five years, it was confirmed. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Cape Town City Ballet, for its magnificent and moving performance of ‘Mozart & Salieri’ at the Artscape Opera House. The costume and set design were superb, and the music of mostly Mozart moved me to tears. It was in very sharp contrast to the disappointing performance of ‘The Cotton Club’ by the same dance company.
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Jade Pearl Boutique in Stellenbosch, and its staff member Caitlin van Heerden, for reading about the assault by Graham Goble at Artscape, resulting in one of my strings of pearls breaking. She invited me to have the pearls restrung. As I was heading to Franschhoek two days later, I dropped them off in the morning, and collected them later that day, ready to wear again.
Having seen the ‘Singing in the Rain‘ musical at Artscape yesterday, I was intrigued to read that a special bench inspired by the show has been created Continue reading →
* The Design Indaba has announced that it will eliminate the Design Indaba Expo, largely due to the large drop in attendance this year, reaching the 2009 attendance level. The venue of the Design Indaba conference will change to Artscape, and the date will move from the last weekend in February. Owner Ravi Naidoo would like to take the event to Johannesburg and Durban too, as well as internationally.
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, and its concierge Masood Sadulla, for assisting our Whale Cottage Camps Bay guests Shadé Potgieter and Nick Brenner in getting from our guest house to the hotel to attend a wedding last weekend. They had not rented a car and had thought that they could get there on foot. There was no charge levied for the shuttle service, and the offer was made to call a taxi for the guests when they wanted to return to Camps Bay. Continue reading →
* More than 7000 film permits were issued in 2013, demonstrating Cape Town’s popularity as a film destination. New City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing Garreth Bloor says that the film industry contributes R 5 billion to our economy, and created 35000 jobs in the past three years. The fourth season of the American TV series ‘Homeland‘ is being filmed in Cape Town at the moment, while Sean Penn’s ‘The Last Face’ will be filmed in the next few months, starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem. In the past year 11500 locations and 12000 shooting sites were booked. Some of the most popular locations for filming are the City’s Darling Street bank building, Artscape Theatre, and the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
* Brent Perremore from Orphanage Cocktail Emporium has won the Diageo Reserve 2014 World Class National Final as best mixologist in South Africa, held at The Marly in Camps Bay yesterday. He will represent South Africa in the International Championships in Scotland. Haroon Haffajee of Harry’s Bar in Durban came second and Marson Strydom of Buena Vista Social Café came third.
* Gareth Cliff left 5FM today, after 10 years at the radio station. There appears to be no news about his future plans.
* Heston Blumenthal is moving The Fat Duck restaurant in Bray UK to Melbourne in February next year for six months, whereafter he will call the restaurant Dinner.
* Moyo has closed down at Spier, following the recent closure of Moyo at the V&A Waterfront, reports the Cape Times today.
* The fourth largest game reserve, the 120000 ha Central Escarpment Reserve in Mpumalanga is to be developed, and stocked with the Big 5.
* Steenberg has launched its first Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, which its winemaker JD Pretorius describes as follows: ‘This is made to be fun, fruity & fresh. The nose bursts with aromas of passion fruit, litchi, guava, pineapple, mango & green apples. The palate is fresh & fizzy with a fruit explosion. Sweet fruits linger on the aftertaste with a refreshing finish, perfect for a hot summer’s day’. (Received via e-mail from Steenberg)
Once again the tourism authorities are paying lip service to Winter Seasonality in Cape Town and the Western Cape, and it is rather sad to see the City of Cape Town scramble to host events this coming winter which in all likelihood will make no difference to the tourism industry at all.
Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold has admitted to the Cape Argus how grave the effect of Seasonality is on our tourism industry: ‘Despite growth in tourism of late, seasonality remains the biggest threat to our tourism industry. Many misperceptions exist around winter being an undesirable time to visit. This is a critical issue for an industry that employs more than 300000 people and is the second largest contributor to the Western Cape’s GDP. Tourism role-players in Cape Town long ago realised that Cape Town needs a 365-day brand position to fill beds during the quieter months’. Unfortunately in her ten years of heading up Cape Town Tourism, she has not made any contribution to the worsening effect of Seasonality on the Cape tourism industry.
The new City of Cape Town Tourism, Events, and Marketing department has egg on its face, for the Liverpool/Ajax Cape Town soccer match, which was scheduled for next Tuesday, having to be called off. The City has blamed the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for the fiasco. Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, Councillor Grant Pascoe, who traveled to the UK earlier this year to sign up a number of soccer clubs for friendlies to be played in Cape Town, angrily hit out on his Facebook page yesterday at criticism directed at him in the Cape Times by COSATU Secretary General and ANC Councillor Tony Ehrenreich, who called for disciplinary action against Pascoe for the handling of the soccer saga, with its resultant wasted costs and loss of reputation for Cape Town. Words between Ehrenreich and Pascoe sound more like a political slanging match than a genuine concern about enhancing the number of tourists in our city!
Pascoe followed this up with a poor media release issued by the City’s Integrated Strategic Communication and Branding Department: “City responds to allegations of mismanagement surrounding the cancelled visit of Liverpool FC. In response to the press statement from COSATU, “Livepool (sic) Saga shows a Serious Mismanagement from City of Cape Town”, I am able to comment on only those facts that are known to me, and not on vexatious rumours. The City is inclusive and would consider any and all similar proposals from other Cape-based teams. Ajax Cape Town FC, in good faith, negotiated with the South African Football Association (SAFA), and Liverpool FC with the English Football Association for permission for the match to take place. Permission from both these bodies was granted. In a letter from SAFA to the CEO of the Premier Soccer League (PSL), SAFA states, ‘we are therefore granting your club permission to participate in this International Friendly Match, provided they comply with FIFA regulations governing international matches, and that FIFA responds favourably to the application’. Based on this positive correspondence, the City continued engagements with Liverpool FC, and made arrangements for the game to take place. There are no guidelines or regulations for PSL teams, or external organisations, to follow that govern these arrangements. They are assessed purely on a case by case basis. To the City’s knowledge, no prior applications have been refused before this one. After extensive consultations, including trying to find an alternate date, a solution could not be found to suit all concerned. It is the City’s position that the reputational damage lies with the PSL. Even their sponsors have actively distanced themselves from the decision taken. The City will not be deterred or deflated by this obstacle, and is actively negotiating several other sporting events to bring to the people of Cape Town”.
To address Ehrenreich’s criticism, the Cape Argus ran a story yesterday, to announce the two new events which the City of Cape Town has organised for the winter months. The first is the Cape Town Performance Arts Festival, which is due to attract ‘between 10000 and 15000 people at the festival from all over the country, as well as international guests‘! No details were found about the Festival, which is scheduled to take place in July without exact dates specified, other than that it is an arts festival which will include dance, music and other art forms which will be held in the V&A Waterfront, Artscape, and the City Hall, the newspaper reported! If a Festival of this scale is to be hosted in Cape Town in two months from now, one would have expected that details would have been made available already, and that the marketing work will have commenced, by both Cape Town Tourism and the City’s Tourism, Events, and Marketing department!
In August the Cape Town Design Exhibition Conference takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, with 4000 delegates expected to attend, the focus being on Cape Town’s design challenges. No further information was found.
Disappointingly the City of Cape Town’s Tourism, Events, and Marketing department has not managed to make any visible marketing impact on Cape Town’s tourism industry in the past year. The odd soccer match, the Cape Town Design Exhibition Conference, and the Cape Town Performance Arts Festival are unlikely to make any significant difference to the poor and declining occupancies which the accommodation industry is suffering each winter!
POSTSCRIPT 16/5: The Pundits website today posted Councillor Pascoe’s explanation about the cancelled soccer match, and wrote critically about the confusion the announcement of the match and subsequent cancellation had caused. It also advised the City of Cape Town to use the official channels when negotiating with international soccer clubs. The post was written by a Jason Pascoe (relationship to Councillor Pascoe unknown, but hinted at being the son of Councillor Pascoe by a comment writer!), and oddly enough was Retweeted by Councillor Pascoe!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage