Entries tagged with “Cape Winelands”.


imageAt the conclusion of The Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference held at Spier over the past two days, the seven South African winners of the 2016 Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards were announced.  (more…)

imageNot to be confused with a private home in which one can drink Brandy, the new ‘Brandy Homes‘ are in fact Brandy producers in the Cape Winelands, the Karoo, and Northern Cape, which have been designed to make its visitors ‘sit back, relax, and learn all there is to know about Brandy‘. The ‘Brandy Homes‘ are an initiative created by the South African Brandy Foundation, allowing Brandy lovers (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Tourism Business Council of South Africa FNB Tourism Business Index reflects that the tourism industry is improving, with a score of 108 for the last quarter of 2014. A score of 100 is the norm.  The Accommodation sector did even better, with an Index of 113, despite the impact of Ebola, and the Immigration Regulation changes introduced late last year.  ‘Other Tourism‘ (e.g. transport, food and beverage) scored 104, lower than had been forecast for the quarter.  The exchange rate has played a role in the improving Index.  For the first quarter of this year an average Index of about 102 is expected.

*   The Cape Winelands is experiencing its earliest harvest in 49 years, having started very early in the new year, almost a month earlier than last year.  VinPro explains that three perfect winters with enough cold and sufficient rain, combined with an unusually warmer August, has led to the earlier harvest.  A smaller harvest is expected this year, but is expected to be of a good quality.  Winemakers are facing a challenge in their cellars in that many cultivars are ripening almost at the same time.

*   Cycling in Cape Town is one of the best ways to see our city, writes the Los Angeles Times, describing (more…)

Jancis Robinson Delaire GraffUK wine judge and writer Jancis Robinson spent most of this past week in the Cape Winelands, after a seven-year absence.  She spoke kindly about our industry, and offered insights into the UK and USA markets.  She wrote from Delaire Graff, where she had attended a Chenin Blanc tasting and stayed over: ‘South African wine is in full ferment. It deserves far more international attention than it is currently getting‘!

Unable to attend two public meetings addressed by Ms Robinson, I have looked for information aboutJancis Robinson her talks, admired by some, and slated by a few.

A detailed summary about Ms Robinson’s (with her husband Nick Lander) talk at #RootstockSA, held at Alleé Bleue, was written by Judy Bouwer of wine.co.za.   Key points she summarised were:

*   SA wine estates should target UK restaurants, which have far more reasonable mark-ups.  Young British people spend their money on food and wine, not being able to afford to buy (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   British wine writer Jancis Robinson has ended her visit to the Cape Winelands this week, and writes that she has beenhugely impressed by the quality of the wines of the best producers and by the much broader range of wine styles and provenances than there was on my last visit’ seven years ago. She described our country as the ‘wonderful source of underpriced fine white wine.  It has taken longer for red wines to please this finicky international palate‘.  Our industry does not need to be defined by our indigenous Pinotage, she feels.

*   Could Cape Town/South Africa/Africa get a Grand Prix again, after more than 20 years?   Bernie Ecclestone has speculated that such a race could be possible by next year.  As Killarney is not suitable, it would have to be a street race in Cape Town. This proposal was however rejected by City of Cape Town’s Directorate of Tourism, Events, and Marketing in 2013, due to the cost.

*   Roger Jones, owner of Michelin star restaurant Harrow at Little Bedwyn in the UK, has just returned from a trip to our country. (more…)

Hayden Quinn 2 Fritz and Hayden MosbolletjiesPoor Hayden Quinn!  Trying to be clever, the promo for last night’s episode 2, which was flighted on SABC3 on Sunday evening, had Hayden proudly sharing that he was going behind the ‘Boerewors Curtain‘ in Stellenbosch, to meet artisanal baker Fritz Schoon of Schoon de Companje.  The Tweet left Hayden with dough on his face, in making what he called a ‘joke‘, in poor cultural taste!

In reaction to a Tweet about his incorrect information (the ‘Boerewors Curtain‘ is a less than complimentary name for the residents of the suburbs of Parow/Bellville/Durbanville, to describe their love for braai-ing, in preference to most other activities, which means that they rarely leave their area, and that the area smells of braais from Friday evenings to Sunday lunch times on weekends),  Hayden replied: ‘I guess the little joke was lost haha just referencing stellies (sic) as a (sic) Africaans (sic) town‘.  His producer Riaan Badenhorst quickly jumped to his defence, explaining that Boerewors is ‘proudly heritage food‘, which was not the point of the Twitter exchange!

Hayden Quinn : South Africa‘ was first flighted on SABC3 last Monday,  doing a great job in making Capetonians proud of their beautiful city and its fresh produce bounty.  Hayden was a MasterChef Australia finalist in 2011, but did not win the series, and has managed to sign up the series about our country’s sustainable food production.  The programme is sponsored by (more…)

After having met Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten two months ago, a week after he had taken over the responsibility for marketing the Western Cape from Cape Town Routes Unlimited, which organisation was incorporated into the trade and investment promotion agency on 2 April this year, we requested feedback about the progress made in marketing the region. Mr Flaatten had asked the industry to give him a month to get the organisational integration completed. An e-mail request for feedback on the marketing progress earlier this month led to an invitation by Mr Flaatten to meet with him on Tuesday.

The most exciting news for the local tourism industry, and Mr Flaatten’s first major challenge, is the 5 July meeting called with SAA’s General Manager Theuns Potgieter by Wesgro with 15 players in the Western Cape, including local and city government, an Eastern Cape tourism marketing body representative, and larger tourism companies, to discuss SAA’s decision to cut its Cape Town-London route as of 15 August. The airline will be asked to motivate its decision in culling the route.  Joint destination marketing between the Western Cape and SAA in bringing in tourists from destinations such as Beijing, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Melbourne, various African destinations, and Buenos Aires will be discussed too.   Subsequent meetings will be held with the airlines which will continue to serve the Cape Town-London route, including BA, Virgin, and Emirates, to discuss bringing in more flights to Cape Town.

The parking organisation was perfect, and Mr Flaatten chose for us to go to Doppio Zero on St George’s Mall for the meeting.  He had copies of the slides which he used for his recent presentation at FEDHASA Cape’s AGM, which I had requested via his secretary, but the wait was worthwhile, as Mr Flaatten was able to explain his points in greater detail.  Mr Flaatten is a very precise person, and he referred repeatedly and proudly to the progress that he and his new team have made in the ‘two months and 19 days’ since their integration. In the past 80 days Wesgro has undertaken the following Marketing activities:

*   Mr Flaatten and Solly Fourie, Head of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, accompanied an (unnamed) Chairman of a JSE-listed hotel company to Buenos Aires, to meet six outbound tour operators. Mr Flaatten praised their product knowledge of the Western Cape. He said that the withdrawal of the Cape Town-Buenos Aires Air Malaysia route is a serious blow to tourism from Argentina. His journey from Cape Town to Buenos Aires via Johannesburg took 24 hours, previously a direct flight of 7 hours flying west.

*   Bjorn Hufkie from Wesgro’s Conventions Bureau accompanied the (unnamed) Managing Director of a JSE-listed hotel company to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

*    Participated in exhibitions: Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, IMEX 2012 in Frankfurt (incentive travel, meetings and events); and Indaba in Durban. Mr Flaatten said that all six the RTOs were represented on the Western Cape stand, and that they will ‘raise the bar’ for 2013.

*   Debbie Damant has been part of SA Tourism’s marketing mission to China and Japan

*   Met with Cape Town Tourism, the largest RTO (regional tourism organisation) of the six in the Western Cape, asking some ‘tough questions’ of them

*   Met with Eden RTO, and some of its LTO’s (local tourism bureaus)

*   Met with SAA at Indaba (prior to SAA’s bombshell announcement about the Cape Town-London route)

*   The Western Cape Tourism Barometer for the fourth quarter of 2011 was released.

*   The Wesgro website has been updated, incorporating its new additional Destination Marketing role, clicking through to the tourism information previously on the Cape Town Routes Unlimited website

*  One of the greatest achievements is the detailed listing of over 100 events in the province in the next six months, with detailed information about each event

*   Organisationally, the activities and marketing focus of the six RTOs (Cape Town, West Coast, Eden, Cape Winelands, Central Karoo, and Overberg), and its tourism bureaus within the municipalities within the RTOs have been captured, within a Customer Relationship Management program.  An intensive Facebook campaign to interlink and like the LTOs and RTOs is underway.

Looking ahead for the next 10 months the focus will be to deliver on the Annual Performance Plan in respect of destination marketing; create operational efficiency, effectiveness and cost savings, which savings will go into the Events budget, Mr Flaatten said; fill staff vacancies; strengthening relationships with the RTO’s and LTO’s, international airlines operating from Cape Town International, tourism trade bodies, SA Tourism, and other national tourism bodies; ‘impactful marketing and advertising of the destination’, website integration and marketing strikes in respect of tour operators, to keep up the ‘share of mind’; aggressively market the Conventions Bureau, pushing conferences into the provincial towns and villages too; stimulate Events and fund smaller events; and SMME development.   Wesgro is pitching to host SIAL Cape Town, which would become a fantastic new food event creating a ‘Global Food Marketplace’, already held in Paris and China, and is planned to be hosted in our winter months, to address Seasonality.  The Western Cape Tourism Marketing Plan is expected to be ready by September.  Inter-provincial travel within the Western Cape will be an important focus.  Mr Flaatten was requested to provide feedback on what Wesgro is doing for the tourism industry as frequently as possible, all media communication to ourselves having been terminated since Wesgro took over.  We fed back that the Tourism Bureaus are not passing on Wesgro’s information to its members, which seemed to surprise him.

Mr Flaatten provided a copy of the latest Tourism Barometer, surprisingly signed off by Calvyn Gilfellan, former CEO of the ex-Cape Town Routes Unlimited. In the last quarter of last year 216000 international tourists arrived in Cape Town, a welcome increase of 15% over the same period a year before.  Domestic arrival growth was far lower in the same period, at 4%, with just under 1 million visitors.  A large part of the report contains statistics of visitor numbers to the province’s key tourism attractions, and to the RTO’s local tourism bureaus, a very unreliable tourism barometer, given that fewer visitors require the information or booking services of tourism bureaus, doing most of their bookings at home via the internet before their departure.

Organisationally, the integration between the ex-Cape Town Routes Unlimited staff is complete, section 197 of the Labour Relations Act having been followed, in that all staff (also the Wesgro staff) were offered staff benefits at the higher level of those offered by Wesgro and Cape Town Routes Unlimited, so that all Wesgro staff now receive the same benefits.  A Memorandum of Understanding, a Memorandum of Agreement, and a budget have been signed by the Joint Working Committee guiding the integration. The Annual Performance Plan of Cape Town Routes Unlimited has been transferred to Wesgro.   For the financial year April 2012/March 2013, Wesgro now has a total budget of just more than R51 million, 45% being for Cape Town Routes Unlimited funding.  All ex-Cape Town Routes Unlimited staff now have Wesgro contracts, e-mail addresses, and business cards.  Staff have been grouped by functionality and accommodated on the 7th and 12th floors of the Waldorf building.  Provincial Tourism Minister Alan Winde’s department is working on repealing the Tourism Act of 2004, which will close down the Board of the ex-Cape Town Routes Unlimited, which currently has to remain operative as long as the current Act is in place.

Wesgro needs to start from the beginning in gaining the confidence of its Western Cape tourism constituency, which had little faith in its predecessor Cape Town Routes Unlimited. The outcome of the 5 July SAA meeting will be a crucial test of its negotiating skills. In addition, it will be judged on its ability to communicate with the tourism industry on a regular basis, via traditional media channels as well as Social Media marketing.

Wesgro, Waldorf Arcade, 80 St George’s Mall, Cape Town.  Tel (021) 487-8600. www.wesgro.co.za Twitter: @Wesgro

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

Two months ago Cape Town Tourism launched its new Ogilvy-developed advertising campaign, with the slogan ‘You don’t need a holiday, you need Cape Town’. It would appear that this slogan has not been supported by the Cape Town Tourism staff, most of whom have been on holiday over the festive period!

Seeing Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold Tweet from her Pringle Bay ‘holiday shack’, as she calls it, a year ago I was astounded that our city’s tourism bureau could close down its management over the period during which Cape Town is at its fullest.  Sadly, this is true too of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, marketing the Western Cape.   Mrs Helmbold is on maternity leave until the end of April, so can justify her time off this year.  The Communications Manager Skye Grove took a trip to the Cederberg region between Christmas and New Year, she communicated on Twitter, and the new Marketing Manager Velma Corcoran is still on leave, despite only having started with the organisation in September, surprising then that she has leave to take already!

As I have not seen a Cape Town Tourism media release for a while, the last one having been the poorly written one about the tourism performance in November, I visited the Cape Town Tourism website yesterday, and noted the following:

1.   The grammar-deficient media release is still on the website, with ‘warts’ and all, and was the last media release issued, more than three weeks ago.  Given the good tourism performance over the festive period, one would have thought that Cape Town Tourism could have written about this, and proactively supplied the paper-thin newspapers with material about Cape Town, to share with their out-of-town readers!

2.   The website contains an outdated list of accommodation ‘Winters are Cool’ specials!

3.   Blogposts on the Cape Town Tourism Blog on the website contain typing errors, if there is any writing at all, as most blogposts are a Flickr pic of the day!

4.  The biggest surprise was the poor content of the ‘Beyond Cape Town’ pages,  in that

*  there is no mention of the attractions in Stellenbosch, the largest, oldest and most visible wine region in our country, in the Cape Winelands sub-section!  Wine estate names are misspelled, and the wine estates mentioned are in Stellenbosch, but are not identified as being in this town, looking as if they could be in Franschhoek from the text!

*   in the Cape Overberg section, there is no mention of the Hermanus Wine Route (and not to be found in the Cape Winelands section either), focusing only on the whales for Hermanus. Hermanus suffers badly outside of the whale watching period, and its excellent wines could be an important means of bringing tourists and locals to the town from December – May in particular.

5.  In her ‘From the CEO’ statement on the website, Mrs Helmbold announces her five month maternity leave, with Enver Duminy heading up the operation in her absence.  Interesting is that Mrs Helmbold finally acknowledges that 2011 was ‘one of the toughest years for tourism’, having tried to counter our blogposts about this crisis months ago. Badly written, her statement suggests that ‘there is some optimism in the air’!   Mrs Helmbold does not reveal her organisation’s goals and marketing plans for 2012, but writes that ‘we have been soul-searching, and have worn our hearts on our sleeves’, an interesting and innovative marketing planning approach!  Could the Communications Manager not have corrected the poor writing, one would ask, but then she is on Twitter continuously, having little time to do any other communication work for Cape Town Tourism, it would appear!

Cape Town Tourism receives R40 million from the City of Cape Town, money which is generated from the ratepayers of Cape Town. Grant Pascoe, the (DA) City Councillor responsible for the Tourism and Events portfolios on the mayoral committee, has a most annoying habit of ignoring all e-mails, telephonic messages, and Tweets directed at him, and one wonders how the City can justify the wasted expenditure of some of the projects which Cape Town Tourism sponsored in 2011, and in not delivering on marketing Cape Town, as little marketing is likely in the next four months of Mrs Helmbold’s absence!

POSTSCRIPT 5/1: Enver Duminy, Acting CEO of Cape Town Tourism, replied today, after I called him and he read the blogpost we wrote today about the non-reaction to this blogpost“I would like to thank you for bringing some of your website comments to my attention, and the team have been tasked to review your points and amend spelling errors and remove expired content where and when possible, and as appropriate. Thank you for highlighting  the “Beyond Cape Town” sections, which the team will look into, and with the support our LTO and RTO colleagues in the regions, provide us with updated content to populate as such”.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Not only is the 2011 edition of Platter’s South African Wines grass green in colour, but it also focuses on sustainability in the guide by highlighting the work by organisations and individuals in protecting and restoring  the environment, and in promoting biodiversity.   Each of the invited guests at the launch function received their guide in a lively new multi-coloured carry-bag which Woolworths is selling, to educate wine drinkers about responsible wine production and drinking. 

Launching the 31st edition of Platter’s at Capelands in Somerset West yesterday afternoon, publisher Andrew McDowell said that 6500 wines had been evaluated sighted from 800 producers, and the highest number of 5-stars ever was awarded to 58 wines.   The short-list of wines was tasted unsighted, and resulted in the final list of 5-star wines.    The Red Wine of the Year was voted as De Trafford Shiraz 2008, described by the judges as “pure hedonism and promising outstanding development over the next decade”.  White Wine of the Year was Fleur du Cap’s Bergkelder Selection Noble Late Harvest 2009, made from chenin blanc in the main, and was described as “arresting, with astounding balance of ripe fruit and crisp acidity”.   Superquaffer of the Year, offering outstanding value, was Nederburg Lyric 2010, a blend of chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, described as “a celebration of fruit and a delightful demonstration of how well the three varieties can work together”.

The Platter’s Winery of the Year went to Nederburg, in recognition of a ‘winery (which) stood head and shoulders above the rest’.   The winery won eighteen 5-star ratings in eleven editions, and five 5-star wines in the new edition.  Cellarmaster Razvan Macici was delighted to receive this prestigious honour, particularly as he is celebrating his 10th anniversary at Nederburg.

The 5-star rated wines are the following, by variety (* denotes first-ever 5-star rating):

Cabernet Sauvignon: Boekenhoutskloof 2009, Delaire Graff Reserve 2008*, Kanonkop 2007, Klein Constantia 2008, Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007, Le Riche CWG Auction Reserve 2007

Grenache:  Neil Ellis Vineyard Selections 2008

Pinot Noir: Meerlust 2008, Newton Johnson Domaine 2009

Pinotage:  Beyerskloof Diesel 2008

Shiraz:  Boschendal Cecil John Reserve 2008, Eagles’ Nest 2008, Haskell Pillars 2008, Rijk’s Private Cellar 2005, Saxenburg Select Unlimited Release 2006

Merlot:  Shannon Mount Bullet 2008*

Red Blends:  Ernie Els Signature 2007, Graham Beck Ad Honorem 2007, Hartenberg The Mackenzie Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007, Nederburg Ingenuity Red 2007, Reyneke Reserve Red 2007*, Spier Frans K. Smit 2006, Vergelegen Red 2005

Chardonnay: Groot Constantia Gouverneurs 2009, Julien Schaal 2009*, Mulderbosch 2008, Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2008

Chenin Blanc:  Botanica 2009*, StellenRust ’45’ Barrel Fermented 2009*

Grenache Blanc:  The Foundry 2009

Sauvignon Blanc:   Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run 2010, Klein Constantia Perdeblokke 2009, Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2009, The Berrio 2009, Zevenwacht 360º 2009*

White Blends:   Cape Point Isliedh 2009, Hermanuspietersfontein Die Bartho 2009*, Lammershoek Roulette Blanc 2009*, Nederburg Ingenuity White 2009, Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay Private Bin D253 2009, Rall White 2009, Sadie Family Palladius 2009, Steenberg Magna Carta 2009, Steenberg CWG Auction Reserve The Magus 2009, Strandveld Adamastor 2009*, Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2009

Méthode Cap Classique:  Topiary Blanc de Blancs Brut 2008*, Villiera Monro Brut 2005

Dessert Wine, Unfortified:  Fairview Le Beryl Blanc 2009, Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2006, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2009, Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur 2009

Port:   Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2008, De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2008, De Krans Cape Tawny NV, JP Bredell Cape Vintage Reserve 2007

The Woolworths Biodiversity & Wine Initiative bags depict colourful images of wine glasses, bottles and proteas, and the logo of the World Wildlife Fund’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI).  Wording on the bags encourages sustainability: “Support conservation in the Winelands; look out for our wines displaying this label…Get the latest project information by writing www.bwi.co.za”; “Woolworths supports the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative.  The Cape Winelands is home to more plant species than are found in the entire northern hemisphere, with 70 % of these plants found nowhere else in the world.  The Cape Floral Kingdom is recognised as a World Heritage Site”.   Attached to the bag is a BWI brochure, which explains the importance of ‘production integrity and environmental sustainability”, lists the members of the BWI, and salutes the BWI “Champions”: Backsberg, Bartinney, Burgherspost, Cederberg, Cloof, Delheim, Eikenhof, Graham Beck, Hermanuspietersfontein, Klein Constantia, La Motte, Lourensford, Oak Valley, Paul Cluver, Schalkenbosch, Vergelegen, Waterkloof, Waverley Hills, and Wedderwill.   Woolworths encourages wine drinkers to look for wines carrying the BWI logo on the back labels of its wines.

Platter’s South African Wines 2011  is available at R 159,99 from book stores, and can be bought online via www.kalahari.net and www.sawinesonline.co.uk

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage

About 18 300 volunteers, out of close to 68 000 applicants, have been appointed in key strategic areas, to assist in the running of the 2010 World Cup at the ten stadiums around the country.   About 70 % of the volunteers are resident in South Africa, while the rest of the volunteers come from the other 31 qualifying nations.

The training of the 2 500 volunteers selected for Cape Town took place ten days ago, and ran smoothly, given the size of the group.  Volunteers were told that they are the face of South Africa for the event, and will act as important tourism ambassadors.

Functional areas in which the selected volunteers will provide support are accreditation, administration, IT and telecommunications, environmental services, language support, logistic services, marketing, media, protocol services, transportation, volunteer management, welcome and information services, rights protection programme, spectator services, ticketing, and hospitality services.   Most Cape Town volunteers will start working from early June, and will be mainly based at the Volunteer Centre at the Cape Town Stadium.

Volunteers were told: “Hosting the World Cup in South Africa is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many people, the story of which will be told for decades.  Not only will you be involved in a world class event and making history, you will meet people from all nationalities, learn new skills and have the opportunity to work with cutting edge technology and experts in the fields of event and sports management”.

In Cape Town the volunteers saw many videos, to help explain aspects of the World Cup, and to communicate key tourism facts about South Africa, as well as about their Host City Cape Town.  So, for example, volunteers learnt that South Africa has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites: Richtersveld, Greater St Lucia, Sterkfontein Caves, Robben Island, Vredefort Dome, Cape floral kingdom, Drakensberg Park, and Mapungubwe National Park.   They learnt that Cape Town has five of the six most visited tourism attractions: Robben Island, Table Mountain, the Winelands, Cape Point and the V & A Waterfront.  Sadly, the Southern Right whales were not included in the training programme.

The volunteers were also introduced to the Cape Town Stadium, which will be a 68 000 seater stadium for the World Cup, and then reduced to 55 000 seats.   The stadium was built in three years by 2 500 workers, the roof weighs 4 700 tons, the stadium has 500 toilets, 16 lifts, and 115 entry turnstiles.   Volunteers were given a ticket each to attend the two soccer matches on Saturday a week ago, so that they could experience the stadium first hand.   The Cape Town Stadium has been praised by FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke as the best World Cup stadium of all.   Cape Town will host the largest hospitality villages of all the stadiums in South Africa during the World Cup.

The legacy of the World Cup for Cape Town was explained, with a R 4,5 million stadium and green park area surrounding it, the Athlone and Philippi stadium upgrades, the Cape Town station upgrade, the Grand Parade upgrade, the Cape Town International upgrade, the Hospital Bend traffic upgrade, and the R3,2 billion Bus Rapid Transport system.

The vision was declared to be to host a memorable event, which will enhance the image of South Africa and Africa, and to build new partnerships, leading the country to “be significant global players in all fields of human endeavour”.  The mission was defined as “mobilising South Africans to organise an African FIFA World Cup with precision, innovation and flair”, to “extend an unforgettable South African welcome to the world”, and to “collaborate with all stakeholders in a dynamic partnership based on integrity and excellence”.

Volunteers were advised to not defend South Africa if they were challenged about negative aspects, and to promote the good about the country, to smile, and to display national pride.

On the last day of the three-day training program the volunteers met in their functional areas, and this is when they really got excited about the role they will play, and the opportunities they have to possibly see or even meet their soccer star heroes, given their functional responsibility.  In May the volunteers meet at the Cape Town Stadium in their functional groups, for detailed orientation at the stadium, and for training in their functional area of responsibility.   Let the games begin!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com