Entries tagged with “Civic Centre”.


The Sweet Service Award goes to  the City of Cape Town, and its Trainee Cashier Jarred Knipe, for the speedy service in renewing the licence for my car at the Civic Centre. I came armed with a copy of my ID and once again the proof of my residence, which I had organised especially elsewhere prior to my visit to the Motor Vehicle Registration Officer. One is allocated a number on arrival, after enquiring  why one is visiting. My number was about eleven numbers after the counters servicing clients. Many clients did not respond to the numbers. Before my number came up, a roving admin staff member asked me what I had come for and directed me to the Cash Office immediately. Jarred is a relatively new staff member, still on training! He completed the paperwork and payment within five minutes, it having taken me a total of ten minutes to renew the registration of the car, something that has taken an hour at least in the past! I had to pinch myself that I was not dreaming. And to add to the service delight, Service Manager Hennie Kriel, replaced the licence disc for me when I popped in at Audi Cape Town for assistance with something completely unrelated!  (more…)

Camps Bay Drive sign on Camps Bay Drive facing T-junction 2 Whale CottageWith minimal notice to the residents and businesses of Camps Bay, using nothing more than media statements, the City of Cape Town announced the closure of a large part of Camps Bay Drive, due to R20 million roadworks undertaken between the Geneva Drive and Houghton Road turn-offs for the next five months, which commenced a week ago. Speaking to a selection of businesses, the Victoria Road restaurants have felt little or no impact of the roadworks on their business, while guest houses in the suburb appear to be taking some strain.  The long-term benefit for not only Camps Bay, but for Cape Town in general, is recognised.

In the days leading up to 20 April, the start of the roadworks, the City of Cape Town hastily put up yellow signs all (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The price of petrol will increase by R1,60 per litre in the Cape at midnight tomorrow, unfortunately not an April Fool’s joke, driving the price of petrol to R12,46.  The higher price reflects the higher oil price, the weaker $/Rand exchange rate, and the increase in the Road Accident Fund levy announced in the 2015/16 Budget last month.

*   European beer brands such as Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, SABMiller PLC, Heineken NV, and Carlsberg A/S will be detailing the calories and other nutritional details on their products.  Diageo brands Smirnoff and Guinness will soon specify their calorie content. The salt, fat, and carbohydrate content will increasingly be seen on beverage packaging.

*   Catharina’s at Steenberg is hosting a 5-course lunch on 30 May, pitting Constantia Sauvignon Blancs against those from (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Eclectic Brands is set to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange later this month, a restaurant group consisting of an eclectic collection of restaurants, a deli, and a catering company: Burger Perfect, ChickinTyme, Giovanni’s Deliworld, Green Catering, Slug & Lettuce, and more.

*   By the end of June, the City of Cape Town will be offering 61 free wifi hotspots in its public buildings, including the existing services in the Civic Centre, Hillstar, Plumstead, and Harare Library in Khayelitsha. A total of 69 exterior wifi spots are also available, including in Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain.

*     An evaluation of the ‘State of the Nation’ by ‘High Road Low Road’ Clem Sunter, Justice Malala, and (more…)

Argus Cycle Tour finishFor the first time in the 38 year history of the Argus Cycle Tour the temporary 47 km route this year will be less than half of the standard 109 km route, due to the devastating fires raging in the South Peninsula, an important part of the Argus Cycle Tour route.

The Route reduction comes ‘in solidarity and support for those affected by the tragic fires burning on the mountains around Cape Town‘.  Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities and keen cyclist Alan Winde has requested participants to wear a red arm band, to demonstrate their solidarity. (more…)

Camps Bay beachThe heavily crowded beach days of 26 December and 1 January are to be controlled by the City of Cape Town, to make the traffic flow more bearable.  Not all Capetonians are in favour of this proposed quota system.

The City media statement announced:   The ‘City’s Traffic Service will actively manage the influx of vehicles along the Atlantic Seaboard in an effort to prevent a repetition of the gridlock conditions that have become a regular occurrence in Sea Point, Bantry Bay, Clifton and Camps Bay on 26 December and 1 January in previous years‘.  Anyone living on that side of Cape Town will agree that the traffic mayhem is unbearable, it taking one hour from Bakoven to the Camps Bay beachfront on 26 December last year, for example.

Unsurprisingly the City is promoting its MyCiTi Bus service, recommending that beachgoers, those heading for Camps Bay in (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Committee has kept the repo rate unchanged at 5,75%, the new Governor Lesetja Kganyago has announced. The rate did not change due to the reducing inflation rate, the lower international oil prices being an inflation benefit, and the weak economy.

*   The Vancouver Sun writes about ‘Sensational South Africa‘, highlighting its ‘Big Five must-see list’.  It includes Cape Town (‘the country’s prettiest city‘, Bo-Kaap, the City Bowl market – certainly not the best Cape Town has to offer – Table Mountain and its ‘tram ride‘, the Mount Nelson Hotel, and Robben Island), the Winelands (Franschhoek and its Wine Tram), Himeville and the Drakensberg,  Durban, and Safaris.

*  The City of Cape Town has announced its extensive plans for the safety of the city and its visitors over the Festive (more…)

12 Apostles Hotel viewThe 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. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines 

*   Distell has created a wine marketing subsidiary in the UK, called Distell Vineyards & Estates, which is also marketing its wines in Germany, Holland, and Finland.  UK sales are £ 32 million. CEO Carina Gouws emphasised the importance of the UK market: ‘The UK remains the most important market globally in terms of positioning premium brands.  Wines that perform well in there are noticed by the rest of the world’.   The company is planning to aggressively increase its market share four fold, focusing more on independent retailers and the on-trade in the UK.

*   A review of the MyCiTi Bus performance has shown that the service surpassed its target by over 2 million ‘passenger journeys‘, reaching 7,4 million in the past financial year. The recent introduction of the N2 Express to Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain has boosted the passenger numbers to over 1 million per month.  Changes to be made to routes include culling the Waterfront Silo extension from the Civic Centre on the Camps Bay route (which we criticised from the outset when launched a year ago).  Route 113 along Ocean View Drive from Three Anchor Bay to Fresnaye will be cancelled on 6 October, due to low demand.  One wonders why market research was not conducted to check demand for the service.

*   World Travel Market Africa will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 15 – 17 April next year, (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Globally spirit sales barely grew in 2013, after a growth of 6,5% between 2007 – 2011. Vodka is the largest selling spirit category, at 496 million cases.  Whisky/whiskey sales grew the fastest, and stand at 361 million cases. Rum sales were 146 million, a decrease on the year prior.  Whilst the largest market for spirits is Asia, at 1,9 billion cases, growth was minimal.

*   More than 70 World Design Capital 2014 projects are on display in the Civic Centre as the project reaches its halfway mark, reports the Cape Times.  The projects on display include the MyCiTi Bus, Green Point Urban Park, and the Buitengracht Pedestrian Bridge.  There is no entrance fee to view the display, which runs until the end of this year.

*   Millennials will be the travelers of the future, being the biggest tourism spenders in the next 5 – 10 years, and already (more…)