Tag Archives: Dan Plato

Bo-Kaap declared a ‘Heritage protection overlay zone’!

At the end of March Bo-Kaap was declared a ‘Heritage protection overlay zone’ by the City of Cape Town, after a six year battle to prevent large property developments in the area, reported the Atlantic Sun. The heritage protection status awaits being published in the Provincial Gazette.  Continue reading →

Film Cape Town to reposition itself (again) as the SA Film Capital!

The City of Cape Town has announced that the Film Cape Town website has been launched, a joint venture between itself and the Cape Town film and media industry. This is excellent news for the tourism industry in Cape Town and surrounds, to revitalize an industry which brought thousands of film industry tourists as well as millions of Rands to our city, but which declined due to the closure of the Cape Film Commission due to a cut in grants from the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape provincial government in 2016, the water crisis, local rising costs, as well as an industry which battled within itself and the City and province. Continue reading →

Cape Town Mayoral Committee for Tourism, Events, and Marketing Grant Pascoe defects to ANC, loses portfolio with immediate effect!

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: Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 9 October

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Chenin Blanc and Ken Forrester are honoured by Joe Roberts, American 1 Wine Dude blogger and key-note speaker at the Nederburg Auction this year!

*  HRH Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are attending  a dinner function at Grande Provence tomorrow (10 October), which means that the wine estate will be closed.  (via Twitter)

*   Western Cape Minister of Community Safety Dan Plato has vowed to personally check on alleged drug dealing on Long Street, and whether there is visible policing and security on this notorious party strip in Cape Town, responding to an EWN news report.

*   Eight beaches and two marinas in Cape Town have been Continue reading →

One&Only Cape Town Sweet Service and Franschhoek Police Sour Service Awards!

The Sweet Service Award goes to the One&Only Cape Town and its Hotel Manager Gerhard Erasmus, who is its most amazing ambassador, in welcoming feedback about their Afternoon Tea and a recent experience at the One&Only Spa, even assisting in the making of a reservation, with which we had struggled. Gerhard is a stickler for detail, and made work of the feedback immediately, providing feedback about the improvements made.  Gerhard has impressed with his openness, honesty, availability on the phone, and professionalism.  Sad for Cape Town and the hotel is his departure today, to take up a new position in Croatia.

The Sour Service Award goes to the Franschhoek Police, who arrested Garth van Zyl, the Medicare EMR village medical emergency paramedic, for ‘hindering a police officer to perform his duties’.  Van Zyl had assisted at an accident scene, regulating traffic, as the police had not yet arrived.  Despite having a broken leg in plaster, the police roughly forced him into their van, as can be seen on a YouTube video.   Dan Plato, Western Cape MEC for Safety, is reported by iol to have been very critical of the conduct by the police, questioning their ability to manage the accident scene, and indicates that the police has a poor relationship with the local community!

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at info@whalecottage.com.   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.

Green Point Park a Biodiversity delight, no longer Common!

The Green Point Park, which opened about two weeks ago, and which will receive its official blessing from the Mayor of Cape Town Dan Plato today, has transformed the area previously known as the Green Point Common into one of the most charming parks in Cape Town, making it a treasure not only for the citizens of Cape Town, but also to its visitors, and to future generations.

The Green Point Common was previously a home for the homeless, and this brought down the tone of Mouille Point and also was a danger to locals walking in the area.  In conjunction with the construction of the new Cape Town Stadium, and the redevelopment of the Metropolitan golf course, the City of Cape Town redeveloped the 12,5 ha area at a reported cost of close to R600 million, renaming it the Green Point Park.   The conditions of the development of the Park were that it be safe, that the golf course and the Park appear integrated and almost seamless, that the Park be accessible to physically challenged citizens, and that sufficient parking be made available.  All of these conditions have been admirably met, so much so that one can feel proudly-Capetonian in how well our rates and taxes have been spent in developing a park with a heritage, that will be of benefit to future generations too.

The major focus, which makes it so interesting, and having an educational angle too, is the Biodiversity showcase, the gardens having been developed along ecological principles and includes indigenous landscaping.  Recycling is part of the showcase, and bins for waste, plastic, metal and glass are available at each of the Park entrances.   To focus on best environmental practices, water from the historic Oranjezicht springs on the slopes of Table Mountain has been redirected to water the gardens, and is sufficient to cater for the irrigation needs of the Park all year round, explains the Cape Town Stadium website www.stadiumcapetown.co.za

The Green Point Park has bricked pathways on which Capetonians and their children can cycle, walk with or without their dogs, run, do exercises, read a book, use their skateboards, and meet friends safely, with security staff visible.   One can also bring a picnic basket and enjoy the beautiful views onto Signal Hill, Cape Town Stadium, Mouille Point, and the golf course.  It is planned that one can host functions at the park (a marquee is already in place for the opening function today), and that outdoor events such as markets and concerts will be held in this beautiful, largely wind-protected space.   A biodiversity nursery, a tea garden, fresh produce markets, flower sellers and bicycle rental are said to be on the cards.

But the educational side of the Park is an excellent benefit for teaching children as well as their parents about Biodiversity, and how one can develop a garden that is environmentally friendly, and does not threaten biodiversity.  Biodiversity is defined as “amazing variety of life on earth”, and is threatened by agricultural development, fire, urban development and invasive plants. The Park has a food garden, one for medicinal plants, and a demonstration garden.  Fauna is represented by buck, rabbits, and more animals, in metalwork in-between the plants.  The Park teems with bird life.  Information boards explain how the Khoikhoi sought berries in the veld, used claypots to make their variation of “potjiekos” in those days already, roasted and baked their food, and made tea from bushes.  

But the history of Cape Town is also explained in an interesting manner, with huts built by the Khoikhoi, and their food types and herbal remedies explained.   Medicinal plants such as wildeals, blousake, kooigoed, Devil’s Claw and more were used to treat aches and pains, colds and other ailments. 

 It would be wonderful if a handout with information about the Green Point Park would be made available, and a website be developed for it.  I initially struggled to find the entrance to Green Point Park.  There are five entrances: the West entrance is close to CafeNeo, the East entrance is off one of the parking areas of the Cape Town Stadium, the Southern entrance is near the Virgin Active, an entrance is off Bay Road, and another is behind the Sea Point police station.   The Green Point Park is open from 7h00 – 19h00 Mondays – Sundays, and entrance is free.  

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

Cape Town is the centre of the theatre universe

The annual Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards presented at the Baxter Theatre last weekend proves that while the awards are national, Cape Town is the central focus of theatre in South Africa. 

The main (very, very deserved) winners were Sandra Prinsloo, who won the Best Actress Award in “Die Naaimasjien”, and Jeremy Crutchley, who won the Best Actor and Best Performance Awards for “I am my own wife”, reports the Cape Times.   Jonathan Roxmouth won the Best Performance in a Musical Award in “Beauty and the Beast”.   Best Set Design and Best Costume Design Awards went to Illka Louw for “The Tempest”.

The Fleur du Cap Awards ceremony was attended by the Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato.   Awards were handed out by celebrity guests Soli Philander, David Kramer, Fiona Coyne (“The Weakest Link”) and others.

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

Cape Town scores Final Draw goal

The City of Cape Town and the FIFA Local Organising Committee (LOC) signed a Service Level Agreement this week, for Cape Town to host the FIFA Final Draw on 4 December, reports www.goal.com.   The Final Draw will determine which of the 32 teams play at which venues.

Mayor of Cape Town Dan Plato and LOC CEO Danny Jordaan agreed that the Final Draw will take place in the Cape Town International Convention Centre, and is to be attended by 2 000 guests and 800 media representatives.   The FInal Draw is expected to be broadcast in 200 countries. The ceremonial signing was accompanied by Minstrels.

“We can’t wait for the fourth of December and we can’t wait for 2010 to welcome all the visitors and spectators to our city. Cape Town is ready and prepared to deliver a memorable Final Draw and to provide unique visitor experiences for visitors and the soccer fraternity alike. The timing coincides with Cape Town’s festive season and all stakeholders are working together on integrated planning and preparations for the event,” the Mayor told reporters.    The Final Draw will capture the imagination of the football world and will be a week-long event featuring a number of activities staged by FIFA, the Organising Committee, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Provincial Government and all the local Host Cities, says Jordaan.  “There are two projects left in the delivery of the 2010 FIFA World, the Final Draw this December and then the tournament itself starting next June. The FIFA Confederations Cup has really shifted the mood world-wide. Where people once questioned and doubted, we’ve now reached a position where people are looking forward in anticipation and excitement to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa,” said Jordaan.  
“The Final Draw in Cape Town is a critical date and an important milestone for us. And we could not find a better city in which to host it. Cape Town’s a wonderful location and its Greenpoint Stadium is a landmark, one of the best in the world,” he added.      

“The impetus of expenditure and investment in infrastructure for 2010 could not have come at a better time to counteract the effects of the economic slump. While not every individual or suburb of Cape Town will benefit directly from the World Cup, improved facilities, services and infrastructure will benefit all indirectly,” said Plato. 

Whale Cottage Portfolio www.whalecottage.com/blog