Entries tagged with “Ian Neilson”.

The Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Ian Neilson, must be very chuffed with his performance in managing the water situation of Cape Town, DayZero being moved out each week since he has taken over this hot seat from Mayor Patricia de Lille!  On Tuesday DayZero was moved out to 4 June.  (more…)

What a good news message from the City of Cape Town yesterday, in its weekly Water feedback to its residents and to businesses. Cape Town Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson announced that it is the reduced usage by the agricultural sector that is allowing the positive water supply projection, extending Day Zero by almost a month, from 16 April to 11 May. An article I found on Facebook provides additional good news to the water projection, it not being clear if this has been factored into the latest Day Zero calculation.  Punitive water tariffs since 1 February may also slowly  be starting to show their effect. (more…)

For the first time Cape Town Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson has issued a statement about the City of Cape Town’s dire water shortage situation, after taking over the responsibility for the water situation for the city, as well as its communication. Current Mayor Patricia de Lille has been suspended from all water-related issues and its communication! Sadly the Deputy Mayor has announced that water-saving measures are not meeting targets, and therefore Day Zero has been brought forward by nine days to 12 April, from 21 April previously!  (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Tim Harris has been appointed as the new CEO of Wesgro, the trade, investment and tourism promotion agency for the Western Cape, for  three year period Minister Alan Winde announced today. Harris currently is the Investment Officer of the City of Cape Town, and will replace Nils Flaatten from 1 January. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)

*   Despite doom and gloom, South Africans enjoy eating out at restaurants and buying food at take-away outlets, according to a survey by Statistics SA.   October was the third best month in respect of food and beverage expenditure in the past four years, with a total expenditure of almost R4 billion.  R1,8 billion was spent at restaurants and coffee shops, and R1,5 billion at take-away and fast food outlets.  Catering made up the balance.  The food and beverage industry grew by 11,5% year on year, with the take-away/fast food side growing at 15%.  Total expenditure on the food and drink industry was R43 billion in the past year.

*   Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown has requested Eskom to communicate its loadshedding schedules more (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…)

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…)

There is regular talk of a Grand Prix coming to Cape Town.  The latest bid, one of three, proposes a Monaco-style street Grand Prix in September 2013, to be held in Sea Point, Green Point and Mouille Point, reports the Cape Argus.

The Cape Town Grand Prix Bid Company (Pty) Limited was invited by Formula One’s Ernie Ecclestone to present a proposal before the beginning of the new Formula One season in March.   A 5,3 km route is proposed, which will have Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop, with magnificent benefits for tourism, given the TV coverage that the event would attract.  The route includes the Cape Town Stadium, which is proposed as the start and end to the Grand Prix route.

The Bid Company’s Chief Communication Officer, Esther Henderson, said of the bid: “Green Point is ideal for a street circuit like the one in Monaco because we have so many beautiful sights in the area.  So while Monaco is the “French Riviera” we can have the “African Riviera” in Cape Town”.    

Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde said he had not yet been approached by the Bid Company to endorse the proposed Grand Prix, but said :”…..generally, I think this is something we could put within the strategy of attracting major events.  We would support that as a city and a province, absolutely.  A Grand Prix would profile the city very well”.   If the streets in the area were to be used (at a cost of R100 million to adjust them according to the international rules), instead of building a costly new track (at R4 billion), it would inconvenience locals, as the Argus Cycle Tour does, but the race would be good for the city, Winde added.   A Grand Prix race usually spans a period of Thursday – Sunday, with  practices and qualifying phases, and the actual race on the Sunday.

Last year Ecclestone told the BBC: “(Africa) is another continent where we should be.  Hopefully, now people will think what the World Cup has done for Africa would be good for Formula One.  It would be nice to think we had then more or less covered the world”

The last time South Africa hosted a Grand Prix event was in 1993 at Kyalami in Johannesburg.

POSTSCRIPT 1/2: The People’s Post reports today that the Grand Prix bid is “pie-in-the-sky”, as the ratepayers’ associations of Mouille Point and Sea Point have ‘slated’ the proposal, but have stated that they cannot comment until they have seen more concrete plans.  However, the City of Cape Town’s Executive Director for Economic Social Development and Tourism, Mansoor Mohamed, disagrees, says the report, and he visited China in November to study their Grand Prix circuits.   He has presented the proposals from the Cape Town Grand Prix Bid Company and the South African Grand Prix Corporation to the mayoral committee, and has been given the go-ahead to commence with an economic impact assessment and event viability study.   The two companies will present their bids to F1’s Bernie Eccelstone later this year.  The bid by the South African Grand Prix Corporation proposes a newly built race track on the West Coast. 

Last week it was reported that Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold had spoken out about the Grand Prix bid, fearing for the environmental impact of the event.  One wonders what pipe Mrs Helmbold was smoking in making such a comment, given that her organisation assisted the Cape Town Grand Prix Bid Company with its choice of month to host the event, and that the event would be a valuable tourism catalyst in such a quiet month (September).

POSTSCRIPT 7/7: The Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone has been quoted as saying that Cape Town could host a Grand Prix within two years, the Cape Argus reported yesterday.  Of the three Cape Town Formula One bids, the Monaco-style one going through Green Point appears to be the favoured one.  The Formula One was last held in South Africa almost twenty years ago.

POSTSCRIPT 9/7:  Cape Town Stadium may be incorporated in the Cape Town Formula One course if Grand Prix SA’s bid is accepted, reports the Cape Argus.   Cars would be driving in and out of the Stadium via the street-level gates, and it would allow up to 60000 motor racing fans to sit in the stadium, to enjoy the action.  The grass would have to be lifted, and the area would have to be tarred, the pitch returned after the three-day event.   The cost of adapting Cape Town’s current roads for the race is estimated at R670 million, compared to R 4 billion to build a brand new track.  Two further bids have been prepared for the race – one near the airport, and another on the West Coast.  Grand Prix SA is quoted as saying: “I’ve said that Cape Town is a very sexy location, it’s a gateway location… for broadcast.  No matter where you position a camera, you will capture the city’s landmarks, marketing Cape Town”.  City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Grant Pascoe, said that the Grand Prix supports the city’s bid to ‘establish Cape Town as the events capital‘ of South Africa. He qualified his support, by saying that the City and the province had not yet received an official proposal to host the event.  The financial benefit for the city is vast, and the City’s Mayoral Committee member for Finance, Ian Neilson, has estimated the value at R770 million in tourism value, based on Singapore Grand Prix figures.

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

A report in the Cape Argus two days ago described the desperate attempt by Cape Town Routes Unlimited’s Marketing executive David Frandsen to obtain funding from Parliament for the marketing of Cape Town in Germany for the 2010 World Cup.


The report reflects the sad state of affairs as far as marketing Cape Town and the Western Cape province goes, and was highlighted in aWhaleTales blog report and letter to the Cape Argus about the lack of marketing of Cape Town just a few days ago.  No response was received to it from Cape Town Tourism, Cape Town Routes Unlimited or any other tourism players.


According to the report, the 2010 marketing campaign for Germany has been cancelled by Cape Town Routes Unlimited,  and it is likely that further 2010 marketing campaigns for the city and the province may be cancelled due to a lack of marketing funds.


The report states that the head of the parliamentary committee on trade and international relations said that the provincial government and the city should “‘urgently’ rethink their funding model and help where necessary”.   The City’s response, via its Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson, is that Cape Town Tourism is doing the job, and that any change in the funding can only be considered in 6 months from now.   He also referred to the collaboration that is meant to be happening between Cape Town Routes Unlimited and Cape Town Tourism, following a meeting of the CEO’s of these two organisations, and their respective political heads Alan Winde and Felicity Purchase.  The nature of the collaboration has not yet been communicated to the industry, despite the meeting having taken place more than 10 weeks ago. 


The Cape Argus report states that at the Cape Town Tourism/Cape Town Routes Unlimited meeting, Cape Town Routes Unlimited had been told to find alternative funding, to fill the R 24 million void created by the withdrawal of the City of Cape Town’s funding.  


Both tourism bodies are doing little or no marketing, in a month which sees forward bookings looking most dismal, with a projected occupancy to be the lowest this year, and worse than any September before.


Cape Town Tourism sent out a media release to co-incide with Tourism Month, which started on 1 September, but seems full of empty rhetoric.   “During Tourism Month, Live It, Love It, LOUDER!is focused on celebrating “My Cape Town” – an exploration of the different corners of our hometown and a window into the lives of the people who live there. Capetonians will also learn more about their hometown in readiness for the role as world cup hosts.  To showcase this personal perspective of Cape Town, the “My Cape Town” Flickr Pic competition is being launched on 1 September with the theme “This is the Cape Town I Want the World to see”.  Enthusiastic photographers and proud citizens can submit their entries via www.capetown.travel/worldtourismmonthand stand a chance of winning a cash prize of R15 000″ says Cape Town Tourism’s Mariette du Toit-Helmbold. 


Cape Town Routes Unlimited got some Capetonians together, and taught them how to do the Diski-dance, in preparation for the 2010 World Cup.   Cape Town Routes Unlimited has also just launched a “Beyond the 90 Minutes” campaign, to encourage soccer fans to visit other parts of the Western Cape when they come to Cape Town to see the matches.   Six themed itineraries, including Adrenaline Adventure; Gourmet; Culture and Heritage; Natural Beauty;  Body, Mind & Spirit; and Cosmopolitan Vibe have been presented on the www.tourismcapetown.co.za website.   Locals and the media are also addressed on the ‘Beyond the 90 Minutes’ section of the website, and special accommodation offers are promoted for this month already.


Cape Town Routes Unlimited has also launched a World Cup 2010 Soccer Fan competition.  “South African soccer fans are known for their outrageous, fun and colourfully decorated costumes and accessories worn at matches to show support for their favourite team. Soccer fans from other countries attending the 2010 FIFA World Cupâ„¢ in South Africa are also expected to come all decked out in support of their national side.  CTRU is looking for the liveliest, most inspired and colourful pictures of fans at soccer matches from around the world. All they have to do is post their best photo on the ‘Beyond the 90 Minutes’ Flickr group at www.flickr.com before 31 October 2009. Not only do they stand the chance to win a Cape Town and Western Cape 2010 travel package worth R50 000 including accommodation and meals, but also a special, limited edition makarapa (a decorated miners’ helmet unique to South African soccer fans and fast becoming a ‘must-have’ fashion item) of their very own”  says the Cape Town Routes Unlimited media release.


Whale Cottage Portfolio www.whalecottage.com