Tag Archives: AFCON

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 →

SA Tourism strikes AFCON 2013 soccer fans via Shopping Tourism!

On Saturday The Guardian Nigeria published an article Shopping Experience for South African Orange AFCON Visitors’, focusing on the work SA Tourism has done to get shopping malls in Confederation of Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 Host Cities to offer sales to make their tenants’ products attractive to the flood of African visitors expected in the country for the AFCON 2013 kick-off on Saturday. It wrote: South African Tourism has formed a partnership with VISA and hundreds of malls across the length and breadth of the country to bring fantastic special offers to all visiting AFCON fans’. The pay-off line for AFCON 2013, developed by SA Tourism, is the ‘Beat at Africa’s Feet’!

Using quotation marks (at the beginning but not at the end!), one can assume that the bulk of the content of the article came from a SA Tourism media release sent to the Nigerian newspaper. It is amusing to read what SA Tourism believes the soccer fans will be attracted to, including clothing retailers, Woolworths and Clicks, as well as international fashion brand stores such as Zara, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, and ‘IT brands like Apple and Vodacom (sic)’! Street vendors selling vegetables also receive an honourable mention, but they hardly would see any increase in business during AFCON!  Ladies fashion stores would be unlikely to attract much male soccer fan custom, if the soccer World Cup 2010 is anything to go by, which was largely attended by male soccer fans.

This is how SA Tourism romanticised the retail treats for the visiting soccer fans: “… from big, bright air-conditioned shopping malls to street vendors selling home-grown vegetables, visitors can buy anything and everything in our cities and towns, which each have landmark shopping hubs where all the major retail chains, and many others, are trading.  Goods range from imported furniture, designer clothes, kitchenware, computers, techno gadgets, audiovisual equipment, jewellery and more. Edgars, Clicks, Mr Price, Foschini, Stuttafords, Truworths and Woolworths are some of the popular retail chains in the rainbow country including top-end international stores like Zara, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and The Body Shop, and IT brands like Apple and Vodacom. There are also smaller businesses that are big on choice, personalised service and variety in everything from designer baby gear to bathroom accessories, footwear, books, kitchen gadgets, high-end computers and smart phones; including hand-crafted chocolates, diamond, gold and other precious trinkets to adorn the body with”.

Cape Town and the Western Cape will be missing out on the soccer shopping as well as tourism extravaganza, given the bungling of the bid for Cape Town as Host City by City of Cape Town Councillor Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events and Marketing!  Ticket sales for the three week AFCON 2013 soccer schedule have been slow, due to a lack of marketing, constrained by ‘limited resources’, said the CEO of the Local Organising Committee Mvuzo Mbebe, quoted on SouthAfrica.info. Currently only two-thirds of the 500000 tickets for the tournament, to be played in Johannesburg, Rustenburg, Nelspruit, Durban, and Port Elizabeth, have been sold.  The opening match between Bafana Bafana and Cape Verde in Johannesburg on Saturday appears to be close to fully booked.  Television coverage over the three week period is expected to reach 2,3 billion viewers.

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

SA Tourism on the ball in marketing South Africa in Africa for AFCON soccer tournament!

SA Tourism is calling on the tourism industry to get involved in an Africa marketing campaign and road show for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 soccer tournament, to be held in Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg, and Nelspruit from 19 January until 10 February next year, reports Southern African Tourism Update.  Sadly Cape Town has been excluded from AFCON 2013, an event expected to attract 150000 soccer fans from other African countries alone, due to Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing Grant Pascoe making unreasonable demands for the Host City bid!

SA Tourism is leading a road show this and next month in Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya, and Botswana, and is inviting tourism product and service owners to accompany them at no charge, but they will be responsible for the cost of accommodation and travel.  The Road Show in Ghana, Nigeria, and Angola will take the form of a workshop, including networking opportunities.  Not only will it focus on the soccer tournament, but it will also market South Africa as a shopping tourism destination for the continent.  The road show may well be to drum up support for ticket sales, Daily Maverick reporting that only 30000 of 500000 tickets have been sold for the tournament to date!

In addition, SA Tourism will be running an ad campaign on CNN, as well as with Supersport, reaching the English, French and Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa, to promote the soccer tournament.

The City of Cape Town had expressed its opposition to hosting this prestigious event, due to the cost burden, and sought a guarantee from the government for at least 50% of the hosting costs to be covered. The City was also looking to the Confederation of African Football and/or Local Organising Committee to cover 25 % of the costs.  Costs for the host city include the preparation of the pitch, fencing, security, the accommodation of the teams and officials, as well as transport plans, according to the Cape Argus. The City also was unhappy that the event would mean that other events could not be held at the Cape Town Stadium, meaning a loss of income, a poor motivation, given how few events are held at the stadium, less than one per month on average, and how desperate the City is to recover the running costs of the stadium.

Cape Town has been awarded a consolation prize friendly warm-up match between Bafana Bafana and Norway on 8 January at the Cape Town Stadium, as an introduction to AFCON!

AFCON is expected to cost the South African tax payers R461 million, reports The Times, some of the monies going to flying in African heads of state and Confederation of African Football officials.  R120 million will be allocated to the three host cities, and R165 million will go to police security.  One lane of the highways between the airports and soccer stadia in the host cities will be closed, as was the procedure for the 2010 World Cup. Despite the tighter economic situation, the government plans to use the tournament as a marketing exercise for the country.  Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan confirmed that all the ‘vanity stuff’ has been cut out of the AFCON budget, to ensure responsible tournament expenditure. The ‘funding for Afcon – we’ve cut it to the bone’, added Deputy Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene. South Africa was awarded the AFCON tournament after the civil war in the host country Libya made the tournament unsafe.

One can only hope that SA Tourism’s road show will include representatives of Cape Town Tourism and Wesgro, to attract soccer fans attending AFCON to visit Cape Town and the Western Cape too, despite Cape Town not being a Host City. From the World Cup experience, this would appear to be unlikely.

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

Cape Town ‘last minute’ 8 Nations Under 20 Soccer Tournament no compensation for losing out on 2013 Afcon!

Two weeks ago Mayor Patricia de Lille hinted at a ‘high profile’ event that was still under wraps then, that could make up for Cape Town not having been made it as host city for the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament in January/February next year.  A surprise is that the announcement of an ‘8 Nations Under 20 international Football Challenge 2012’, which will be held in Cape Town from next Friday until 3 June, was only made two days ago!  With such a short lead time, and virtually no information to be found about the event, the soccer tournament is unlikely to be beneficial to tourism in Cape Town, and will not compensate for the failed bid in hosting Afcon next year. The soccer tournament next week is a sad attempt by the City of Cape Town to save face!

We wrote last week that losing the bid to be a host city for Afcon 2013 is a major tourism blow for Cape Town, and is a further disaster created by our City’s Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, Councillor Grant Pascoe, also having cost our city the Heineken Cup final earlier this year.

The City of Cape Town media release, issued yesterday, announces the tournament, organised by the City of Cape Town in conjunction with the Cape Town branch of the South African Football Association (SAFA) with a financial contribution by the Western Cape government, is to be played both at Cape Town Stadium and at Athlone Stadium in eight matches.  Teams from South Africa, Argentina, Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil, Japan, Cameroon, and Kenya are participating in the soccer tournament, seen as preparation for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup to be held in Turkey next year.

According to the release, Cape Town is hosting the ‘renowned bi-annual tournament for the second time, after a successful inauguration tournament in 2010, prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup’.  No reference about the 2010 event could be found via a Google search, making the claim of it being ‘renowned’ untruthful and an overclaim!  Even worse, the release positions the event in the league of the Pick ‘n Pay Argus Cycle Tour and the ‘Old Mutual Town (sic) Oceans marathon’, and says that it helps to achieve its goal of positioning Cape Town as the Events Capital of Africa!  Magnifying its exaggeration, the release states that the soccer tournament will launch the future local and international careers of soccer players. Ivan Meyer, the MEC for Sport and Cultural Affairs in the province, said the the soccer tournament would position Cape Town as a ‘soccer-friendly city’, reports The New Age, ironic given that Councillor Pascoe was argumentative with the SAFA when bidding for host city of Afcon, and so lost the bid!

Interesting is that Cape Town Tourism, funded by the City of Cape Town, has not yet Tweeted about the event, preferring to focus on the floating of the beached Japanese trawler on Clifton’s First Beach yesterday. No media release has been issued by the tourism body either, proving that it does not see the tourism benefit of the soccer tournament!

The City will be using the services of 150 volunteers to run the event. Tickets cost R50 for ‘grand stand’ tickets and R20 for ‘open stand’ seats, and are for sale at Computicket. The match schedule is as follows:

Athlone Stadium

Date Time Fixture
25 May 2012 18:00 South Africa v/s Argentina
20:30 Ghana v/s Nigeria
29 May 2012 18:00 South Africa v/s Nigeria
20:30 Argentina v/s Ghana
30 May 2012 18:00 Brazil v/s Japan
20:30 Cameroon v/s Kenya
1 June 2012 18:00 Semi Final 1
20:30 Semi Final 2

Cape Town Stadium:

Date Time Fixture
26 May 2012 14:00 Kenya v/s Japan
16:30 Brazil v/s Cameroon
27 May 2012 14:00 South Africa v/s Ghana
16:30 Argentina v/s Nigeria
28 May 2012 18:00 Brazil v/s Kenya
20:30 Cameroon v/s Japan
3 June 2012 14:00 3rd v/s 4th
16:30 Final

POSTSCRIPT 23/5: Cape Town Tourism has only written about the soccer tournament on its website today, two days before its start. There is no publicity about this non-event!  The Twitter page (@8Nations) only has 72 followers!

POSTSCRIPT 24/5: The Cape Times has reported that the Fan Walk will be opened for the Final on 3 June.  To date there has been no publicity to encourage locals to participate.  The article also states that the City of Cape Town is paying the South African Football Association R1,5 million as a ‘grant in aid’, while the Western Cape government has ‘in principle committed’ the same amount.

POSTSCRIPT 27/5: The Weekend Argus yesterday billed the effect of the soccer tournament on Cape Town’s hospitality industry as a ‘mid-winter tourist boost’, a dishonest report – Cape Town has never been quieter!  Ivan Meyer, the province’s Minister of Cultural Affairs, Sport and Recreation, who does not handle the tourism portfolio, stated that the tournament would impact on the economy of the province, through ‘ticket sales, accommodation, flights, etc’. Cape Town Chamber of Commerce President Michael Bagraim, known for his media gaffes, reinforced the exaggerated benefit of the tournament: ‘Bagraim added that a major event such as this was similar to the festive season. bringing a great deal of money into the city’!  One wonders why these two personalities, and the Weekend Argus with it, are misleading the tourism industry and the Cape Town public in this report. SAFA Cape Town President Norman Arendse pointed out that the 8 Nations Under-20 soccer challenge should not be seen as a ‘replacement’ for losing out on being an AFCON host city next year.

POSTSCRIPT 27/5: Cape Town Tourism, the city’s tourism marketing body funded by the Councillor Pascoe’s department, has only Tweeted once about the soccer tournament, signalling its lack of tourism interest in the event!

POSTSCRIPT 28/5: We received the following e-mail from Wadia Sinclair, with some valid questions:

“Good day, After reading some of the comments I would like to give version:

This tournament was poorly advertised.

Parking a major problem @ CT Stadium, all parking around the stadium was cordoned off. WHY??????

Why do we have to buy eats inside the stadium at RIDICULOUS prices? I would rather bring my own eats than have all these vendors walking up & down pass me. Is this stadium not for the PEOPLE….

We as a family enjoy soccer but please why all the inconvenience”.

POSTSCRIPT 28/5: The 8 Nations Under 20 soccer tournament ticket sales must be so poor that they are offering a free ticket for every ticket bought for the Semi Final or Final, Councillor Pascoe Tweeted today!

POSTSCRIPT 28/5:  Councillor Pascoe appears to be getting annoyed  about the feedback in this blogpost, making the following statement on Twitter this evening: you don’t have a mandate to speak on behalf of anybody”!

POSTSCRIPT 29/5: The Cape Times reported today that the support of the soccer tournament has been so poor in terms of attendance that Cape Town faces the danger of not hosting the 2014 Eight Nation Under 20 soccer tournament. There is an admission that the free ticket give-away is to attract a greater attendance.


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