Tag Archives: journalist

Corona Virus: Lockdown Journey Journal, Day 105 of Level 1, 13 January 2022


Thursday 13 January 2022, Day 105 of Level 1 ūüė∑

Corona Lockdown Gratitude ūüôŹ

#grateful for a day with a difference, wearing different hats, loving each of them: PR poppie, advisor, mentor, guider, and mediator ūüíô; for the excitement of a leading journalist coming to dine at Zest with friends, to evaluate featuring us, loving their meal and the restaurant, holding thumbs now for the outcome ūüíôūüíôūüíô; for a hilarious story from the editor about me in my Restaurant reviewing Continue reading →

Journalist and Restaurateur Jacques Pauw apologises for his Daily Maverick article about wrongful arrest after Waterfront meal!


Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw had the Cape Town restaurant industry abuzz about an opinion piece he wrote in Daily Maverick last week about his arrest by the police in the Waterfront in 6 February 2021,  after his credit card payment for the balance of his R1600 restaurant Hill was declined. The article was shared in the Cape Town Restaurants: The Good, Bad, and Nastyyyy Facebook Group, and attracted more than 400 comments, almost all expressing outrage.  I and others called for the restaurant and its manager to be named and shamed!  Restaurant lovers were speculating as to which restaurant it could have been.

Today Pauw Tweeted a correction and apology to everyone involved, blaming himself for the events.

Pauw‚Äôs 360 degree turnaround story of the events sounds suspicious, as if he struck a deal with the Waterfront and the police. As a minimum his reputation as a journalist is severely affected.¬† Continue reading →

Premier Zille blamed for Cape Tourism Crisis! Fresh new Cape Tourism Marketing body needed!

The¬†ANC’s Lynne Brown (previous Premier of the Western Cape) and Carol Beerwinkel are blaming Premier Helen Zille for having caused the tourism crisis in the province.¬† The party seems undecided¬†about the exact cause of the crisis.¬† Just recently the ANC’s City of Cape Town Councillor Tony Ehrenreich blamed the exorbitant prices of crayfish and wines for the tourism crisis!

Writing on Politicsweb, the ANC politicians state that it is the ‘DA’s politicking’¬†that caused the underfunding of tourism.¬†¬† The R40 million budget allocated to Cape Town Tourism by the City of Cape Town is too little to ‘properly market and grow the Western Cape as an international desired destination’, they write (the budget goes to the marketing of Cape Town only).¬† They state that it was Ms Zille, in her role as Mayor, who cut the budget, ‘to plunge the industry into the dire situation it¬†finds itself in now’.¬† From having been the top tourist destination for local tourists,¬†the Western Cape¬†has slipped to fourth position.¬†¬† They blame the DA for playing ‘political football’ with an industry that has an important job creation responsibility.¬† This led to Cape Town Routes Unlimited and Cape Town Tourism being divided, which meant that Cape Town could not capitalise on the World Cup, ‘with many tourism products¬†like hotels and restaurants underutilised‘, they write.¬† ‘Today we see a fragmented¬†and scattered messaged marketing plan which is very dangerous to the industry’,¬† they write in poor English.¬† The writers conclude that ‘no amount of money in the short term will fix the problem, if some basic problems are not addressed in the industry’, and they call for an Indaba to allow the transformation of the industry.

During¬†Ms Zille’s tenure as Mayor of Cape Town, the Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Simon Grindrod,¬†appointed a consultancy to analyse the success of Cape Town Routes Unlimited, and found the organisation to not be meeting its¬†brief adequately.¬† He¬†motivated the cancellation of the City of Cape Town’s 50 % share of funding to Cape Town Routes Unlimited, and arranged for the amendment of the Cape Town Toruism¬†constitution, to allow¬†Cape Town Tourism¬†to take on the marketing of Cape Town in addition to offering Visitor Information Services.¬†¬† The Western Cape province, now headed by Premier Zille, funds Cape Town Routes Unlimited with about R15 million, for the marketing of the Western Cape, which includes the duplicated marketing of Cape Town by both tourism bodies.

We absolutely agree with the ANC that the Marketing Plan is poor (being ‘dangerous’, as they describe it, may be an exaggeration), but one wonders how they know what is in the Marketing Plan, as no one in the tourism industry has seen a copy of the Plan, as Cape Town Tourism is refusing to make it available to members, and it has not been posted on¬†their website.¬†¬†Ms Brown appears to have¬†forgotten the tourism structure in the province. She should know that Cape Town Tourism is only focused on marketing Cape Town (although they do seem to go beyond their geographic boundaries, as with last week’s¬† ‘100 Women 100 Wines’ competition.)

The poor tourism performance since the World Cup cannot be laid at the door of Premier Zille, but rather must be blamed on¬†the recession, the¬†excessive rates charged by FIFA’s MATCH agency, ¬†and the oversupply of accommodation, developed to cash in on the world’s largest sporting event.

We must also question how the City of Cape Town could have allocated the marketing funds to Cape Town Tourism, without evaluating the Marketing capabilities of the organisation’s CEO, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold.¬† With no marketing experience, her organisation had to appoint a Marketing Manager, and the first incumbent of the job was Lianne Burton, a journalist with no Marketing experience.¬† This led to the appointment of a PR Manager and an e-Marketing Manager.¬† Burton left Cape Town Tourism at the end of June this year, but had already changed¬†her relationship with the organisation to that of a consultant from the beginning of this year, meaning that Cape Town Tourism has been¬†anchorless as far as Marketing goes for the last eight months,¬†at a¬†time when the tourism industry slid into crisis mode, without Cape Town Tourism picking this up.¬† A new e-marketing manager, Kaanita Coleman, was also recently appointed due to resignation of the previous incumbent, but no past experience of the new Manager¬†detailed by Cape Town Tourism.¬† Whilst surprising for someone in e-Marketing position, it may be¬†a good thing that she has only written¬†four Tweets on her Twitter account to date, given the excessive time spent on Twitter¬†by Cape Town Tourism’s PR Manager!

We doubt¬†that the newly appointed Executive Marketing Manager Velma Corcoran¬†will make any difference, coming from FMCG brand strategy and research consultancy OIL, linked to the Lowe Bull group, where she headed up its Cape Town office.¬† Mrs Corcoran’s first faux pas, on the day before joining Cape Town Tourism, was to rant as follows on public medium Twitter (@VelBotha) about SAA, an important partner for tourism¬†in Cape Town, and her turn of phrase in such a senior position¬†is not impressive (she still has her ex-employer profile on Twitter!):¬†“EVERYTHING about makes me grumpy, miserable and pissed off. They seem to take pleasure in making it difficult”. Cape Town Tourism wrote as follows about Mrs Corcoran’s appointment: “..we believe that Velma brings a specialist branding and communications experience to our team at a time when we are committing to a strategy based on a¬†strong urban brand positioning to grow demand for Cape Town locally and globally.¬† The tourism market is facing considerable challenges at the moment, and competitive and commercial experience was a prerequisite for this position’. We wonder then why Cape Town Tourism needs an Australian Strategetic consultant, when it has employed a local brand strategist.¬† Interesting is that Cape Town Tourism announced the appointment last week¬†of ad agency Ogilvy, not waiting until Mrs Corcoran started her new job¬†on Thursday, so that she could¬†give the appointment¬†her blessing and approval, given her agency background!

As much as the City of Cape Town evaluated the performance of Cape Town Routes Unlimited in terms of meeting its Marketing mandate, we believe that the City of Cape Town should do the same with Cape Town Tourism, as many tourism players do not believe that they are doing a satisfactory job in marketing Cape Town.   Neither Cape Town Tourism not Cape Town Routes Unlimited has the creativity nor the expertise to devise nor implement a Marketing Plan for the city, and therefore a fresh and new joint city and province tourism marketing body is needed, we believe.

POSTSCRIPT 13/9: ¬†We have removed the content of the comment by Mavis Wilken, under threat of legal action by Webber Wentzel, lawyers of Cape Town Tourism. ¬†On the same day as posting the comment on our blog, Ms Wilken forwarded to us an e-mail she addressed in June to the City of Cape Town’s Nombulelo Mofoko and the Western Cape province’s Theuns Vivian, and subsequently forwarded to Premier Helen Zille and to provincial Tourism Minister Alan Winde, alleging irregularities at Cape Town Tourism.

POSTSCRIPT 15/9: ¬†We have just received a further lawyer’s letter from Webber Wentzel, referring to the comment by Maria about Ms Grove, but no demand is made (yet). ¬†In addition, the letter demands again, but not actioned by us, that we apologise to Mrs Helmbold for Mavis Wilken’s alleged ‘defamatory comment‘, that we promise never to write any ‘defamatory’ comments about Cape Town Tourism on Twitter, Facebook and on this Blog in future, and that we provide the full name and contact details of the commenter Mavis Wilken, so that they can take action against her!

POSTSCRIPT 15/9:  We have written an Open Letter to Mr Ian Bartes, the Chairman of Cape Town, after receiving his letter of threatened membership termination of our Whale Cottage Camps Bay, due to our Blog generally, and the comments received on its specifically!

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

Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club: ‘pairing’ Simon Back from Backsberg Blog with Tom Robbins of eatcapetown Blog

The¬†sixth Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club meeting takes place¬†on¬†Wednesday¬†20 October,¬†from¬†6 – 8 pm, at the Rainbow Room at Mandela Rhodes Place, and will pair¬†Tom Robbins from eatcapetown Blog, a restaurant review blog, and¬†Simon Back, from Backsberg Blog.¬†

Tom Robbins ¬†was born on a dairy farm in Karkloof in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.¬† Tom hot-footed to live in cities as soon as he was old enough, though has never lost his rural roots.¬† He has spent most of his career working as a journalist with one disastrous exception when he opened a caf√ɬ©-bar in Pietermaritzburg in 1999.¬† Tom’s career in journalism has spanned most beats from politics and the courts to travel and engineering.¬† Most recently he worked as a financial journalist, covering the retail and consumer goods sectors for Business Report.¬† A year ago Tom established the restaurant review website eatcapetown and continues to do odd jobs as a financial journalist.¬† He has no formal training in cooking: he is a writer who enjoys cooking rather than a cook who enjoys cooking.¬† Tom’s current addiction is roasting (both pot roasting and open roasting).¬† What he knows about wine is dangerous, he says!¬†¬† Tom will be talking about restaurant reviewing, often a contentious topic, and will discuss review writing styles.¬†¬† He will also address the difference between PR and journalism in respect of blogging, and how this affects disclosure of gifts/freebies received.¬†

Simon Back ¬†has a Business Science degree, majoring in Economics, from UCT.¬† He joined Backsberg, the family farm, in 2008.¬† He is responsible for all aspects of marketing, and sales to North America.¬† Backsberg is well-known for its environmentally-friendly approach to wine farming, being very focused on its carbon footprint, and how to neutralise it.¬† The wine estate recently launched the first South African wines in plastic bottles, under the Tread Lightly sub-brand.¬† Simon is particularly interested in the role of Social Media in the Marketing Mix. He was invited to represent South Africa in Germany earlier this year, as part of a panel at Prowein 2010 on √Ę‚ā¨ňúSocial Media and other Marketing Innovations’.¬† Simon will be talking about the future of blogging and social media.¬† He will challenge bloggers in asking them to consider how blog readers will change over time, and how¬†their blogs need to evolve to reflect these changes. He is looking to stimulate debate on the future of blogging and social media.

The Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club was formed to reflect the tremendous growth in and power of food and wine blogs in forming opinion about food, restaurants and wines.¬† Most bloggers do not have any formal training in blogging, and learnt from others.¬†¬† Each of the two bloggers will talk for about half an hour about their blog, and what they have learnt about blogging.¬† The Club will give fledgling as well as experienced bloggers the opportunity to learn from each other and¬†to share¬†their knowledge with others.¬† Attendees can ask questions, and get to know fellow bloggers.¬† The Club meetings are informal and fun.

Wines are brought along by the wine blogging speaker, and Simon Back will introduce the Backsberg wines served.  Snacks will be served.  The cost of attendance is R100.  Bookings can be made by e-mailing info@whalecottage.com.

Venue: Rainbow Room, Mandela Rhodes Place (next to Taj Hotel), Wale Street.

Other bloggers that will be talking at future Bloggers’ Club meetings are the following:

Wednesday 24 November:  Marisa Hendricks of The Creative Pot Blog, and Emile Joubert of Wine Goggle Blog, at the Grand Daddy Hotel, 6 Р8 pm.

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