Tag Archives: Local Organising Committee

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 6 February

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   SA Tourism has launched a cinema advertising campaign highlighting the beauty and thrill  our country offers,  at 94 cinemas in seven Indian cities.  In the foyer of the cinemas one is able to book a holiday to South Africa via travel agents, taking the movie-goers to action in booking.  Part of the marketing campaign is ‘Take me to South Africa‘ promotion, in which four winners travel with cricketer Jonty Rhodes as their tour guide.

*   Comair says that domestic airfares are unlikely to come down, even if new low cost airlines enter the market, as it would not be sustainable to operate as such lower rates.

*   Chef Liam Tomlin’s Chefs Warehouse has moved to Bree Street (ex Caveau and ex Awestruck), having dropped the second part of the original business name (& Cookery School).  They serve lunch from 11h30 onwards, and an early dinner.  (received via newsletter from Chef’s Warehouse)

*   The government has lashed out at the media for its negative reporting about events in South Continue reading →

African Nations Championship (CHAN 2014) soccer tournament kicks off in Cape Town today, a non-event?!

0910PH0366The 2014 African Nations Championship, referred to as CHAN 2014, kicks off at Cape Town Stadium today, with few tickets sold, and a scandal surrounding South Africa Football Association (SAFA) Cape Town Vice President Vernon Seymour.

CHAN 2014 is the first international soccer tournament to be held at the Cape Town Stadium since the 2010 World Cup.  Sixteen African teams will participate in 32 matches across the country, playing matches at stadia in Cape Town (including Athlone Stadium), Bloemfontein and in Polokwane.  The tournament theme is ‘Celebrating Africa’s Home Champions’.

The African Nations Championship will commence with the Opening Ceremony at 16h00 today, which includes performances by Jimmy Dludlu, The Soil, Mi Casa, and Zolani Mkhiva.  The New Age reports that more than 300 dancers and models will form part of the Opening Ceremony  At 18h00 the first match of the tournament kicks off, with local team Bafana Bafana playing Continue reading →

Cape gets AFCON 2013 cold shoulder, no tournament tourism benefit!

Today the Africa Cup of Nations draws to a close, when Nigeria takes on little known Burkina Faso of West Africa, in the final to be played this evening at 20h30, after the Closing Ceremony commences at the (temporarily AFCON renamed) National Stadium at 18h45.  While Johannesburg and Durban appear to have benefited from the African soccer tournament, Cape Town has seen no tourism bookings during or even for after the tournament.

Cape Town lost out on being a Host City for AFCON 2013, Councillor Grant Pascoe, responsible for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, appearing to have asked too many questions of the Local Organising Committee, especially about the guarantees from government.  This cost our city the opportunity to be a Host City, to see top soccer being played, and denied the tourism industry much needed income. Pascoe tried to offer Cape Town soccer fans a consolation prize of a Bafana Bafana friendly against Norway prior to the AFCON 2013 kick-off, which had no tourism benefit at all.  Pascoe also explained that the City had committed to other events at the same time as AFCON 2013, and couldn’t cancel these events.  The only event was the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, which had booked the soccer stadia in Johannesburg and Cape Town during the AFCON 2013 period. Cancelling the concerts due to AFCON would have cost R90 million.  The ‘reckless management’ of the venue for the band’s performance at the National Stadium in Johannesburg was criticised, in impacting on its pitch, but it was judged to be acceptable for today’s Final earlier this week.

The smaller venues appear to not have as done as well as those in cities.  Last night’s third place play-off between Ghana and Cape Verde in Port Elizabeth was disappointing, with many unsold seats, it was reported. Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium was sold out for all its matches in which Bafana Bafana played, as well as for the semi-final earlier this week, reported The Mercury.   Durban has proudly stated that its R60 million cost of participating as an AFCON 2013 Host City has generated benefits in excess of the expenditure, estimated at R100 million already.  Tourism benefits must have been disappointing, for Durban admitting that ‘Afcon was not on the scale of the World Cup, and we did not see thousands of foreign soccer fans fill our hotels to capacity’. AFCON 2013 has been a very localised African tournament, with little international coverage.  On Germany’s leading TV station ZDF, for example, there has not been a mention to date.

Citing its success in selling out all Bafana Bafana matches, Durban challenged the Local Organising Committee to give it opening or closing ceremonies in future.  It proclaimed itself as the ‘best Afcon 2013 host city’, and bragged that the television coverage in Africa would position Durban as a ‘leading sports and tourism destination‘, hardly a positioning Cape Town would like to see go to Durban.  Durban seized the opportunity to sign a R4,4 million deal with Eurosport, on which inserts about Durban, and its sport celebrities such as Chad le Clos, and the Sharks rugby players, were featured.

Yesterday Kfm presenter Ian Bredenkamp shared in his radio show that the Cape Town Stadium, at which the Stormers vs Boland rugby match was played yesterday afternoon, had been an ideal venue for a rugby match, compared to Newlands Stadium.

Councillor Pascoe proudly Tweeted that he is on his way to London ‘to meet with 4 Premier Division Clubs’, obviously to attract them to play at the Cape Town Stadium.  Pascoe would have been fired from his position in a corporation for his faux pas in causing Cape Town to lose out as Host City.  However, as a senior DA politician in Cape Town, he is strong enough to retain his position as Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, despite not having much knowledge about the portfolio he controls, and therefore he has had to call in Anton Groenewald to run the show for him!

POSTSCRIPT 10/2: SA Tourism says it is ‘happy’ with visitor numbers attracted by AFCON 2013, according to Standard Digital News. Whilst actual tourism numbers are not yet available, the expectation was that 150000 soccer fans would have attended the tournament, generating $154 million for the economy.  The tourism authority focused its soccer marketing on Kenya, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria.  Hosting AFCON 2013 cost South Africa $53,5 million.

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

City of Cape Town Schadenfreude, justifies sitting out AFCON 2013!

Councillor Grant Pascoe has been rubbing his hands with glee since The Times reported the extent of the financial losses the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 Host Cities are suffering, when he single-handedly was responsible for Cape Town losing out on being selected as a Host City.  Even Western Cape Premier Helen Zille Tweeted a link to the article, which only quotes DA politicians in the respective Host Cities, despite this being a City of Cape Town and not a provincial issue!

The Times article reflects that it is the smaller municipalities that are struggling in particular, including Nelson Mandela Bay municipality in Port Elizabeth, using R11,6 million of ratepayers’ monies to fund its hosting of the event. The city is still bearing the load of the cost of hosting the 2010 World Cup, having overspent on that event by more than R500 million. Mbombela municipality in Nelspruit is allegedly spending money it does not have on AFCON 2013, not yet having signed a memorandum of understanding with the government to obtain R31,5 million in funding for the event.

Cape Town withdrew from the bid to be a Host City initially, and ‘refused to be bullied’ into the event.  When the city changed its mind about its participation, the door was closed on what was deemed to be too many demands made by City of Cape Town Councillor Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing!  This cost Cape Town the bid for Host City!

Reacting to an editorial by the Cape Times, Councillor Pascoe wrote a letter in response, which was posted on the City’s website, justifying Cape Town’s non-participation, sounding very different to his explanation of the Host City snub when it was announced last year.  He wrote this week that the City is supportive of Bafana Bafana (that is not being debated!) and the growth of African football, and that ‘we would have, in principle, been more than pleased to host AFCON matches.  In fact, we did everything in our power to make the hosting of matches a reality’. This contradicts the Local Organising Committee feedback about Cape Town’s failed bid at the time.

He continued:However, as a responsible government, this administration needed to weigh the service delivery needs of all our residents with the benefits of hosting AFCON. Our mandate remains to make every cent of our ratepayers’ money count. And our commitment to caring and providing for our citizens, particularly the poor and vulnerable, remains paramount. We must always ensure that money spent by the City, is done so to drive economic growth, development and inclusion.  We had entered the negotiations with AFCON in good faith and were committed to the process. But it became clear we could not accept demands which could place an unfair burden on Cape Town’s ratepayers. At the time, costs to the ratepayer for the tournament were estimated to exceed R50 million.  Your editorial refers to the “enthusiastic support” Cape Town’s soccer fans displayed at last week’s friendly encounter. This event was hosted by the City as a show of support for Bafana Bafana before their participation in AFCON. It is just one indication that the City of Cape Town and its residents remain highly supportive of Bafana Bafana and AFCON.  While Cape Town will not host AFCON matches, we wanted Cape Town sports enthusiasts to experience live international soccer in the run up to the tournament. Ticket sales were in excess of 37 000.  The City remains committed to the hosting of high profile national, regional and international football matches. We are currently in negotiations with a range of partners to this effect”.

He also expressed a touch of Schadenfreude to a Cape Times journalist on Friday, saying that Cape Town had ‘dodged a bullet’ financially ‘by being snubbed from the tournament’, and ‘sympathised’ with the Host Cities’ financial woes and poor ticket sales.  ‘I think that we have dodged a bullet because the government guarantees came too late. There was no clarity on how much host cities would have to spend.  I’m really sorry that the host cities are battling with money for the tournament. It is something that we were concerned about because we had to think about our service delivery obligations’, Pascoe told the journalist.

Ticket sales have been sluggish across all matches, and only the opening match yesterday between Bafana Bafana and Cape Verde resulting in a goalless draw, was sold out.  The television coverage showed that not all ticket holders had arrived at the stadium, with lots of empty seating, possibly due to the torrential rain which Johannesburg experienced yesterday. Umbrellas were listed on the banned list of dangerous items!  It appears that one way that the municipalities can make their money back is via beverages.  Yesterday a Tweet of the beverage prices at the (AFCON 2013 renamed) National Stadium in Soweto showed a 500ml bottle of water costing an exorbitant R45!

The City of Cape Town is conveniently hiding behind the financial problems of the two smaller municipalities, which have not been reported for Durban and Johannesburg, being more comparable to Cape Town. The loss in tourism revenue at a time when Cape Town is almost devoid of tourists over the next two weeks, and the international television coverage for AFCON 2013, would have been valuable for brands Cape Town and the Western Cape and its tourism industry, and soccer fans too.  It is hard to believe Councillor’s Pascoe supposed concern for ratepayers’ monies when he knows that he was part of a 10 person sightseeing tour of Turkey last year, of which no Turkish tourism benefit has been seen locally, he allows Cape Town Tourism to squander ratepayers’ monies, and he organised the loss-making Bafana Bafana vs Norway friendly at the Cape Town Stadium two weeks ago!

POSTSCRIPT 20/1: The Times reported on Friday that an estimated 1 billion television viewers will have seen the Opening Ceremony yesterday, reflecting the AFCON 2013 theme of ‘Celebrate Africa – The Beat at Africa’s Feet’. The newspaper also reported the concern about the African invader fly being an unwelcome visitor to South Africa for AFCON 2013, food (fruit especially) brought along by soccer fans from Africa potentially being contaminated with the fly.  On Friday Spar took a full page advertisement in The Times to apologise ‘to all our loyal customers for any inconvenience created by the AFCON voucher/ticket redemption process’. However, it is not clear what problems the retailer is referring to.

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