Newsletter: SAACI WC Branch | June 19

Newsletter: SAACI WC Branch | June 19


It is my pleasure to welcome you to our first edition of the SAACI Western Cape quarterly newsletter.  Topics that will be covered  are specific to the Western Cape.  We would love to include your news as well or any of your achievements.  Please feel free to pop us an email at  with anything that you feel you would like to share with your fellow SAACI members, and we will include it in our next addition.

Something that we would  like to  include is a member spotlight area.  If you would like us to highlight your business or share your story of how being a SAACI member has been valuable to you, please send us an email at

 Just a reminder that we have our next branch event, a POPI Workshop being presented by Louis van Niekerk from Dorrington Jessop Incorporated  on Wednesday, 3 July at the Alphen Boutique Hotel.  Space is limited to 30 attendees so be sure not to miss out and register by clicking here.

Yours in business events

Jaques Fouche
Chair:  Western Cap

Non-stop flight between Cape Town and USA announced

Cape Town Air Access  welcomes the announcement by United Airlines that they intend launching a new nonstop route between the US and Cape Town, from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, New York.

If approved by the US Department of Transportation, United’s service between New York/Newark and Cape Town will be operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft featuring 48 seats in United Polaris business class, 88 seats in United Economy Plus and 116 seats in United Economy.

This will be a game-changer for Cape Town and the Western Cape, linking the Cape to the important North American market. It will not only boost tourism but grow cargo and attract even more FDI into the Western Cape from US companies.

“We are always looking at ways to expand our industry-leading international route network to offer our customers more convenient options. We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Africa to our global route offering,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of International Network. “This new flight will provide customers with the only nonstop service between the United States and Cape Town.”

Newark Liberty International Airport, located in New Jersey, is one of four airports serving the New York metropolitan area. In 2017, the airport was the 6th busiest airport by international passenger traffic in the US. Just 16 miles (25km) from downtown Manhattan, Newark Airport provides quick access to the Big Apple and it’s commercial and cultural centres.

“This is a game-changer for our region. North America was one of the largest unserved markets for Cape Town and the Western Cape, with the USA ranked as the 3rd largest market for inbound passengers to Cape Town International Airport in 2017”, says Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO.

Deon Cloete, the Airport Manager of Cape Town International Airport, said: “The introduction of this new route not only provides a much-needed a link between the USA and Cape Town from a tourism perspective, but a direct flight, with an estimated four hour saving in travel time, will also mean an increase in business and investment opportunities.”

According to a study conducted by Grant Thornton, a direct flight to North America would add an estimated 24 000 passengers, which was 20% of the 2018 market. This would add an estimated R283 million in direct tourism spending to the Cape economy in the first year, with this set to increase by R425 million by 2021. It would see 890 jobs in the province in the first year of operation.

The flight will also see an increase in direct and indirect imports into the province, with cargo capacity contributing approximately R94 million in potential trade. It is also estimated to contribute R286 million to the Gross Geographic Product  and R144 million in direct Gross Value Add  to the Cape economy.

Between January 2003 and February 2017 a total of 76 foreign direct investment projects were recorded from the United States to the Western Cape, amounting to a total capital investment of USD1.9bn. During this period, a total of 7 510 jobs were created.

Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverly Schäfer, said: “We welcome this new route connecting the Western Cape and the United States, a key market for our province. The direct flight will drive growth in the tourism and business sectors, creating jobs and boosting local business tourism, which directly contributes to our Project Khulisa objectives. The Western Cape Government is proud to be part of the Cape Town Air Access initiative, which has helped land this new route.”

The Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Dan Plato, also celebrated this major announcement. “Cape Town is a world-class city and home to an award-winning airport in Cape Town International Airport. I want to thank our air access team who have worked hard to bring this flight to Cape Town. This direct flight positions our beautiful city as an attractive point of entry into Africa and allows us to showcase all that the city has to offer as we welcome visitors from the United States, both new and old. On behalf of the City of Cape Town, I thank United Airlines for the confidence they have shown in our city. ”

Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, said: “As a proud funder of the Air Access initiative, the City of Cape Town commends all the efforts that have contributed to landing this important development in the City’s aviation economy. Its impact will definitely have a positive effect on the local market, facilitating job creation as well as further economic opportunities.”

Sthembiso Dlamini, Acting CEO of South African Tourism, added: “Arrivals from the United States to South Africa have shown consistent growth year-on-year, solidifying its position as a key market, not only for the Western Cape, but for South Africa as a whole. South Africa saw close to 450 000 arrivals from North America in 2018 with the region representing 4% of total international travellers travelling to South Africa. Adding a direct connection to Cape Town will improve connectivity to the region and allow visitors to experience South Africa from a new viewpoint. With North America identified by SA Tourism for enhanced focus for the coming year, the United Airlines direct route from New York to Cape Town is great news.”

Cape Town Air Access is a partnership between the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, Wesgro, Cape Town Tourism, South African Tourism, Airports Company South Africa and private sector partners. To date, the CTAA initiative has helped land 8 new international airlines, 13 new direct routes and 19 route expansions, resulting in more than 1.5 million two-way seats being added into Cape Town International, boosting the local economy by R6 billion.

Source:  Cape Town & Western Cape Tourism, Trade & Investment


Media Enquiries:

Russel Brueton
Chief Communications Officer
082 815 6020

021 487 8600


From the Cradle of Humankind to the Cradle of Human Culture

Wesgro’s Destination Marketing Unit in partnership with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism ), the provincial Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport  and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (WHS),  officially launched the Cradle of Human Culture route on 11 April 2019.

While the dawn of humankind was incepted in the limestone caves of Northern Gauteng, the story continued and grew into the Western Cape.

Wesgro’s Chief Marketing Officer for Tourism, Judy Lain, said: “The ability to package the incredible offering we have around early culture and how its transpired into modern day in the Western Cape, with a globally renowned landmark such as the Cradle of Humankind WHS, is an opportunity to position the destination globally and attract more visitors.”

To launch the Cradle of Human Culture a micro-site will be developed detailing information on the experience. To support in marketing the initiative a short video, imagery and a booklet will be shared on social media channels and other digital platforms.

“The connection between the Cradle of Humankind WHS and the Cradle of Human Culture is a connecting thread between our physical being and our aesthetic being,” said Michael Worsnip, Managing Director of Maropeng.

Three archaeological sites in the Western Cape – Blombos Cave, Pinnacle Point Site Complex on the south coast and the Diepkloof Rock Shelter on the Cape West Coast- together preserve some of the world’s earliest evidence of evolution of modern human behaviour and for this reason they are in the process of being nominated for World Heritage Site status.

Boasting ornately decorated ostrich eggs, marine shell beads, engraved ochre, bone tools and finely made bifacial points are just some of the archaeological treasures found at these sites, which display complex task processing and development of symbolic systems. As the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) nomination mentions, these sites hold an “unmatched record of palaeoenvironmental and human history in an important phase of human evolution, the development of anatomically modern humans”.

Not limited to the fore mentioned sites, the dawn of human culture stretches across all six regions of the province with sites such as the West Coast Fossil Park – home to one of the world’s richest concentration of fossils dating back 5-million years – taking us into the past. Museums such as the Zeitz MOCAA, with its incredible collection of contemporary art, add a new dynamic by giving us a glimpse of the present and the not-too distant future.

“The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site celebrates the human journey, from our earliest beginnings – to the challenges of our present – to our uncertain future. It celebrates human development, in every shape and form. It is wonderful indeed to now have established a new showcase for this diversity, complexity and unity of our species, in the newly established Cradle of Human Culture. It is possible that in our arts and crafts, beliefs and extraordinary ingenuity, we can start to uncover some of the defining characteristics of our species,” added Worsnip.

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverly Schäfer, said: “The Cradle of Human Culture will provide a fascinating journey back to some of the very earliest human behaviours. By highlighting these aspects of our culture and heritage, we are able to provide another layer to our multi-dimensional tourism offering and provide new and unique experiences to a wider range of visitors.”

“We are hoping that the Cradle of Human Culture will become a tool for all South Africans to enjoy these beautiful sites, explore our common origins, dive into our past and understand what makes us humans. Through this journey, visitors to the Cradle of Human Culture will discover the enormous contribution that South Africa played in making us all humans,” commented the Director for Museums, Heritage and Geographical Names Services at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Mxolisi Dlamuka.

Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, concluded: “South Africa is globally regarded as a place of great heritage significance. Through identifying culturally rich sites in our province, we become a part of the story of the early development of humankind. We are excited to introduce both local and international visitors to the Cradle of Human Culture, and hope to welcome many Easter holiday makers.”

Wesgro is Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, and receives its mandate and funding from the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the City of Cape Town.

Source:  Cape Town & Western Cape Tourism, Trade & Investment

Western Cape secured conference bids exceeding R1 billion in economic impact for the first time!

Cape Town has again ranked as the top city for international association meetings in Africa, according to the 2018 International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Statistics Report, with a total of 42 such meetings taking place in the Mother City in 2018.

In addition, Stellenbosch hosted an additional nine international association meetings during this time.

As a result, the Western Cape region is responsible for hosting 51 of the 100 international association meetings that took place in South Africa during 2018.
The main subject areas for these conferences included the medical sciences, education and technology, with academics from local universities such as the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, University of the Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology playing an important role in attracting key associations.

According to the ICCA report, the next biggest meeting destinations on the continent were Kigali (26 meetings); Marrakesh (24 meetings); Nairobi (24 meetings) and Johannesburg (16 meetings).

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schafer said: “Business and conference tourism have the ability to contribute significantly to the Western Cape’s efforts to grow tourism in the province. Cape Town maintaining its ICCA ranking year after year is testament to the level of excellence we offer as a destination, as well as the hard work put into marketing the province. I am also pleased to see that Stellenbosch is starting to feature as a meetings destination, helping to grow the footprint of conventions and meetings in the province.”

“During 2009 to 2018, 492 meetings took place in Cape Town – testament to why the region is still the #1 Convention destination on the African continent, ranking #1 again in the 2018 statistics report. This ranking has been retained for the past ten years and confirms that we are the meetings capital of Africa,” says Alderman James Vos, the Mayoral Committee member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management in the City of Cape Town.
Solly Fourie, Head of Department, Department of Economic Development and Tourism said that the Western Cape’s top ranking in Africa by the report is testimony to the region’s tourism strength.

“Last year the Western Cape secured conference bids exceeding R1 billion in economic impact for the first time. This is supported by the initiatives of the Western Cape Government and industry stakeholders. The recent investment by the Western Cape Government in the expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre has supported this growth,” added Fourie.

Corne Koch, Head of the Cape Town and the Western Cape Convention Bureau, a division of Wesgro, explained that of the 42 meetings taking place in Cape Town, 24 took place during the traditional low season between May and September. “This provides an important boost to our local economy during the winter months, with important benefits to leisure tourism and investment into the province, not to mention growth potential for our local knowledge economy that meetings add.”
Koch continued: “We are also excited to note that eight of these 42 meetings exceeded 1 000 or more delegates. The average length of a meeting was 3,8 days, with a total estimated 26 300 delegates attending these meetings during the year. We are particularly grateful to our partners at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Century City Convention Centre and other venues, as well as the South African National Convention Bureau, for the enormous support provided in ensuring that we remain the top business tourism destination in Africa. It would not be possible without you.”
“The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has had a proud history of bringing international events to the city of Cape Town and country. These events not only mean that there are more feet through the doors of the centre. It also brings business tourism to the city which allows for the exchange of expertise and knowledge. More importantly, it positively impacts on job creation and boosts the Western Province GGP and South Africa’s GDP yearly,” said Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of the CTICC.

Gary Koetser, Joint CEO of the Century City Conference Centre and Hotel, added: “Despite a challenging year as a result of the drought it is very encouraging to see Cape Town maintaining its number 1 position in Africa. We have no doubt that this is testament to a collaborative approach between key partners such as Wesgro’s Convention Bureau, the Air Access team, venues and of course the ICCA team. We need to continue spreading the word that the drought is over and that we are open for business. As Cape Town becomes more accessible than ever before with the additional international flights we are confident that Cape Town’s worldwide ranking will grow into the top 50 over the next couple of years!”

“The successful targeting of business tourists is an important factor in growing leisure tourism as business tourists often return as leisure tourists. This has led to an increase in investment in hotels and other infrastructure. Tourism plays a catalytic role in the economy boosting revenue and jobs in a wide range of sectors. In 2018 tourism generated R15.5 billion, up from R11.8 billion in 2013. The industry contributes 174 893 direct jobs,” concluded Fourie.
The Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau’s role is to promote the Cape among meeting, incentive, conference and event planners as a premier business events destination. It also offers pre-and post-bid assistance, convention planning support and on-site services to meetings planners.

Media enquiries:
Sarah Brownlee
Media Relations Officer, Wesgro
Tel: 021 487 8700
Cell: 083 577 0327


Standard registrations for the conference close on 30 June!  Avoid the late registration rate by clicking here to register.

To view the conference programme, click here

Newsletter: SAACI JHB Branch | June 19

Newsletter: SAACI JHB Branch | June 19


As we approach the middle of winter and start to head into the warmer, summer months I take the time to reflect on our year so far. The last couple of days have been incredibly emotional for the industry as the drama unfolding with the disappearance of our very well loved and respected friend, colleague and chairperson of SAACI, Wayne Johnson. As the investigation into this awful situation unfolds, we try our level best to keep the spirits up and the light bright that he will be found soon.

On the positive front of this whole situation is the unbelievable love that has been felt among everyone in the industry. Messages of concern and best wishes have been received from across the globe and it just goes to show how Wayne has impacted so many lives with his energy.

Wayne, our thoughts are continuously with you and we hope to share a glass of wine with you soon.

In other news, the SAACI Johannesburg committee recently held three events for you our members. A short synopsis on these can be found below.

I hope that you are all registering to attend the national conference being held in warm and sunny Durban at the end of July. The programme consists of an awesome line-up of speakers. As the multi-platinum, Grammy award winning song writer and singer, Beyoncé says… ‘Who runs the world? Girls!’. We couldn’t agree more and that is why we have more professional, influential women in their fields of expertise presenting at this years’ congress than men!

An introduction to your new committee that was appointed at the annual general meeting held in April at the beautiful High Ball Craft Bar at The Fairway Hotel and Golf Resort is below. We are all hard at work making sure that our events and various other activities over the next couple of months talk to the SAACI strategy of learning, communications and networking.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions regarding your SAACI membership.

Until we see each other again, look after yourselves and those around you.

Johannesburg Branch Chair
Lorin Bowen

As I am sure you are aware the Jo’burg Branch Committee comprises of some passionate, witty and very good-looking people (if I must say so myself). Our aim is to provide our membership with opportunities to network and learn.  We are doing this through our bi-monthly events as well as other training opportunities.  With this being said you will be receiving a phone call from one of us over the next few weeks to find out some critical information in order for us to better service you.  

Pitch Master Class Feedback

Firstly, a big thank you to the Indaba Hotel, Conference Centre and Spa for hosting this session.  The Indaba generously came on board as our training venue partner for 2019.  Partnerships such as these enable us to keep our costs down and make learning through SAACI Johannesburg a little more affordable.

We have heard the call from our members that they want more learning opportunities, specifically for the sales and marketing divisions within their businesses and so we found what we thought was a good fit.  We engaged with Missing Link who have been saving the world, one bored audience at a time since 1997.  Some of you will remember Richard Mulholland who presented a keynote at the Tshwane conference in 2017.  The energy coming from the stage was electric.

So, while we couldn’t afford to get Richard himself into the room, we did get his equally enthusiastic and experienced head of training, Kevin Dike who wasn’t afraid to impart his knowledge on how best to pitch your product or services to a client.  He was also very free with some tips and tricks on various websites to use for things like free images, file conversions, how to use PowerPoint and cool stuff like that.

There were only eleven of us in the room, with a capacity of twenty people so the uptake from the members was a little disappointing.  However, those that did join us thoroughly enjoyed it and have asked for more.

So be on the look-out as we will definitely be putting together more of this sort of thing, including the training workshop called ‘Slide Master’ which will show us how to put PowerPoint Presentations together that don’t have that old adage ‘death by PowerPoint’.  

I can’t wait and hope you can’t either!

Gin School

So, I told you at the AGM that we are also going to have some fun this year and the first of these was our Gin School evening at the Indaba Hotel in association with Inverocche.  What a fun evening!  With a capacity of twenty-four ‘school goers’ we almost reached our target as we had nineteen attendees.

We learnt about what it takes to make a basic gin, what the history of gin is and how to make a good bottle of Inverocche gin.  With five bases to choose from (herbal, floral, spicy, cool or citrus) we had the basics and just had to add our own individual flair to ‘tea bag’ by adding in one or more of the additional flavours provided such as coconut, cocoa, orange rind, strawberry and so on. 

The race was then on who could have their very own bottle of Inverocche gin distilled, mixed and bottled first.  Some took longer than others but in the end we all got there. 

What a fantastic experience!  Great networking was had, loads of laughter and a little bit of learning thrown into the mix made for an excellent SAACI Johannesburg event.  

Those of us that attended are already thinking on how we can improve on our gin flavours…  so rest assured if you missed out on this one, we will be doing another!  Keep an eye out on your mails, SAACI Official platforms and the SAACI website for more information.

Member Event

Proudly hosted by the JSE Conference Venue who provided delicious eats and a bar service, they really pulled out all the stops and we are very grateful for their support.

We had three amazing speakers lined up.  Lloyd Madurai, managing director for Hot91.9FM, Mq Gumede and William Price both from THE OMG Company. 

Lloyd spoke about his journey on radio and what led him to starting Hot91.9 and how he has managed to grow Hot91.9 in such a short space of time from a no-name radio station to a small but powerful community radio station doing amazing things for the community in which it serves.  Did you know that they are a registered NPO? 

Mq and William did a great job in following on from Lloyd and it was a tough ask but they did it in style as only these two can.  They spoke to us about the importance of story telling in all our messaging.  How story telling has been the one consistent throughout the ages.  A lot has changed around us but the art of story telling is still the same.



28 MAY 2019

In line with its focused approach to continue supporting tourism growth in Johannesburg, the Department of Economic Development: Tourism directorate launched its Tourism Ambassador Programme at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein, on Tuesday, 28 May 2019.  

“In terms of Johannesburg’s Growth and Development Strategy [GDS], the Joburg 2040 – tourism remains an economic growth imperative on the city’s agenda,” says Cllr Leah Knott, MMC for the City’s Department of Economic Development. “In line with the prioritisation of achieving increased visitor arrivals in the city and contributing towards the economic growth target of 5% by 2021, Joburg Tourism has seeks ways to facilitate the tourism experience at sites and attractions in the City, rendering them safe, pleasant, informative and memorable”.

 “The Tourism Ambassador Programme envisages making Johannesburg a safer destination, leading to an increased number of tourists visiting the City for both leisure and business.

Read the full media release here…

Tourism Ambassador | Press Release



28 MAY 2019


In line with its focused approach to continue supporting tourism growth in Johannesburg, the Department of Economic Development: Tourism directorate launched its Tourism Ambassador Programme at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein, on Tuesday, 28 May 2019.   

“In terms of Johannesburg’s Growth and Development Strategy [GDS], the Joburg 2040 – tourism remains an economic growth imperative on the city’s agenda,” says Cllr Leah Knott, MMC for the City’s Department of Economic Development. “In line with the prioritisation of achieving increased visitor arrivals in the city and contributing towards the economic growth target of 5% by 2021, Joburg Tourism has seeks ways to facilitate the tourism experience at sites and attractions in the City, rendering them safe, pleasant, informative and memorable”.

 “The Tourism Ambassador Programme envisages making Johannesburg a safer destination, leading to an increased number of tourists visiting the City for both leisure and business.

Cllr Michael Sun, MMC for Public Safety, is thrilled to be collaborating with the Joburg Tourism on the Tourism Ambassador Programme to create visibility at tourism sites and attractions.  “This is a proactive initiative which is set to reduce the number of security incidents affecting tourists and residents. Secondly, the ambassadors will assist in providing tourism information to tourists and visitors.”   

With elements of linking ambassadors with visible policing and safety to deliver pleasant tourism experiences, the programme is also geared to create Johannesburg tourism ambassadors who are knowledgeable about attractions and their key selling points.

The programme will enhance tourism safety in identified tourism nodes and create 60 direct job opportunities. This will improve on opportunities created in line with the Expanded Public Works Programme [EPWP]. Gauteng Tourism Authority is implementing a similar programme on behalf of the National Department of Tourism; however, due to the limited number of monitors allocated, safety concerns are not being adequately addressed.

“We are thrilled that this Mayoral Service delivery initiative is also addressing the issue of reducing unemployment, as 60 unemployed Johannesburg youth with a minimum of matric qualifications have been selected to participate,” says Knott. “Selected from applicants in the Department of Public Safety’s unemployed youth database, the team of youngsters will be trained and thereafter deployed for a period of three years, receiving a stipend in line with the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) during this time.” 

Prior to their deployment, the team of 60 ambassadors will be trained in the following key aspects related to their role:

  • Tourism information, geo-locating tourism sites and tourist site guidance
  • Service excellence and customer care
  • Communication skills and conflict management
  • By-law education and awareness on issues such as public roads, street trading etc.
  • Road Safety
  • Community Patrolling 


Safety and Security in the City of Johannesburg

 As local government, the City via the Department of Public Safety takes direct responsibility for issues of safety and security – and is assisting the SA Police Services (SAPS) in its efforts to reduce crime and improve safety in Joburg. The Department of Public Safety is comprised of four sub-elements to ensure safety and security in the City: Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), Emergency Management Services (EMS), the Disaster Management Directorate and the Licensing Directorate.

The City’s effort to ensure safety and security is based on the integrated multi-agency Joburg City Safety Strategy (JCSS), revised in 2017, which embraces crime prevention through environmental design, as well as urban management and monitoring service delivery. The JCSS was developed in an effort to collectively improve safety in our city with all city stakeholders, in order to achieve caring, safe and secure communities as envisaged by the City’s long term plans.

The City has invested in substantial CCTV infrastructure in the Inner City, monitored from the Integrated Intelligent Operations Centre (IIOC), located at the Department of Public Safety’s Martindale Headquarters. This provides surveillance of public space for crime prevention, as well as valuable assistance for urban management, traffic management and service delivery breakdowns. The IIOC is linked to a dedicated reaction unit of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police, to enable rapid intervention to incidents detected in the Inner City – further complementing the integrated safety and security plan, based on visible policing and by-law enforcement.

Collaboration with both national and provincial authorities, as well as the private sector and communities, is bearing fruit, as all stakeholders work together towards a safer Joburg and South Africa.

The Department of Public Safety also engages businesses across the City, many who have also formed close partnerships with the various law enforcement agencies at a local level. These have resulted in successful projects such as business-sponsored resources such as vehicles, which enable improved visible policing in business nodes around the City.

The City is also focusing its efforts on improving its planning and response with regard to emergency incidents and ensuring that there is a robust and constant focus on updating its disaster risk management plan. This is done through the complementary work undertaken by Emergency Management Services (EMS) and the Disaster Management Directorate.

The City’s EMS trains communities as part of the education programme to ensure effective response to emergency incidents. These are known as Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and are on the frontline of the City’s initiatives to minimise the impact of emergency incidents on communities. Technology deployment by the Disaster Management Directorate, such as its automated weather stations across the City, linked to the Public Safety IIOC, enable rapid detection of adverse weather, and ensures both warnings to communities, as well appropriate dispatch of resources to impacted communities.

The work undertaken by Joburg as a host city for FIFA World Cup 2010 set up an important benchmark and enabled a blueprint for joint planning between the City’s safety and security, health and transport units for major events post 2010. This Events Joint Operations Committee (JOC) is the starting point for the hosting of any event in the City, ensuring the safety and security of both attendees to events, as well as residents of areas surrounding it. The City of Joburg regularly plays host to major events varying from sport and entertainment, to major international conferences such as the BRICS Summit hosted in Sandton in 2018. This depth of knowledge and experience has made the City of Joburg an important centre of learning for other municipalities and the Department of Public Safety regularly hosts delegations who wish to access and apply our practices.





Question: What is the background to the Launch of the Joburg Tourism Ambassador Programme?


Answer: Project Background


  • As prescribed in the Municipal Systems Act of 2000, the City of Johannesburg is responsible economic development, which includes the promotion of tourism.  In addition to this primary role, the City has been mandated to attract investment towards achieving 5% economic growth that will reduce unemployment by 2021. This major responsibility entails the creation of sustainable jobs, skills development and increasing growth of the local economy
  • The City intends to stimulate confidence in key role players within the tourism and hospitality industry by training and placing Tourism Ambassadors at key tourism attractions to ensure tourism safety in the City.
  • The main aim of having Tourism Ambassador Programme is primarily to create visibility in tourism attractions and to proactively reduce the number of criminal incidents targeting tourists visiting the City.  Furthermore, these ambassadors will assist in providing tourism information to tourists.  The Programme envisages making Johannesburg a safer destination for tourists and visitors, leading to an increased number of tourists visiting the City for both leisure and business.


Question: Where and How Will the Programme Be Rolled Out?


  • Through the Tourism Directorate, the City of Johannesburg’s Department of Economic Development has provisionally identified the tourism hotspots where Tourism Ambassadors will be placed. The Department of Economic Development will be working together with CoJ’s Department of Public Safety in recruiting the 60 Johannesburg-based youth to participate in the programme, as well as providing training prior to being deployed.  A number of 60 participants will be identified within the Johannesburg Municipality wards and interviewed and the Programme will run for three (3) years.


Question: What Are the Primary Objectives of the Tourism Ambassador Programme?


  • To create jobs for 60 unemployed youth with matric minimum qualifications and / or above qualifications, residing in the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipal area.
  • To create visibility in tourism attractions.
  • To stimulate confidence to key role players within the tourism and hospitality industry.
  • To stimulate conditions for accelerated and sustainable employment opportunities in the City.


Question:  How will the Programme be Managed and Driven?


  • The Tourism Ambassador Programme will be driven through three key strategic initiatives, i.e.  strategic partnership and stakeholder involvement, skills development and placement of candidates at the tourism attractions.
  • Candidates will be placed at the key tourism attraction sites within the City of Johannesburg Municipality.  The City will maintain continuous engagement with the tourism industry stakeholders where the candidates will be placed.
  • Reporting will be to the VIC’s (Visitor Information Centres) for monitoring with on-site supervisors.


Question: How Does the Candidate Recruitment Strategy Work?




  • The Programme has given priority to the youth residing in Johannesburg.  The management understands that, there are many people in the communities of Johannesburg that are trained, skilled and could serve the industry with dedication if provided with the opportunity.


    Who was recruited?


Candidates meeting the following requirements:


  • Minimum qualification: Matric
  • Registered in Public Safety Database (for unemployed youth)
  • Physically fit
  • Locality (youth residing in or near the affected tourism sites will be considered – no or limited transport costs)
  • Preparedness to work abnormal hours including weekends and holidays.
  • Be able to communicate in English and two African language
  • No criminal record
  • South African youth 18 – 35 years
  • Johannesburg resident (Proof of residence will be required)
  • Preference will be given to first time intern, no parallel and / or drop out
  • Relevant qualifications and certified copies will be required


How were they be recruited?


Direct recruitment of candidates through Public Safety unemployed youth database


Interview Process


  • CVs dropped off at a central point.
  • CV’s accompanied by certified copies (Matric certificate, Identity document, Affidavit confirming the proof of residence and that the candidate is unemployed).
  • Interview panel comprised personnel from HR, DED Skills development, Tourism and JMPD


Interview Venue


Museum Africa, a centrally-located venue owned by the Municipality.


Question:  Who are the Key Project Stakeholders and What are Their Roles?




Table 1: Key project stakeholders






CSSHR services

CoJ EPWPLocal Hospitality & Tourism players & Associations

 CoJ Public Safety








Economic growth stimulus


Imperative to empower employees and non-employed



Reporting and administrator of EPWP in the City of Joburg




Custodians of industry operational knowledge and owners / managers of tourist sites


Building a safer City




Create employment opportunities


Recruit  unemployed youth


To spend funding on job creation projects


Safe environment to operate successfully


A way of engaging





Funding and Industry partnerships


Placements opportunities


Administration of EPWP project


On the job training and practical experience



Visible impact of delivery for services that contributes to a safe environment





Accelerated economic growth rate & reduce unemployment


Skilled human resources complement


Employment creation, youth and women


Safe environment &

Increase profit margins


A safe City.

Community and social development




Question: What is the Management Structure of the Programme?






Project Champion




The City of Johannesburg’s Department of Economic Development is, via the Joburg Tourism Directorate, the project champion responsible for designing the programme, facilitating its design and development, as well as the enrolment of key stakeholders and reporting. The Expanded Public Works Programme Unit is a key internal stakeholder, as it will advise Joburg Tourism on meeting the reporting requirements of the EPWP policies. A full project organizational structure of the programme is laid out in the diagram in Figure 1.




Tourism Ambassador Programme Organizational Structure


Roles, functions and responsibilities


Department of Economic Development (DED):




Joburg Tourism:


  • Project owner
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Arrange and chair steering committee meetings
  • Prepare monthly report on the Programme
  • Funding of the project
  • Day to day Programme management
  • Manage relationships with all stakeholders
  • Recruitment & Interviews
  • Manage leave and absenteeism
  • Facilitate training
  • Purchase of uniforms
  • Managing terms and conditions of ambassadors’ employment
  • Launching of the programme




Public Safety (JMPD & EMS):


  • Custodians of the unemployed youth database
  • Participate in steering committee meetings
  • Interviews
  • Training




Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP):


  • Sign the employment contracts with the ambassadors
  • Collate and record monthly attendance registers
  • Participate in steering committee meetings
  • Report on the City’s EPWP performance




Human Resources:


  • Record ambassadors on the pay roll system
  • Manage leave and absenteeism
  • Participate in steering committee meetings
  • Process monthly payment of stipends






Johannesburg Tourist Attractions:


Attractions constitute a critical element for the success of this programme because they provide the following opportunities:




  • Offer ambassadors a workplace in order to apply knowledge and gain practical experience and
  • Report ambassador’s performance to the Programme Manager




Tourism Ambassadors:


  • The role of ambassadors is to ensure that they are always at their workstations on time.
  • They must ensure a safe environment for the tourists and visitors and provide accurate information.


  • They also have to ensure that they work hard in order to lure industry employers to retain them on a full time employment basis at the end of the programme.






Question: What is the Budget for the Tourism Ambassador Programme?






The following project budget is based on 60 candidates. Industry costing norms which include:


  • R3300 per month internship stipend inclusive of UIF
  • R5000 per month all inclusive for supervisors
  • R4770 per person safety uniform
  • Total budget for the project is R1 320,000.00 including VAT






Question:  What Does The Skills Development and Training Programme Comprise?




Training Components:


  • JMPD:


  • By-Law Education and Awareness on issue such as Public Roads, Street trading etc.
  • Road Safety
  • Community Patrolling


  • EMS:
    • First Aid
    • By-laws
    • Workplace readiness


  • Tourism:


    • Tourism information
    • Tourist site guiding
    • Service excellence
    • Customer services
    • Communication skills
    • Geo locating of tourism sites




Proposed Training Plan:







Type of Training


Modules to be CovereD




June 2019


Theory Training


·        JMPD & EMS: First Aid, Road Safety.

·        Tourism: Tourism information, Communication skills.


5 days



October 2019


Theory Training

·        Conflict management,

·        By-law education and awareness;

·        Customer services;

·        Geo locating tourism sites.


5 days



April 2020


Theory Training

·        Geo locating tourism sites;

·        Community patrolling;

·        Tourist site guiding;

·        Service excellence.






Question: How will the Tourism Ambassador Programme Be Monitored and Controlled?




  • The Department of Economic Development (CoJ) will champion the programme through the Joburg Tourism directorate and will appoint supervisors who will manage the day to day running of the programme and report through the Visitor Services Bureau (VSB). The directorate will also set up a project steering committee comprising involved internal and external stakeholders. The Joburg Tourism directorate will report on a monthly basis on all issues pertaining to the project to EPWP and other relevant committees within the City of Johannesburg.




Question:       When and where will the students be placed?




  • Placement of the Tourism Ambassadors will commence in July 2019, once the first set of basic training has been completed.




  • The following city tourism hotspots have been identified in consultation with stakeholders and private business structures such as City Improvement District(s), Tourism Associations, and the Joburg Business Forum Tourism Sub-Committee,  to mention a few:


  1. Carlton Centre
  2. Gautrain Station – Park Station
  3. Red Bus – Bus Stop at Wolmarans Street
  4. Gold Reef City
  5. Sandton


  • Berman Contemporary Art Gallery and Sanlam Art Lounge – Alice Lane Precinct
  • Nelson Mandela Square
  • Mushroom Farm Park
  • Auto & General theatre On the Square
  • Sandton Convention Centre
  • African Market on Maude Street
  • Sandton City
  • Radisson Hotel, Gautrain
  • Radisson Hotel, Sandton
  • Hilton Hotel, Sandton
  • The Maslow Hotel, Sandton
  • Sandton Sun Hotel, Convention Centre
  • Garden Court


  1. FNB Stadium
  2. Kliptown Square
  3. Mining District
  4. Origins Centre
  5. Standard Bank Gallery
  6. Chancellor House
  7. Gandhi Square
  8. Hector Pieterson Museum
  9. Zoo Lake
  10. Johannesburg Zoo
  11. Kwa Mai-Mai Market
  12. Museum Africa
  13. Park Station
  14. Joburg Theatre
  15. Alexandra Attractions
  16. Wemmerpan / Transport Museum
SAACI Matters | June 2019

SAACI Matters | June 2019

SA events industry exceeds global standards

In many ways the South African events industry is exceeding global standards, reports Bizcommunity.

At the recent Middle East Special Event and Exhibition Show in Dubai, event experts found South Africa to be well ahead of the curve.

“Considering the global trend to integrate technology into show experiences – to use technology to create a best in class visitor experience – the innovations presented were already in play locally,” says Janyce Dalziel, CEO of Currin’t Events.

The show featured more than 30 live seminars, hosted by some 40 expert speakers addressing over 2 000 event professionals and 100 suppliers from 32 countries. Key topics included developing the event of the future, embracing techchnology and artificial intelligence to revolutionise events, and creating excellent visitor experiences and enhanced engagement.

“Across the country, forward-thinking events coordinators are already incorporating artificial intelligence and innovative applications to enhance guest experiences,” says Dalziel.

“From driving greater guest engagement to interactive agendas, digital breakaway sessions and information centres it is clear that events are evolving as the industry embraces digital transformation.”

“While the ‘wow’ décor, light shows, bots and drone technology enhance the visual aspect of the event, the basics are also augmented,” says Kim Currin, Currin’t Events’ Event Director.

When guests enter with ease through a digitally driven registration system, are empowered to engage, vote or give feedback online, or can listen to different tracks in one exhibition hall on silent headphones, the entire event experience is enhanced.”

From monitoring and analysing attendee data for effective crowd shaping, to creating seamless experiences with strategic AV, embracing bots and social media, and influencing event production worldwide through innovative and a ‘be the best’ approach, the local event industry is achieving it all.

Dalziel says the South African events industry must continue evolving to stay ahead of the curve.

“We must continuously ask ourselves, what does it take to create a world class show and what impact will it have on the future of entertainment in the region? It is clear that we aren’t behind in this sector – the scale and quality of our local events are of world-class standard.”

A smooth handover following resignation of CEO

SAACI will ensure a smooth handover following CEO Rudi van der Vyver’s recent resignation,” says Chairperson Wayne Smith.

“Rudi will join EPH Events as Managing Director in July. We owe a smooth take-over to the industry and our members. SAACI management and Rudi are committed to this.

“We thank Rudi for his vigour and enthusiasm during his time at SAACI. He led the organisation’s operations with passion and established solid systems. He played a meaningful role in us retaining our position at the forefront of the business events industry. Our collaboration with industry members and stakeholders, locally and internationally, is particularly strong at this point, while our financial position is firm.”

Wayne says arrangements for the annual congress in Durban in July are well on track.

Wayne gave the assurance that the process to fill the position of CEO will be transparent and well communicated.

Welcome to new SAACI members

A total of 14 members joined SAACI in May.

Four members joined in the Venue Forum – Sunet Pringle of The Benjamin Hotel in Durban, Sonette van der Merwe of the Sante Wellness Retreat & Spa, Mandi Arnold of The Station Urban Event Space in Durban and Danielle Rall of La’WiiDA Lodge in Tshwane.

New members in the Conference & Events Forum are Judith van Zyl of Bconfident Events in Cape Town, Adele Otten of Patimo Venue Finders in Johannesburg, Aubrey Khohloa of Tinyeleti Conference Organisers in Johannesburg, Thembinkosi Ngidi of Inono Events Coordination in Durban and Gugulethu Buthelezi of Events Et Cetera in Johannesburg.

The Technical Forum was joined by Adrian Garrett of CPDdata in Durban and Jaques Fouché of Formative in Cape Town.

The Exhibition Forum was joined by Sean Farrell of GolfGuys in Johannesburg, the Transport Forum by Suzette Vorster of Springbok Atlas in Cape Town and the Services Forum by Khensani Chauke of Nyeleti Travel Agency in Tshwane.

SAACI welcomes the new members and believes they will find their membership truly valuable.

55 Days to go to the SAACI congress!

In 55 days from today, on Sunday, 28 July the 33rd SAACI annual congress will officially be opened at the Elangeni Maharani Hotel in Durban.

A number of interesting, prominent speakers have been lined up to address delegates.

Founder of Ayavuna Women’s Investment in South Africa, Hixonia Nyasulu will certainly up the game with what promises to be an attention-grabbing presentation titled ‘Winds of change are blowing; do we build walls or windmills?’ Discuss your choice of action at the official opening function.

Day two shines the spotlight on innovation and business transformation.

Eric Szymanski, Sales and Marketing Expert of Leadership Solutions International in the USA will share his experience on how to create authentic, world-class customer experiences.

In the session igniting business transformation, discussions by international and local experts varying from the power of culture in organisations, education for employment, how to create, measure and manage high performance teams, the combination of education and experience, ramping up the business events industry and benchmarks for success will be the order of the day.

South Africa’s Chief Convention Officer, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo will enlighten delegates about the new face of business tourism.

The SAACI Annual General Meeting will be followed by the official gala dinner

Sherrif Karamat of the Professional Convention Management Association

Day three focuses on regional and global collaboration with Yoadan Tilahun, Founder and Managing Director of Flawless Events in Ethiopia, Lilly Ajarova, CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board, Carmen Nibigira, Project Director of Horwath HTL in Rwanda and Sherrif Karamat, CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association sharing their experiences.

Have you booked for this milestone event? Book online now at

RISE at congress!

Project RISE will once again form an integral part of the SAACI congress this year.

RISE – Rural Incubation for Social Enablement – was originally initiated by Cape-based ECTA Creative Solutions and, through relevant training and education, has helped many formerly unskilled people to find employment and even become entrepreneurs, especially in the events and tourism industry.

Today it is an official SAACI legacy project which will be rolled out nationally.

The first group of graduates received their diplomas at a SAACI Western Cape branch event in 2018.

Skills acquired in 20 different courses include wire art, sewing, exclusive accessory crafting and fabric art – used for draping, centre pieces and décor.

Where necessary, Foundational Learning Competence is the first focus, which includes numeric and linguistic training, developing these basic skills to Grade 10 level. This is required to participate in any SETA training.

Three RISE graduates will attend the SAACI congress in Durban next month, giving delegates the opportunity to meet and interact with them. Delegates will also get a glimpse of the very professional products they offer at the Sustainability Village at congress.

Congress delegates will receive gift cards to use at the Sustainability Village and speaker gifts will, of course, come for the RISE stable of products.

RISE is an excellent social responsibility programme for companies in the events industry to adopt and SAACI encourages members to learn more about the project and support participants.

Calendar of Events

Business Tourism and MICE Masterclass

10 – 12 June 2019
BDO Offices, Wanderers Office Park, JHB

ICCA Association Meetings Programme

18 – 20 June 2019
Durban International Convention Centre

ICCA Association Meetings Programme

23 – 25 June 2019
Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand

PCMA European Influencers Summit

22 – 24 September 2019
Barcelona, Spain

Africa Tourism Leadership Forum

28 – 29 August 2019
Durban International Convention Centre

SAACI Events

SAACI KZN Annual General Meeting

6 June 2019
Protea Hotel, Umhlanga Rocks

SAACI Johannesburg event – Gin School

6 June 2019
Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre, Fourways

SAACI Eastern Cape branch event

12 June 2019
Magnetic Storm, Port Elizabeth

SAACI Johannesburg branch event

12 June 2019
Johannesburg Stock Exchange

SAACI Annual Congress

28 – 30 July 2019

Southern Sun Hotel Elangeni
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal