SAACIMatters | July 2019

SAACIMatters | July 2019

Thank you Rudi!

“We thank Rudi van der Vyver for the energy and enthusiasm with which he led SAACI since accepting the position of CEO about two years ago. We have learnt from his vigour and what it means to lead from the front,” says Acting Chairperson Kim Roberts.

“Rudi has assisted greatly in retaining SAACI’s position at the forefront of the business events industry, while locally and internationally our collaboration with industry stakeholders is strong. At the same time our financial position is firm. Balancing this was no mean feat, particularly in the current challenging financial times.”

Rudi joins EPH Events as managing director. He has, however, pledged his support for the SAACI annual congress which takes place at the Elangeni Maharani Hotel in Durban from 28 to 30 July.

Arrangements for the congress are well on track, with various national and international speakers confirmed. The new Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, is the opening speaker. She will also host a special question and answer session.

Kim says the organisation owes a smooth handover to the industry and its members and that both the SAACI management and Rudi are committed to this.
The appointment of the new SAACI CEO will be made soon.

26 Days to THE congress!

In 26 days – from 28 to 30 July – delegates will meet in Durban for the 33rd annual SAACI congress.

To be officially opened by South Africa’s new Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, we believe the event will raise the bar in the business events industry. It will create true, tangible value to our members and the greater industry in Southern Africa.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

This congress brings together conference industry professionals like event organisers, events management companies, service providers and industry stakeholders from government, venues, destinations and more.

National and international industry experts will share their knowledge in interactive sessions.

To view the progamme and to confirm your attendance, register now on

Welcome to new SAACI members

A total of seven members joined SAACI in June.

Six members joined in the Conference & Events Forum. They are Vuyisa Mvemve of Ixhantilomizi Holdings in Cape Town, Lynette Ntuli of Innate Experiential in Durban, Janine Ferreira of Innoventique in Johannesburg, Elizabeth Carter of Leave it to me & Jamaa Connections in Johannesburg, Xolisa Gwala of Xolisizwe Trading and Projects and Thuli Shibe of Buhlebamambelwa Trading, both in Durban.

Salzina Stoyanova of the Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg joined the Venue Forum.

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

Thinking constantly about Wayne

“Whilst we are none the wiser about the disappearance of our chairperson, Wayne Smith almost three weeks ago, our thoughts, the thoughts of our members and the business events industry as a whole are with his family, friends and colleagues every second of the day,” says Acting SAACI Chairperson, Kim Roberts.

“We believe the South African Police Services and the private investigators are pulling out all stops to solve the mystery around Wayne’s disappearance. We thank all the people who share information about this investigation on numerous platforms. Hope springs eternally for Wayne’s safe return.

“We ask that you please keep Wayne in your thoughts and prayers in these trying times. We will keep you updated.”

Corné Koch appointed chair of BestCities Global Alliance

Corné Koch

“I am privileged to be part of a passionate community that shares a vision of delivering exceptional service to its clients” – Koch.

Corné Koch, Head of the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, a division of WESGRO and SAACI member, has been elected as board chairperson of the BestCities Global Alliance.

Corné takes over from Jeannie Lim of Singapore, who chaired the board since May 2018.

“For the past five years I have been privileged to be part of a passionate community that shares a vision of delivering exceptional service to its clients, while at the same time being a responsible and relevant body,” says Corné.

“I have participated in designing a new strategy for the alliance that addresses customer experience, connecting communities and providing innovative 

thought leadership. It is an honour to take over from colleagues who have led the alliance through this process and giving it a new purpose.

“I see my role as ensuring that the alliance delivers on its new strategic intent, remaining a relevant body, by harnessing the power of collaboration and the community to create a positive impact through business events.”

With five years’ experience at WESGRO, and more than fifteen years working in destination marketing, Corné brings an abundance of industry knowledge and exceptional leadership experience. She promotes Cape Town as one of the world’s premier destinations for meetings, incentives, conferences, events and trade fairs.

She takes up the position at an exciting time for the alliance as it gears up for the fourth annual BestCities Global Forum, taking place in Copenhagen in December. The alliance is also running the Incredible Impacts Grant programme, in partnership with ICCA, for the third consecutive year.

The board consists of representatives from the other eleven BestCities destinations – – Berlin, Bogotá, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Dubai, Houston, Madrid, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and Vancouver. Michael Drake, Director of Sales, Meetings and Conventions of Tourism Vancouver, is the new treasurer.

Paul Vallee, Managing Director of BestCities Global Alliance, said: “Corné will play a key role in driving the strategic direction of the alliance, as we continue to work with our global community to create positive impacts. With her extensive experience of over 15 years in the industry, we are excited about what she brings to the alliance.”

Louis the Lawyer –
a new series for SAACIMatters

E-Visas will be introduced during the course of this year, according to TouSAACIMatters introduces a new monthly column – Louis the Lawyer – from this month. The idea is to simplify legal matters and make them more accessible and understandable to the industry.
Enjoy this first article and let us have your feedback –

Social media and defamation – tread warily!
As we are all no doubt quite aware, social media has to a large extent become the medium of choice – not only to publicise and disseminate information, but also to glean information. Due to the ubiquitous nature of social media and the fact that any information communicated via this medium is instantaneously shared across the globe, the impact of such content is much greater, whether positive or negative. I will be addressing these in this and subsequent publications.
I need to make sure we are ‘on the same page’, so let’s look at what we understand by the definition of defamation and social media.


Wikipedia: Defamation is the infringement of one’s fama (Reputation or good name) ie the unlawful and intentional publication of defamatory matter (by words or by conduct or even a sketch/caricature/depiction) referring to the plaintiff, which causes his reputation to be impaired.

The Law of Delict, McKerron: The publication of defamatory matter concerning another without lawful justification or excuse. It can even include body language or hand gestures (Abrahams & Gross).
The English differentiation between libel (written) and slander (spoken) forms of defamation is not part of our law – in South African law defamation refers to statements in any format that damages a person’s reputation.

Social media Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.

Websites and applications dedicated to forums, microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking, social curation, and wikis are among the different types of social media.

Meriam Webster: forms of electronic communication (as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to  share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos).

Some of the better known and more regularly used social media are Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What governs the behaviour of parties participating in social media?

There are rules, terms and conditions pertaining to each form of social media that users undertake to comply with once they engage that medium – and then there are the laws of the country and the common law.

However, before we even consider any of these guidelines, there is the code of conduct governing the membership of the association you are a member of.

Some aspects that impact on the use of social media include compliance with the constitution and laws, treating people with respect, avoiding insensitive and irresponsible behaviour and being tactful.

The South African Constitution enshrines freedom of expression, but this must be balanced by the courts with the right to maintain one’s reputation and dignity unblemished and that of privacy.

(See the case of Dawood and Another v Minister of Home Affairs and Others 2000 (3) SA 936 (CC) – ‘Dignitas concerns the individual’s own sense of self-worth, but included in the concept are a variety of personal rights including privacy.

(See also the case of Herholdt v Wills: “Facebook is fraught with dangers especially in the field of privacy” and therefore the court agreed that by intervening it may have a positive effect on the use of Facebook. The court stated that “the tensions between every human being’s constitutionally enshrined rights to freedom of expression and dignitas is all about balance.”

Each form of social media has its own terms and conditions eg Facebook as a Statement of rights and responsibilities, including a Data policy which includes its privacy basics (you have control over who sees what you share on Facebook).

It should also be noted that in the USA, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act which protects internet service providers and website hosts from defamation claims.

More about this and the terms and conditions of other forms of social media like Facebook and Twitter in future issues.

Calendar of Events

Event Greening Forum
Masterclass & Conference

10 – 11 July 2019
Maropeng, Cradle of Mankind

Africa Tourism Leadership Forum

28 – 29 August 2019
Durban International Convention Centre

PCMA European Influencers Summit

22 – 24 September 2019
Barcelona, Spain

58th ICCA Congress

27 – 30 October 2019
Houston, USA

IBTM World

19 – 21 November 2019
Barcelona, Spain

SAACI Events

Women’s Day event

8 August 2019
The Blade Hotel, Tshwane

SAACI Annual Congress

28 – 30 July 2019

Southern Sun Hotel Elangeni
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal