Kwa-Zulu Natal Branch Newsletter | January 2020

Kwa-Zulu Natal Branch Newsletter | January 2020

January  2020

Dear SAACI-KZN Member

We trust that you had a productive and relaxing festive season and that you are enjoying a busy start to the new year.  May 2020 be a year of great possibilities and opportunities!

The KZN Halloween event on 31 October 2019 was a great success and was enjoyed by all – witches and monsters alike, even superman, cockroach man and Morticia, to name  but a few of our interesting members!  Thank you to our brave members who shared their scary industry tales.  Prizes for the scariest tales went to The Conference Company, CPD Data, Interactive Hospitality and Tsogo Sun.

Thank you for the support from our members who assisted with sponsorships and prizes.  These include the Durban International Convention Centre, Tsogo Sun, Greyville Convention Centre, The Benjamin Boutique Hotel, Eat Greek Caterers and Gearhouse.  Thank you to Diemersfontein Wine and Country Estate for the lovely wine, it was a special treat for all!

Hats off to our guest speakers for their contribution to the day’s success – Glenton de Kock: CEO of SAACI and Nicky Bezuidenhout: Marketing and Communications Manager at eDeaf.

November was an exciting month for KZN with the launch of the new Durban Promenade.

Eight km long, costing R380 million and stretching from the Durban harbour mouth to Blue Lagoon – it is the longest in Sub-Saharan Africa.  It forms a portion of the R35 billion Point Waterfront Development which has been developed to attract investment to Durban and boost local tourism.

The new feature has  public parking, sports and water clubs, new change rooms, an amphitheatre, pedestrian ramps and lifeguard lookout points.  It is  wheelchair-friendly and boasts a first aid room.

“It will enhance our tourism as a city,” said eThekwini Municipality Mayor, Mxolisi Kauna at the promenade’s official  opening  on 16 November last year.

It will link all the beach facilities, amenities and the new restaurants and developments still to be built from Blue Lagoon, past uShaka Marine World to the Durban Harbour.  This is most definitely worth a visit.

You have received a  Save the Date for our SAACI kick-off event, the Elegant Awards lunch, on Friday, 31 January.  However, the committee has decided to postpone the event to Wednesday, 19 February, to allow members more time to settle into the new year.  It will also allow sufficient time for RSVPs and increased attendance.  Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

The event on 19 February will take place at Coastlands Umhlanga Hotel and Convention Centre. We will be giving away two awards at the event, the Carol Macnab Award and  the Newcomer Award.  The dress code is smart/formal  – so dress to impress!

If you wish to get involved with sponsorships and prizes, please get in touch at

Looking forward to seeing you all there!


From Tourism KZN

2020 Promises to be an exciting year for KwaZulu-Natal. Through the Durban-KZN Convention Bureau, the province of KwaZulu-Natal will be hosting a number of international conferences and meetings.  Some of the key conferences are –

  • World Football Summit Africa, which will be hosted for the first time ever on the African continent in March 2020. The summit is expected to attract almost 3 000 delegates.
  • Forbes International Women Summit, now in its second year, will once again be held at the Durban ICC. It will bring top international speakers who will shine the light on women’s issues. This conference will be attended by 1 000 delegates.
  • The annual meeting of the Global Research Council will be held at the Durban ICC in May.
  • The 7th International Conference on the History of Occupational Health and Environmental Health will be held at the University of KZN in May. It will be attended by over 100 health professionals from all over the world.
  • The 16th Annual Global Communications Conference will be held at the Durban University of Technology in June and will be attended by 250 delegates.
  • The ECO Health Conference, held at the Durban ICC in June will bring 1 500 delegates to the province.
  • The 28th International Ornithological Congress will be held at the Durban ICC in August. The expected number of delegates is 1 500.
  • The World Halaal Day 2020 will be held at the ICC in November and will be attended by 1 500 delegates.
  • The International Public Finance Conference will be held at the Durban ICC in December. It is expected that over 1 500 delegates from across South Africa will attend.


For more information visit or or phone Richard Wylie on 031 366 7580.

On behalf of the committee we wish you a great year ahead and look forward to communicating with you.   

Yours in hospitality

Tracey Delport


We hope that you had a wonderful festive season and that 2020 will be a fantastic year!

Western Cape Branch Newsletter | January 2020

Western Cape Branch Newsletter | January 2020

January  2020

Dear SAAC-Western Cape Member

Happy New Year and welcome to our second edition of the SAACI-Western Cape newsletter.                                                      

We trust that you had a wonderful break over the festive season and are back at the office, ready for what 2020 has to offer.

On 30 October 2019 we hosted our last event for the year at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.  We were delighted to have Charissa Bloomberg as our speaker as well as our new CEO, Glenton De Kock.  For the festive season the committee tried to give back and chose the Sarepta AGS Old Age Home in Kuilsriver to support.

After discussions with them and hearing that many of the residents did not have families, we initiated a drive to collect 139 pairs of pyjamas to give to the residents as a Christmas present. With the help of you, our dedicated  members, your families and colleagues we were able to make this a reality.  On Friday, 6 December we delivered  the gifts as well as 140 cupcakes that were given to the residents at teatime.  Thank you to The Kove Collection for providing the cupcakes – and on Christmas Day each resident received a present. 


Be sure to keep an eye on your inbox for the invitation to the February kick-off event.  

Yours in business events

Angela Lorimer

Chair:  SAACI-Western Cape

We hope that you had a wonderful festive season and that 2020 will be a fantastic year!

Tshwane Branch Newsletter | January 2020

Tshwane Branch Newsletter | January 2020

SAACI-Tshwane newsletter – January 2020

  • Greetings fellow SAACI members and welcome to 2020. A year wherein we will discover new and innovative ways of doing business.
  • SAACI-Tshwane is aiming high this year and have plans to inspire, educate and entertain members.
  • With the challenges of doing business in the current economy, the  SAACI-Tshwane branch kick-off brunch event on  11 February will focus on doing things differently.


It`s game on with SAACI-Tshwane -Survival of the fearless

Keep a look out for the invitation, due to hit your desk and the website within the next day or two. Remember non-members are also most welcome to attend our events so bring a friend/s along.

At the close of 2019 The Tshwane branch committee hosted Glenton de Kock, SAACI CEO at its year-end combined lunch and committee meeting on 20 November. The meeting was hosted by Leon at the Carabella restaurant at Monte de Dios.

We arrived in bright sunshine and were seated outdoors on the terrace of the Carabella.  And then the storm came – the blue skies vanished, and thunder and lightning flashed around us. However, nothing deterred, we carried on with the meeting, surrounded by waterfalls streaming off the awning over our heads and having to raise our voices to be heard over the noise of the storm!

Glenton shared the latest SAACI strategy plans and we look forward to playing our part in assisting. Within the next few weeks Leon will be assisting by heading up a sub committee tasked with looking at future trends.

The afternoon was fun-filled with planning, discussions, laughter and the very welcome rain, during which time we enjoyed a delicious meal accompanied by celebratory bubbly.

The SAACI branch committee are here to serve you and are available 24/7.

We aim to retain the honour of being voted the Best Branch of the Year once again!

We hope that you had a wonderful festive season and that 2020 will be a fantastic year!

SAACI Matters | January 2020

SAACI Matters | January 2020

SAACI launches student outreach programme

SAACI has announced a student outreach programme for the business events industry.
Chairperson Kim Roberts says in today’s fast moving business environment it is essential that the youth gets exposed to doing business and join the fold of future leaders.

“Our programme, which will roll out this year, will educate students about the basic elements of the business events industry, connect them with industry professionals and develop professional business events leaders of tomorrow.

“Furthermore, it will foster participation of talented young leaders in the industry, in for example, our annual congresses and other events in the southern African region.

“Benefits for students include networking opportunities, career preparation and leadership growth,” says Kim.

“Networking is one of the key benefits of SAACI membership. Student members have many opportunities to network with industry professionals at our events. Also, access to industry professionals will guide the career paths and current roles of students. We also offer access to our online academy that provides additional preparation for internship.

“Engagement with SAACI members will help students gain leadership skills and knowledge for individual growth and preparation for a career in the business events industry,” she says.

“We plan to establish student chapters at participating tertiary institutions where education includes the business events industry, allowing volunteer and community service opportunities. Currently we have ties with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Johannesburg.

“We will offer free membership for qualifying students whose tertiary institution is an educational member of SAACI. Students must be studying full-time at a recognised tertiary institution, in their final or honours year. Fields of study must include hospitality, marketing, public relations and communication, events and sports, and finances. Should students in these fields have qualified in the past year and are about to graduate, a special student rate will be offered for one year. This will offer students a platform to develop an understanding of the business and meetings industry whilst networking with professionals.

“They will gain experience in organising events and community service projects and will participate in SAACI branch events, building relationships with hospitality and meeting professionals.”

SAACI 2020 registration opens at Meetings Africa

Registration for the 2020 SAACI congress will open at Meetings Africa next month, so do make use of this opportunity and visit us at the SAACI stand for an early-bird discount.

Our annual congress is revered as the gold standard of knowledge sharing and thought leadership in the business events industry. This year’s theme, ‘Welcome the Unknown’, encapsulates the current business environment and the approach we should take in business.

Through robust engagement we are likely to find some of the solutions we are looking for. This is will most certainly be an event not to be missed – in fact, diarise it now – 26 to 28 July in Johannesburg.

If you are not an exhibitor at Meetings Africa, be sure to visit the show as a delegate. It showcases Africa’s diverse offering of services and products, with lots of business and partnerships on offer for every sub-sector of the business events industry. It also offers top networking opportunities, workshops and seminars.

“ICCA Association Community” launched

By opening its doors to associations with the launch of the “ICCA Association Community” earlier this month, the International Congress and Convention Association encompasses all major stakeholders in the world of association meetings. By joining ICCA, associations have access to education, connections, tools and resources to organise more effective meetings.

Since its establishment in 1963, ICCA has represented the world’s top destinations and most experienced suppliers specialised in handling, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events. Through the ICCA Association Community, associations can make their voice heard in ICCA’s global community for the international meetings industry on how their association and their meetings will make a difference in the future.

Associations will have access to unique Association Meetings Intelligence as well as full access to ICCA’s events and enjoy not only peer-to-peer networking but also thought-provoking education and expertise.

ICCA President James Rees says: “The launch of the ICCA Association Community will integrate associations with our membership, helping to shape ICCA’s future and provide opportunities for ever-closer collaboration.”

Thomas Reiser, Executive Director of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis says: “Networking with international associations is critical for the success of our activities as the peer-to-peer sharing and learning is one of the most powerful aspects. We look forward to the benefits – such as access to data, sharing new ideas, thought-provoking education and peer to peer networking – this will afford us.”

Associations can sign up through a form on

Welcome to new SAACI members

SAACI welcomes five new members who joined the association in January. They are:

Conference & Events Forum
• Glory Dumisele Biyela of Mqapheli Suppliers in KwaZulu-Natal
• Kirsty Defranceski of Joburg Conferences & Events

Services Forum
• Ralph Heinrich of Event Africa in the Western Cape

Venue Forum
• Chantal Geddes and Justine Mia of Simbithi Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal

SAACI welcomes these new members and trust that they will find their membership most valuable.

Calendar of Events

Tshwane branch event

Tshwanefication – event trends for event professionals

11 February 2020
Central Square, Menlyn Maine

▶ Meetings Africa

25 – 26 February 2020
Sandton Convention Centre

▶ SAACI Annual Congress

26 – 28 July 2020
Indaba Hotel & The Canvas

▶World Travel Market Africa

6 – 8 April 2020
Cape Town International Convention Centre

▶ SAACI KZN awards lunch

19 February 2020
Coastlands Umhlanga Hotel & Convention Centre

▶ Johannesburg branch event – post Meetings Africa

26 February 2020
Pappas on the Square, Sandton

SAACI Matters | January 2020

SAACI Matters | October 2019

Welcome the unknown in 2020

South Africa – in fact the entire globe – is facing challenging and unknown times. Our industry too is affected by this. It cannot be business as usual, in fact it is business unusual.

We can choose to embrace the challenge and face the uncertainty, or we can choose to become victims of the times we are faced with.

The SAACI 2020 annual congress is designed to tackle these disruptive times head-on and provide our industry with the opportunity to collaborate and learn how to operate in a disruptive environment and to embrace this disruption to ensure our mutual growth – by WELCOMING THE UNKNOWN.

The congress logo has been designed to show Johannesburg as the host city, represented by the iconic city skyline. The meetings and business events industry is represented by two delegates coming together and greeting one another – their hands are stretched out to connect the dots.

The dots represent the unknown – balls in the air, the disruption, juggling our lives.

So by coming together at the congress – meeting one another and collaborating – together we can learn about ways to connect the dots , overcome the unknown and ensure that we can as an industry, and a country, grow together, so that we don’t drop the balls of industry growth.

The congress will also embrace the youth, as the biggest challenge to growing our country and our industry is to disrupt the norm and make sure that the future of our industry is in capable hands.

The congress logo was designed by Chat’r Xperience.
The congress will be held from 26 to 28 July 2020 at the Indaba Hotel and at The Canvas, Riversands Incubation Hub.
Bookings will open early next year.

SAACI welcomes new members

A total of nine members joined SAACI in September.

Four members joined in the Services Forum. They are Sugandran Naidoo of KCS Services in Tshwane, Jason King of Regnow Event Services in Cape Town, Mafika Dandala of Nto’s Catering in KwaZulu-Natal and Madi Letsoaloo of Innate Productions in Johannesburg.

Tree members joined in the Conference & Events Forum. They are Steph Karallis and Estelle Stafford of BLEND Eventlife in Cape Town and Khosi Thabethe of Mkholo Consulting in Johannesburg.

In the Venue Forum Zama Mancotywa of the Cosy Posy Boutique Hotel in the Eastern Cape joined, while Salomie Webb of Tshwane joined as a student.

SAACI welcomes these new members – we believe they will find their membership truly valuable.

Working together for the safety of tourists

A part from exposing visitors to the multitude of tourist attractions in South Africa, like in any other international tourist destination, the safety of visitors is non-negotiable.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Fish Mahlalela said at the recent SAACI conference in Durban that it is government’s priority to ensure that tourists enjoy a safe visit to the country.

As a prime tourist destination in South Africa, Cape Town and the Western Cape take the safety of visitors very seriously. Many initiatives like increased law enforcement, technology expansion and increased safety awareness are applied to provide a safer environment for all.

For instance, the national government has extended the deployment of the defence force in the Cape Flats until the end of March 2020. In addition, about 250 permanent public safety officers are deployed in the Cape Town Central City Improvement District.

Added to this is a team of city law enforcement officers working 24/7 and a traffic warden team to deal with, among others, peak hour congestion.

To assist visitors to the Bo Kaap Malay Quarter, Cape Town Tourism has employed TravelWise ambassadors to monitor the area.

86 tourism monitors assist and ensure safety in Cape Town’s renowned 46 000 acre Table Mountain Park and its 200km hiking paths.

Where visitors do become the unfortunate victims of crime, there is a dedicated support programme to assist them with aspects such as replacing lost documents, providing emergency accommodation and transfers and laying charges with the South African Police Services.

SAACI is proud to be a member of the Cape Town and Western Cape safety team and will continue to work with all role players to help ensure the safety of our business and leisure tourism visitors – anywhere in South Africa.

What does the SAACI Academy mean to members?

SAACI is proud of its online academy – but how does it benefit members?

Prisca Lete, Executive Assistant to the SAACI Chief Executive Officer, explains.

“The SAACI Academy offers members the first step in changing their world. The academy can be accessed by members, any place, any time on any web-enabled device. It is an accredited course, you do not need a contract, there is no risk involved and it is easy to sign up.

“Furthermore, it assists you to change the business events industry, and allows you to testify on your academy experience and opportunities in the industry.”

The academy offers members the option to complete all or some of the more than 50 courses.

Should you, for example, need exposure to maths, the academy course on budgets and financial reports would be ideal. To solve work conflict, the conflict resolution course with modules to improve your abilities in the work environment would be

well-suited. To learn to motivate employees, just click on the employee motivation course for instant knowledge. To find out what type of leader you are, just complete the leadership skills, leadership and influence course to assess your skills. The same goes for tourism management.

The SAACI Academy is a skills base, available at members’ fingertips – use it to your advantage.

For more information contact Prisca Lete on
011 880 5883 or e-mail

Calendar of Events

▶58th ICCA Congress

27 – 30 October 2019
Houston, USA

▶IBTM World

19 – 21 November 2019
Barcelona, Spain

▶ Meetings Africa

25 – 26 February 2020
Sandton Convention Centre

SAACI Events

▶ Western Cape branch year-end event

30 October

Cape Town International Convention Center

▶ KZN Branch event
Halloween/Scary Tales of the Industry

31 October 2019
Station 43, Morningside/Berea, Durban

▶ Eastern Cape Branch event
Horror Stories

31 October 2019
The Cave, Port Elizabeth Army Base (Algoa Bay)

▶ Johannesburg Branch year-end event

22 November 2019
CedarWoods of Sandton
120 Western Service Road, Woodmead, Sandton, South Africa