27th International Tourist Guide Day Celebrations at Robben Island Museum

In celebration of International Tourist Guide Day, commemorated annually on 21 February since 1990, Robben Island Museum in partnership with the Department of Tourism will host a two-day celebration at Robben Island Museum from Thursday, 02 March 2017 to Friday, 03 March 2017. The purpose of the event is to celebrate and discuss the role tourist guides play in promoting peace, security and mutual understanding in relation to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).This initiative is coordinated by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations under the leadership of the newly elected President, South African wine specialist, Alushca Ritchie.

According to Statistics South Africa’s December 2016 report on the tourism sector*, the industry created 32 186 new jobs in 2015, raising the tourism workforce from 679 560 individuals in 2014 to a total of 711 746 individuals. This is despite a decline in international tourists visiting our shores in 2015. Currently, one in 22 employed people in South Africa work in the tourism industry, representing 45% of the total workforce. In fact, tourism surpasses mining as an employer.

“A tour guide can either make or break your tour experience. Tour guides have the ability to share knowledge, history and humour tourists while guiding them through their escapades. It’s more than just storytelling; they essentially play a significant role as ambassadors of the organisation,” shares Infrastructure and Facilities Executive Manager of Robben Island Museum, Gershon Manana.

Under this year’s theme by the Department of Tourism: Peace and Development through Guiding; peace, sustainability and security will form part of the robust discussions. Minister of Tourism, Mr Derek Hanekom and Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa will deliver keynote addresses emphasising the valuable contribution of tour guides to the tourism sector.

“Hosting the 27th year of International Tourist Guide Day is significant for us because we’re celebrating 20 years as a museum this year. We are excited to be paying homage to these dedicated men and women who are true ambassadors of world heritage sites,” concludes Manana.

Robben Island Museum offers educational and specialised tours. The guides include former political prisoners who are fully conversant and knowledgeable about the Island’s multi-layered 500 year old history. To find out more about the tours and the guides, visit http://www.robben-island.org.za/tours#tourtypes.

For more information about Robben Island Museum, please visit: www.robben-island.org.za or contact: infow@robben-island.org.za/ +27 (0)21 413 4200. Join Robben Island Museum on their social media platforms and share your island experience: Facebook(Robben Island Museum – An agency of the Department of Arts & Culture)| Twitter (@robben_island).

*http://www.statssa.gov.za/?cat=36

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For media queries, please contact:

Morongoa Ramaboa

083 465 5118

morongoa@reputationmatters.co.za

OR

Bongiwe Nzeku

082 603 9393

bongiwen@robben-island.org.za

More information about Robben Island Museum

Robben Island Museum (RIM) is a public entity responsible for managing, maintaining, presenting, developing and marketing Robben Island as a national estate and World Heritage Site. It was established by the Department of Arts and Culture in 1997.

RIM implements a wide range of conservation, educational, tourist development, research, archiving and general heritage programmes that are designed to achieve its mandate; conserve the Island’s natural and cultural resources and heritage; and promote it as a platform for critical debate and life-long learning.

RIM is also responsible for managing and maintaining the assets of the Island. These include the Maximum and Medium Security Prison Complexes, Robert Sobukwe’s House, the Curio and Village Shops, the Village Precinct and associated recreational facilities, the Helipad and runway on the Island, World War 2 memorials, power generation and water processing plants, Jetty 1 and the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront, the Mayibuye Archives, the three (3) ferries that transport people to the Island and the fleet of buses used by tourists on the Island.

 

Educational excursions top of mind at Cape Town NGO

Learners from Mustadafin Foundation’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres in Cape Town, enjoyed their first outing for 2017 yesterday (22 February 2017) at Bugz Playpark in Kraaifontein. It was a fun-filled and educational day for the 367 ECD learners, aged between two and six years old, as they learned about all the different animals. The Foundation’s four ECD Centres located in Delft, Khayelitsha (Site B and S-Section) and Manenberg went on the day trip.

“The beautiful summer day was perfect to spend outdoors with the children. Educational activities that allowed the youngsters to learn about different animals such as sheep, rabbits and ducks took place throughout the day. Most importantly, they were taught how to look after the environment,” says Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem, Director at Mustadafin Foundation.

“Most of the children come from disadvantaged areas in the Cape Town region; we endeavour to teach them in a fun environment and run different excursions throughout the year. The outing was our first one for 2017 and the children thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air, while learning about different animals and how to care for them. Breakfast and lunch were provided to keep the children’s energy levels high,” concludes Johnstone-Cassiem.

For more information about the Foundation and how you can donate or volunteer, please visit www.mustadafin.org.za or contact 021-633-0010. Mustadafin Foundation is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/MustadafinFoundation.

Advancing industry knowledge at Landfill 2017

The KwaZulu-Natal Landfill & Waste Treatment Interest Group (LaWTIG), a subsidiary of the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), is proud to host the biennial seminar on waste treatment and disposal by Landfill. The seminar, which will take place for the first time on an operational landfill site, the Buffelsdraai Landfill Site [pictured above], is set to take place from Wednesday, 18 to Friday, 20 October 2017. It is dedicated to capacity building and sharing valuable knowledge on technology and practices that will ultimately improve landfilling and address the risks that it poses to the environment and human health.

In South Africa, landfill is still the most widely used waste disposal option country-wide. The National Waste Information Baseline Report*, a recent study conducted in 2012, indicates that South Africa generated approximately 108 million tonnes of waste in 2011; of which 98 million tonnes were disposed of at landfills. Our reliance on landfill has come at a cost. The remaining air space at each landfill site in South Africa is fast approaching capacity, and so is the available space to extend landfill sites while complying with stringent waste legislation.

Two of the most common environmental factors associated with landfill sites, that have in the past led to unsettled views of the public, are undoubtedly methane emission and groundwater pollution from landfill leachate. Methane is an important greenhouse gas because it has 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide and has been responsible for approximately 20 percent of the Earth’s warming since pre-industrial times**. Leachate is made up of toxic components coming from household solvents, industrial chemicals and organic agents. Water percolates from the surface through the landfill layers to combine with these toxic components and as a result, acidic leachate is formed. When the lining of a landfill fails, it has the potential to contaminate groundwater. The effects arising from these circumstances can be avoided by good landfill design and practice. This is the core mission of LaWTIG; protect the environment of southern Africa and its people against the adverse effects of poor waste management.

“In light of these abrogating factors, as a country, we have still not implemented a solution that can completely substitute landfill as an alternative option. We have to explore the science and technology that can contribute to enhancing the practice and offsetting the negative environmental effects,” mentions Jan Palm, President of the IWMSA.

‘Leachate and gas management’ is one of the many themes to be covered during the Landfill 2017 seminar. Other themes include ‘design, construction and operation in challenging environments’, ‘landfill barrier design and performance’, ‘South African legislation pertaining to the practice’, ‘sustainable concepts for landfill disposal of municipal and hazardous waste’, ‘waste mechanics’, ‘remediation’ and ‘alternative technologies’.

Technology and equipment play a paramount role in the efficiency of landfilling. Incorrect equipment, such as front-end loaders, have been used in the past instead of proper landfill compactors and this resulted in the equipment sinking into the landfill; using the correct equipment is crucial. At Vlakfontein landfill site in Gauteng, new barrier technology has been applied to the design which prevents hazardous compounds contaminating the subsurface environment. The barrier comprises a 1.2 meter deep multilayered solution of compacted clay, high-density polyethylene, stone and geotextiles. This technology has resulted in the landfill site being the first to comply with standards prescribed by the Waste Classification and Management regulations for Class A containment barriers, and is the first high-hazard landfill site to be developed locally in 20 years***.

“The upcoming seminar will host a number of well-renowned industry bodies who will contribute to a forum where a high standard of technology transfer may be experienced. For the first time, the event will be held at the fully operational landfill site of Buffelsdraai, Verulam, eThekwini. This will present the opportunity for landfill equipment suppliers to demonstrate their products in action,” mentions Palm.

IWMSA and LaWTIG invite all industry bodies and individuals to participate in the event by submitting their papers before Saturday, 25 March 2017. Papers can include a detailed case study related to landfill, discussion of practical experience, research, completed unpublished research, literature reviews, administrative initiatives and regulations. Successful papers will be selected following evaluation by a panel of industry experts.

“The seminar is a step in the right direction in terms of waste management in South Africa. Until an alternative to landfill is found, it is up to us as industry leaders to ensure landfilling is supported by the best science, technology, practices and personnel,” concludes Palm.

For more information about Landfill 2017 and how to submit a paper visit www.iwmsa.co.za. You can also follow IWMSA on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA).

*Department of Environmental Affairs (2012). National Waste Information Baseline Report. Department of Environmental Affairs. Pretoria, South Africa.

**Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, Andrew P. Allen, David Bastviken, Ralf Conrad, Cristian Gudasz, Annick St-Pierre, Nguyen Thanh-Duc and Paul A. del Giorgio (2014). Methane fluxes show consistent temperature dependence across microbial to ecosystem scales, Nature, (507), 7493, 488-491.

***Engineering News (2016). Vlakfontein landfill first to meet South Africa’s tough new hazardous-waste requirement.

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For media queries, please contact:

Nadia Nel

Mobile Number: 082 417 5991

nadia@reputationmatters.co.za

 

Love overcomes all: 18 couples married on Robben Island

[CAPTION]: “I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.” Eighteen couples who could not afford a wedding were whisked away with their families for a fairy-tale celebration on Robben Island on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and romance, but what if a couple is financially unable to host a beautiful wedding of their dreams. Seventeen such couples, who would have tied the knot in an office at the Department of Home Affairs, were instead married in a beautiful mass-wedding ceremony on Robben Island on Tuesday, 14 February 2017. One other couple had the opportunity to renew their vows. In its 16th year, the Robben Island Museum and Department of Home Affairs partnership saw incredible reviews on social media across the world.

“Today marked a beautiful milestone for both us and the couples as they embarked on a new journey together, whilst we celebrate 20 successful years as a museum” says the Infrastructure and Facilities Executive Manager of Robben Island Museum, Gershon Manana. “We are proud to be sharing this moment with ordinary South Africans and to further strengthen our ties with the Department of Home Affairs,” Manana concludes.

Dressed to the nines, the couples caught the 08:45 ferry at the Nelson Mandela Gateway to be on time for their 10:00 matrimonial ceremony. Once the couples had exchanged their nuptials, they enjoyed their first lunch as husband and wife and toasted to new beginnings! The reception was held at The Robben Island Guest House. While couples took their wedding photos on the beach, attendees were serenaded by Nur Abrahams, who also made the couples’ first dance one to remember as he performed a romantic ballad. The newly-weds and their families returned to the mainland at 17:00, ready for the journey that lies ahead.

“Having played a significant role in the lives of 36 individuals, we are more confident in our efficient service offering,” says the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba. “Strong, healthy marriages are the foundation of healthy families and a healthy society. Our marriage officers were there to ensure that couples had all the necessary requirements/documents in place; now we wish them all the best for life ahead.”

Robben Island Museum is grateful for the generous sponsors who helped to make this day a success: Pick n Pay, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages and African Equations.

For more information about Robben Island Museum, please visit: www.robben-island.org.za or contact: infow@robben-island.org.za / +27 (0)21 413 4200. Join Robben Island Museum on their social media platforms: Facebook (Robben Island Museum – An agency of the Department of Arts & Culture) | Twitter (@robben_island).

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For media queries, please contact:

Morongoa Ramaboa

083 465 5118

morongoa@reputationmatters.co.za

OR

Nomonde Ndlangisa

076 297 4406

nomonden@robben-island.org.za

More information about Robben Island Museum

Robben Island Museum (RIM) is a public entity responsible for managing, maintaining, presenting, developing and marketing Robben Island as a national estate and World Heritage Site. It was established by the Department of Arts and Culture in 1997.

RIM implements a wide range of conservation, educational, tourist development, research, archiving and general heritage programmes that are designed to achieve its mandate; conserve the Island’s natural and cultural resources and heritage; and promote it as a platform for critical debate and life-long learning.

RIM is also responsible for managing and maintaining the assets of the Island. These include the Maximum and Medium Security Prison Complexes, Robert Sobukwe’s House, the Curio and Village Shops, the Village Precinct and associated recreational facilities, the Helipad and runway on the Island, World War 2 memorials, power generation and water processing plants, Jetty 1 and the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront, the Mayibuye Archives, the three (3) ferries that transport people to the Island and the fleet of buses used by tourists on the Island.

 

20 couples to say ‘I do’ on Robben Island on Valentine’s Day

Instead of saying “I do” in an office at Home Affairs, 20 couples from less fortunate backgrounds will be whisked off to Robben Island on Valentine’s Day to experience their special day on the unique setting of Robben Island. This is the result of a 16-year-long partnership between Robben Island Museum and the Department of Home Affairs. The couples will share the ceremony on Robben Island with their families.

This Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2017, couples who would not normally be able to afford their own wedding will have their dream wedding as they enjoy a beautiful wedding on Robben Island. “To commemorate our 20th Anniversary this year as Robben Island Museum, we are celebrating 16 years of hosting mass weddings in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs on the island,” shares the Senior Manager (Marketing & Tourism) at Robben Island Museum, Nomonde Ndlangisa.

The Minister of the Department of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, says that they are proud to be a part of this initiative because of the significant role marriage plays within communities and in building strong families. “As the Department of Home Affairs, we congratulate and wish the couples well on this new journey. Our authorised marriage officers will be dispatched to the island on the day to make this a happy experience for the couples and to also ensure that the marriages are officiated in accordance to our mandatory *requirements,” Gigaba adds. Participating couples have been chosen by the Department based on their diversity and interesting romantic stories.

The couples will arrive at the Nelson Mandela Gateway to catch the 08:00 ferry. The ceremony will take place from 09:00 at the Robben Island Chapel. Once the couples have exchanged their nuptials, they will enjoy their first lunch as husband and wife while enjoying the spectacular Cape Town vista view from Robben Island. The area will also be an opportunity for the couples to take their wedding photos on the beach and to capture the iconic and other scenic areas on the island. Guests and the newlyweds will be serenaded by popular crooner and heartthrob Nur Abrahams at the reception. The couples will return to Cape Town at 17:00.

“Love is in the air and we really can’t wait to make these couples’ dreams come true. This also wouldn’t have been possible without our generous sponsors who have joined forces to make this day a success: Pick n Pay, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages and African Equations,” concludes Ndlangisa.

For media queries or to RSVP, please contact me, Morongoa Ramaboa, directly on morongoa@reputationmatters.co.za | 011 317 3861 | 083 465 5118. For more information about the weddings, please contact Bongiwe Nzeku (Marketing & Tourism Manager) on bongiwen@robben-island.org.za | 021 413 4200.

For more information about Robben Island Museum, please visit: www.robben-island.org.za or contact: infow@robben-island.org.za / +27 (0)21 413 4200.

* http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/civic-services/marriage-certificates

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For media queries, please contact:

Morongoa Ramaboa

083 465 5118

morongoa@reputationmatters.co.za | www.reputationmatters.co.za

OR

Nomonde Ndlangisa

076 297 4406

nomonden@robben-island.org.za

More information about Robben Island Museum

Robben Island Museum (RIM) is a public entity responsible for managing, maintaining, presenting, developing and marketing Robben Island as a national estate and World Heritage Site. It was established by the Department of Arts and Culture in 1997.

RIM implements a wide range of conservation, educational, tourist development, research, archiving and general heritage programmes that are designed to achieve its mandate; conserve the Island’s natural and cultural resources and heritage; and promote it as a platform for critical debate and life-long learning.

RIM is also responsible for managing and maintaining the assets of the Island. These include the Maximum and Medium Security Prison Complexes, Robert Sobukwe’s House, the Curio and Village Shops, the Village Precinct and associated recreational facilities, the Helipad and runway on the Island, World War 2 memorials, power generation and water processing plants, Jetty 1 and the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront, the Mayibuye Archives, the three (3) ferries that transport people to the Island and the fleet of buses used by tourists on the Island.

 

Back to school: Educare Centre in Philippi saved and transformed

 

 

 

 

 

[CAPTION] Structurally unsound and unfit for providing education [left], the Nolufefe Educare Centre needed to be shut down. However, thanks to the Rotary Club of Claremont’s Injongo Project, made possible by the generous support from the Lewis Group, the school has been transformed [right] into a safe and secure place for pre-school learners as they start the 2017 school-year with zest. [Photo credit: David Grant]

In October 2016, the Nolufefe Educare Centre in Philippi was declared structurally unsafe. The 89 children had to be moved temporarily to another premises, as the centre did not meet the government’s minimum health and safety requirements.

“If it had not been for the Injongo Project, the school would have been permanently closed,” says Pumeza Mahobe, project manager for Injongo Project. “Now they have a new school and the teachers are so happy to be teaching here,” she continues with a smile.

“The first 1000 days of a child’s life is incredibly important in their development,” says Ian Robertson, President of the Rotary Club of Claremont. “We are thrilled that this overhaul means that 110 learners in the Philippi area are already enrolled to receive proper pre-school education at Nolufefe as the new school year starts. Due to the skilled professionals that form part of the Rotary and the Injongo Project, we were able to refurbish the school in less than four months,” adds Robertson.

It is not just about structural restoration. A key priority for the Injongo Project is to ensure that the teachers receive proper skills-training as part of a holistic approach to improving early childhood development (ECD). “We are very grateful for the joint-funding alliance with the Lewis Group. The Injongo Project has invested more than R 1.4 million into Nolufefe to make sure that the children are educated in a safe environment,” says Robertson.

 “This school has been beautifully transformed, like a caterpillar into a butterfly,” says Johan Enslin, CEO of Lewis Group. “We are so proud to have been part of this great project and contributing positively to the local community’s educational needs. We thank our partner, the Rotary Club of Claremont, for their dedication and commitment to the success of this project.”

The educare centre is the 13th one to be physically upgraded and the 48th one to benefit from the Injongo Project, bringing the total amount invested to R 13.5 million: it is the biggest project of its kind in South Africa.

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit http://claremontrotary.co.za/.

For more information on Lewis Group, please visit http://www.lewisgroup.co.za/.

Sea Harvest intends to list on the JSE

 

Sea Harvest Group (“Sea Harvest” or “the Group”) has today, 8 February 2017, confirmed its plan to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) by the end of March 2017. The group has enjoyed tremendous success over the past few years and is well positioned for organic and acquisitive growth.

Sea Harvest, a vertically integrated seafood company established in 1964 with operations in South Africa and Australia and with market-leading FMCG brands and species in the local and international seafood market, is excited to announce the next phase of its growth story: a potential listing on the JSE by the end of March 2017.

With ambitions set on becoming a diversified global seafood business, listing on the JSE as an institutional offering is the natural next step for one of the largest black-owned fishing companies in South Africa. “Listing will allow the Group ongoing access to national and international equity capital, enabling the company to continue investing in its people, vessels, factories and markets in order to enhance margins in an attractive international seafood market,” explains Felix Ratheb, Sea Harvest’s Chief Executive Officer and Non-Executive Director of Mareterram, an Australian vertically integrated agri-business listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The proceeds from the listing of up to R1.5 billion will be used to repay all debt and further invest in the Group. Ratheb adds that through the capital raise, Sea Harvest will be well-positioned to pursue further acquisitions in the South African fishing industry supported by its strong Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment credentials, as well as support Mareterram’s growth ambitions of becoming a diversified agri-business in Australia.

The Group has demonstrated strong growth in the last five years with revenue growing at a CAGR of 15% and EBITDA growing at a CAGR of 22%. In this period EBITDA margins expanded to c.19%. In the financial year ended 31 December 2016, 59% of the Group’s revenues were generated in hard currencies, with Europe and Australia being the Group’s largest international markets. “This solid performance could not have been achieved without investment in assets, a new and energised management team, supportive shareholders and a dedicated workforce. Sea Harvest is well-poised for further organic and acquisitive growth as the demand for wild-caught sustainable seafood increases globally and supply remains stable,” says Muhammad Brey, Sea Harvest’s Chief Investment Officer.

The Group has invested over R300 million in the past three years in vessel acquisitions and factory upgrades to enhance margins and create a world-class asset base. In addition, the company invested close to R250 million in acquiring 56% of Mareterram in order to fortify its ability to earn foreign currency and diversify its earnings base and use Mareterram as a platform for future growth in Australia.

Listing the business on the JSE will be another milestone in Sea Harvest’s 53-year journey and will see the formation of a truly black-owned industrial fishing company. “We look forward to our continued commitment to transformation in the fishing industry where, after listing, Brimstone will remain the majority shareholder of Sea Harvest. The listing will allow us to continue building a sustainable black-owned fishing company that will generate a return for all its shareholders and be a true asset to the South African economy,” states Fred Robertson, Brimstone’s Executive Chairman and Non-Executive Chairman of Sea Harvest.

The listing will enable Sea Harvest to fulfil its potential for the benefit of all its stakeholders, inter alia, shareholders, who include the majority of its employees; business partners; customers; consumers and the local communities in and around which it operates. The future is bright as the organisation gears for further growth, margin enhancement, acquisitions and investments both nationally and internationally, enabling it to achieve its vision of becoming a leading and responsible diversified global fishing business.

For more information about Sea Harvest, visit www.seaharvest.co.za.

Stay safe ahead of the world’s largest timed cycling event

[CAPTION] The Cape Town Cycle Tour, the largest timed cycling event in the world, will be taking place in Cape Town on Sunday, 12 March 2017. This year the event celebrates its 40th birthday, with 35 000 cyclists participating. It is around the corner and the number of cyclists on Cape Town’s roads are on the increase; Rotary Club of Claremont reminds all cyclists to stay safe this Tour season. Pictured above is the start of the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour (photo credit: Cindy Taylor – CTCTT).

Preparations for the Cape Town Cycle Tour (CTCT) are in full swing. As the organisation of the 109 kilometre event start falling into place, safety is a key focus area for the organisers and all concerned.

“More and more cyclists are taking to the road at this time of year,” says Ian Robertson, President of the Rotary Club of Claremont. Motorists are urged to take care and keep a watchful eye out: if an accident occurs, the cyclist will always come second. In the same breath, cyclists should not be reckless either. “Remember the basics: keep to the side of the road, ride in single file and remember to wear a helmet and reflective clothing. Take special care around the bends and on the inclines here in our beautiful Cape Town,” advises Robertson.

The Rotary Club of Claremont has been involved with the organisation of CTCT for 34 years. Besides taking care of the participants, they make sure that the funds are used for worthy causes. For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit http://claremontrotary.co.za/.