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Best of South africa vol 4


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Best of South Africa showcasing tourism, business and lifestyle

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Best of South africa vol 4

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  3. 3. Best of South Africa Publisher Paul Robinson Sales Director Giá Bischofberger General Manager Graham Cooper Editor Jassy Mackenzie Sales Team Allana Smith, Cherlagne van Wyk, Emma Nyschens, Steve Evans and Katya Pappalardo Creative Direction Peter Batistich, Printing Paarl Print ISBN # 978-0-620-39819-0 Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in The Best of South Africa Vol. 4. Neither Best of South Africa nor O2O Media cc take any responsibility for errors or omissions. All rights reserved: No part of this publication shall be reproduced, copied, transmitted, adapted or modified in any form or by any means. This publication shall not be stored in whole or in part in any form in any retrieval system. Contact details: 91 Studio Park, 5 Concourse Crescent, Lonehill 2062 Tel: 0861 SABEST / +27 11 705 2097 • Fax: +27 11 705 2098 • Cell: +27 83 861 8829 E-mail: Website: Regional Head Offices Bangalore • Brussels • Cairo • Casablanca • Copenhagen • Dubai • Johannesburg • London • Santiago • Singapore • Sydney • Washington DC Welcome to Volume Four of ‘Best of South Africa’ “Best of South Africa” is a celebration of the crème that our country has to offer, a tangible reminder and visual celebration of what makes South Africa great, a country people truly fall in love with - locals and international visitors alike. In spite of the world economic downturn, South Africa remains resilient showing continued growth. Our sincere thanks must go to the wonderful participants showcased in our fourth edition; representing the “Best of” in their respective fields. We profile these individuals, companies and organizations with much pride and celebrate their success which in turn helps us all to promote and showcase South Africa to our dedicated partners and clients across the world and at home. The continued growth and sustainability of South Africa is largely thanks to the patriotic nature in all our blood, which enjoys an unbreakable optimism ensuring this nation succeeds against any odds. We are extremely proud to play a part in promoting our country and will continue to do so. Success is a Choice!
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  6. 6. Best of South Africa ChapterS Best of South Africa Mall Destinations Chapter6 126-141 Luxury Lifestyles Fashion Chapter7 142-155 Chapter4 Décor, Design and Interiors Chapter8 156-175102-109 Arts and Culture Dining and Nightlife Chapter5 110-125 Travel, Tours and Leisure Chapter3 92-101 Chapter2 80-91 Hotels, Lodges and Resorts Chapter1 57-79
  7. 7. Best of South Africa Logistics and Supply Chain Property and Real Estate Chapter15 266-279 Chapter14 Building and Architecture Chapter13 240-253 254-265 Conferencing, Exhibitions and Marketing Chapter12 226-239 Corporate Profiles Finance and Investment Chapter11 218-225 Chapter10 Health Care, Beauty and Wellness Chapter9 176-193 194-217 Setting up in South Africa Chapter16 280-289
  8. 8. Best of South Africa South African Overview South Africa is best described as a world in one country. Its breathtaking scenery includes soaring mountains and stark deserts, golden beaches and vast game reserves where the Big Five roam in natural bushveld. South Africa is a rewarding destination for the tourist and business traveler alike. It is a land of opportunity and promise! Today different cultures and races live in harmony, weaving a colourful tapestry in the busy urban streets and quiet rural landscapes. It offers the visitor world- class infrastructure, transport and accommodation, a hot and sunny climate, a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, as well as the famous warmth of our South African welcome.
  9. 9. Best of South Africa Capital city Pretoria (official); Bloemfontein (judicial) and Cape Town (legislative). Area 1, 219, 090 km² Government Constitutional multi-party, three-tier (local, provincial, national) democracy. Government consists of national, provincial and local spheres. The powers of the legislature, executive and courts are separate. Population 44,8 million Time Zone GMT +2 hours Official languages Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Religion Almost 80% of South Africa’s population is Christian. Other religious groups include Hindus, Muslims and Jews. A minority of South Africa’s population regard themselves as traditionalists or of no specific religious affiliation. Currency Rand (R). 100 cents equals one Rand. Coins come in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5, and notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200. Country Dialing Code +27 People South Africa’s people classify themselves as follows: • 79% - Black • 9.6% - White • 8.9% - Coloured • 2.5% - Indian / Asian The population consists of the following groups: • Nguni (the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Swazi) • Sotho-Tswana (including the Southern, Northern and Western Sotho [Tswana]) • Tsonga • Venda • Afrikaners • English-speakers • Coloureds • Indians • Immigrants from the rest of Africa, Europe and Asia • Some members of the Khoi and the San. Public transport South Africa’s transport infrastructure – airlines, railroads, roads, luxury touring buses (coaches) and motorcars (driven on the left hand side of the road) – is such that tourists can travel comfortably and quickly from their port of entry to any part of the country. A number of international airlines, including South African Airways, operate regular scheduled flights to and from South Africa. Several domestic airlines operate in the country. There are also mainline trains to all parts of South Africa. Cars are readily available for hire at the airports – this is the option preferred by visitors, as it is the only flexible form of transport. South Africa also offers conventional metered taxis
  10. 10. Best of South Africa SouthAfricanOverview Telecommunications South Africa boasts a well-developed communications infrastructure, with extensive landline phone networks and four mobile phone service providers with far- reaching coverage. Mobile phones can be rented from the airport. Public telephones are either coin- or card-operated. Internet cafés can be found in even the smallest towns, and the postal service offers the usual letter and parcel services as well as secure mail, freight and courier services. Embassies Most countries are represented in South Africa by embassies. Please refer to the telephone directory or Yellow Pages for up- to-date details. Medical facilities Medical facilities in cities and larger towns are world-class but, in rural areas, the clinics and hospitals deal with primary health needs and therefore do not offer the range of medical care provided by the large metropolitan hospitals. Trained medical caregivers are deployed round the country, so help is never far away. Internet An estimated 5.1 million South Africans had access to the Internet by the end of 2006. Today, Internet access is a standard feature at most hotels and many shopping centres, Internet cafes can be found in even the smallest town, and with the mobile service providers also offering wireless internet facilities, people can now go online in the most remote locations. Postal Services The South African Post Office offers a but, apart from those that can be hired from the airports, these must generally be summonsed by telephone. Accommodation The tourist accommodation industry in South Africa provides a wide spectrum, from formal hotels to informal holiday flats and cottages, game lodges and reserves, guesthouses, youth hostels and bed-and-breakfast establishments. Climate Although South Africa’s climate varies considerably across its various regions and environments, temperatures remain comfortable throughout the year. Climate can be described as mostly semi-arid, subtropical along the east coast, with sunny days and cool nights. Average temperatures in ºC Summer Winter Cape Town 20 12.6 Durban 24 17 Johannesburg 21.5 11.1 Pretoria 23.4 12.9 Banks and foreign exchange South Africa’s financial institutions are world-class, with no shortage of banks, bureau de change and automatic tellers. The banks generally open from 9am to 3.30pm Mondays through Fridays, and 8.30am to 11am on Saturdays. Banks at the airports adjust their hours to accommodate international flights. Credit cards and cash All major credit cards can be used in South Africa. In some small towns, you may need to use cash.
  11. 11. Best of South Africa variety of facilities from letter and parcel delivery to post box rental as well as an overnight courier service. The privately owned company Postnet offers a host of services, from internet to courier services, as well as the photocopying and binding of documents and a packaging, postage and courier service. The Media Radio The airwaves are abuzz in South Africa. Radio, which plays a large role in the media industry is flourishing. South Africa’s independent public broadcaster, the SABC, has a national radio network comprising 15 stations broadcasting in 11 languages, which collectively reach an average daily adult audience of 19 million. A number of private radio stations have also been granted licences. These radio stations cater for a wide variety of languages, cultures and niche markets. Television South Africa has by far the largest television audience in Africa, with more than four million licensed television households. The SABC’s national television network comprises three full-spectrum free-to-air channels and one satellite pay-TV channel aimed at audiences in Africa. Combined, the free-to-air sound broadcasting stations broadcast in 11 languages and reach a daily adult audience of almost 18 million. M-Net became South Africa’s first private subscription television service when it launched in 1986. Today, it broadcasts its array of general entertainment and niche channels to more than 1.3 million subscribers in more than 50 countries across the African continent and Indian Ocean islands. In October 1998, the country’s first privately owned free-to-air television channel, e-tv started operations. MultiChoice Africa was the first African company on the continent to offer digital satellite broadcasting. Operations include subscriber-management services and digital satellite television platforms broadcasting 55 video and 48 audio channels, 24-hours a day. Print South Africa has always had a courageous and opinionated press, and the country’s turbulent history has contributed to the formation of a surprisingly news-hungry society. The country has 20 daily and 13 weekly newspapers, most in English. About 14.5-million South Africans buy the urban dailies, while community newspapers have a circulation of 5.5-million. There is also a range of general and specialised news websites. The magazine industry is fiercely competitive, with new titles appearing constantly. South Africa’s constitution safeguards freedom of the media, freedom to receive or impart information or ideas, freedom of artistic creativity, academic freedom and freedom of scientific research. Reporters Without Borders ranks the country’s press as the 26th most free in the world, ahead of the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, Spain and Australia. South Africa’s press is the freest in Africa, and more free than any press in South America, Asia, the Middle East and Australasia. Doing Business in South Africa The South African economy remains on a high economic growth range, emphasising the economic turnaround that has been
  12. 12. Best of South Africa10 achieved over the past 10 years. It remains in good health despite the global slowdown in consumer spending, with the latest Nedbank capital expenditure report showing that 80 new investments, to the value of R336.1- billion, were announced for the first half of 2008. These include a massive expansion project by Eskom, South Africa’s electricity provider, as well as 64 new private sector projects, mostly in the finance and real estate sector and the manufacturing sector. Tourism South Africa’s scenic beauty, sunny climate, cultural diversity and reputation for delivering value for money have made it one of the world’s fastest growing leisure and business travel destinations. Tourism in South Africa has emerged as a leading economic growth sector. It is now one of the largest contributors to GDP, and offers significant employment and enterprise development opportunities. International travel to South Africa has boomed in the last decade. In 1994, the year of South Africa’s first democratic elections, only 3.9 million foreign visitors arrived in the country. By 2004, the numbers of international arrivals had rocketed to 6.7 million. In 2007 a total of 9.07 million foreigners visited South Africa. This 8.3% increase over 2006 meant that the country broke its annual tourist arrivals record for the third year running. South Africa’s conference industry has moved up to 31st place in the International Congress and Convention Association’s latest top 40 list of leading destinations in the world, released in May 2007. The country offers more than 1,000 world-class business and conference venues of varying sizes. The business tourism industry generates billions of rand in turnover, and has created hundreds of thousands of jobs. World Heritage Sites South Africa boasts seven World Heritage sites including Robben Island, the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, uKhahlamba- Drakensberg Park, Mapungubwe, Sterkfontein Cradle of Humankind, the Cape Floral Kingdom and the Vredefort Dome. Sport South Africans have more than made their mark in international sport. The country’s most recent achievements include winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and being the sixth-highest medal-winning nation at the Beijing Paralympics. South Africa has hosted a number of international sporting events since 1994. The most recent events include the Women’s World Cup of Golf from 2005 to 2008, the Women’s World Cup of Cricket 2005, the Paralympic Swimming Championships from 2005 to 2008, and the World Twenty20 Championships in 2007. The biggest event on the horizon is the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010, which is expected to attract some 400,000 visitors to South Africa, and is the first Soccer World Cup to be held in Africa. Arts and Culture The Department of Arts and Culture is the custodian of South Africa’s diverse cultural, artistic and linguistic heritage. It is directly responsible for several public entities including museums, art galleries, the National Archives and six playhouses. The National Arts Festival, held annually in July in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, is one of the largest and most diverse arts gatherings
  13. 13. Best of South Africa 11 in Africa. Other major festivals are held in Oudtshoorn, Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Potchefstroom and Bloemfontein. South African theatre is internationally acclaimed, and many locally produced shows have travelled overseas to high acclaim. Johannesburg’s celebrated Market Theatre has built its reputation on local content productions. There is a growing trend towards the establishment of smaller theatres. South Africa has the most developed music recording industry on the continent, and has been home to some of the industry’s most memorable voices. The country is the 25th- largest market for recorded music, with local music accounting for a third of all the music bought by South Africans. Classical music is becoming ever more popular in South Africa, with philharmonic orchestras established in the major cities. There are a number of training and upliftment programmes in place to make classical music available to previously disadvantaged people, and the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra has undertaken an extensive programme to develop all aspects of youth music. South Africa has a range of art galleries showcasing collections of indigenous, historical and contemporary works. The crafts industry employs more than 1.2 million people, with products being widely exported. The film and video sector generates around R518 million a year. South Africa offers foreign producers world-class film facilitation, logistics, facilities, talent and administration management services. South Africa has a rich literary heritage, with two Nobel prizewinners for literature - Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee. Not surprisingly, South Africans are great readers, and there are excellent libraries in almost every city and town, as well as on many of the country’s university campuses. More than 300 of the approximately 1,000 museums in Africa can be found in South Africa, ensuring the preservation of artifacts and collections that are important to all South Africans. National Anthem The national anthem is a combined version of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa) and Die Stem (The Call of South Africa). National Flag The new South African flag first flew on 10 May 1994, the day Nelson Mandela became president. It is a powerful symbol of unity and progress, and is famous for being the only six-coloured national flag in the world. National Symbols • National animal: Springbok • National bird: Blue Crane • National fish: Galjoen • National flower: King Protea • National tree: Real Yellowwood Minerals and Mining South Africa’s mineral wealth is staggering. Some of the country’s most important minerals are: • Gold - the unique Witwatersrand Basin yields some 96% of South Africa’s gold output • Diamonds - the country is among the world’s top producers • Titanium - heavy mineral sand occurrences containing titanium minerals are found along the coasts • Manganese - enormous reserves of manganese are found in the sedimentary rocks of the Transvaal Supergroup • Platinum-group metals (PGMs) and chrome - more than half of the world’s reserves occur in the Bushveld Complex in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West • Vast coal and anthracite beds occur in the Karoo Basin in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu- Natal and Limpopo • Copper phosphate, titanium, iron, vermiculite and zirconium are found in the Phalaborwa Igneous Complex in Limpopo Environment South Africa has taken several concrete steps to implement the United Nations’ Agenda 21 on sustainable development. This includes reforming environmental policies, ratifying international agreements, and participating in many global and regional sustainable development initiatives. South Africa enjoys the third-highest level of biodiversity in the world. Some remarkable aspects of the abundance of life in this country include: • Over 3,700 endemic marine species • Some 18,000 vascular plant species, 80% of which occur nowhere else • More plant species exist in the Cape Peninsula National Park than in the whole of the British Isles • South Africa has 5.8% of the world’s mammal species, 8% of bird species and 4.6% of reptile species • In terms of the mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian species, South Africa is the 24th richest country in the world and the fifth richest in Africa • One third of the world’s succulent species are found in South Africa • South Africa is ranked first in the world for its floral kingdom. The Cape Floral Kingdom, a World Heritage site, boasts the highest recorded species diversity for any similar-sized temperate or tropical region in the world Statistics and information in this article courtesy of:
  14. 14. Best of South Africa12 The 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa and the South African government are satisfied that all preparations for the tournament are on track to deliver on the country’s promise to host the best FIFA World Cup ever. 2010 FIFA World Cup presents a golden opportunity to showcase Africa to the world, to illustrate that the African Renaissance is upon us and Africa’s time has come. The South African government is totally committed to host a tournament that will astound billions around the world. OC Chief Executive Danny Jordaan confirmed, “We are running within time and within budget and we are confident that the event will be a success. There is a shared vision and commitment by all South Africans that this World Cup must work”. “As a collective, we have to say to the world that we are confident of our abilities to host a successful World Cup. We are calling on South Africans in their thousands to support their host cities’ events and to fly the flag for their country. After all, this is your World Cup!” South Africa has become a massive SA more than ready for 2010 “What I have seen, assurances and guarantees that I have been given makes me a happy man today, and I am convinced that SA will organise a great world cup.” Sepp Blatter – FIFA president 15 September 2008, Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille, Western Cape Premier Lynn Brown, Former South African President FW De Klerk, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, and FIFA Ambassador Tokyo Sexwale and CEO of the LOC Dr. Danny Jordaan thank the builders at the stadium. Sepp Blatter visits Greenpoint Stadium, 2010 FIFA World Cup, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa. 2010WorldCupSoccer ©Pic:ChrisRicco/Backpagepix
  15. 15. Best of South Africa 13 construction site as stadiums are nearing completion, road and rail infrastructure is being developed, airports upgraded and cities renewed. These developments are enforced by the need for the government to accelerate service delivery and to create world-class infrastructure not only for the many visitors expected in 2010, but also for the long-term benefit of all South Africans. Hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup is the biggest single project undertaken by the government since independence and their commitment is clearly illustrated in their allocation of R9 billion for transport and supporting infrastructure and a further R8,4 billion for stadiums construction and upgrades. The 2010 FIFA World Cup is also about building the country in ways that go beyond merely improving infrastructure. To this end, the government’s 2010-related activities also include sports development, volunteer training, youth training and arts and culture activities to assist South Africans to be excellent 2010 hosts. Africa’s time has come! Africa is ready!
  16. 16. Best of South Africa14 Solutions for better mobility in Gauteng’s cities and towns Only a combination of solutions can be successful
  17. 17. Best of South Africa 15 Gautrain is a form of public transport that is integrated with taxis, trains, planes and busses. Public transport comprises any transport system in which passengers do not travel in their own vehicles - in other words, any system that transports members of the general public. Public transport has several benefits: • costs less to the community, • needs less urban space, • is less energy-intensive, • pollutes less, • is the safest mode, • improves accessibility to jobs, and • offers mobility for all. Public transport also offers many solutions to daily commuters faced with traffic congestion and the high cost of maintaining a private car. Problem: Traffic congestion causes a loss in productivity and high petrol consumption Traffic congestion is increasingly eroding our quality of life. Congestion costs the country at least R1 billion per year in lost time, accidents and medical expenses. Solution: Public transport costs less to the community Commuters who rely on public transport are shielded against constant increases in the petrol price. As a transport mode, Gautrain will not be affected by fluctuations in the petrol price. An independent Cost Benefit Analysis specialist also indicated that: • Gautrain will save 585 000 vehicle km per day.
  18. 18. Best of South Africa16 • Total accident cost savings will be R475 million p.a. • Gautrain will save R3 845 million per year in vehicle operating costs by the year 2030 (2003 Rand values). • Gautrain will save R7 114 million p.a. in time costs for passengers travelling between Johannesburg and Tshwane by 2030 (2003 Rand value). Problem: Not everybody has access to transport The Department of Transport is working to improve and expand infrastructure and, through subsidies, to reduce the costs of public transport. By the end of October 2006, the Minister of Transport, Mr Jeff Radebe, announced that the 2010 Transport Action Agenda had been developed and that the World Cup Public Transport Infrastructure and Systems Fund had allocated the first round of funding to municipalities.
  19. 19. Best of South Africa 17 Government has set aside R3,8 billion for public transport infrastructure for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. These funds are meant to leverage other funds available to develop public-transport infrastructure. The following allocations were approved: • R1,6 billion for capital-expenditure projects for 2010 • R200 million for intelligent transport systems • R700 million for new and improved bus and taxi infrastructure • R144 million for new intermodal interchanges and facilities An additional R5 billion a year is needed to address the decline in service levels and to implement government’s transport strategy to achieve a sustainable rapid mass public- transport system over the next 10 to 15 years. Gautrain is an integrated transport solution consisting of train and bus feeder services to transport passengers up to 15 kilometres from stations. Utilising smart cards, Gautrain passengers will use just one ticket for parking, the train trip and busses. Commuters using their cars can park safely at the stations with ample parking being constructed. As a public transport mode, Gautrain will provide fast, safe and reliable access to transport. Solution: Integrated public transport enables commuters to use a combination of busses, trains and taxis to reach their destinations Problem: More people rely on cars for transport in metropolitan cities Cities are becoming more populated than ever before. Relying on private cars as the major form of transport, traffic congestion is spiralling out of control. National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) figures showed that a total of 56 341 new vehicles were sold in March 2006, up 29,1% from March 2005. As a result of the record sales, Naamsa revised its growth projections for 2006 from 10% to between 15% and 20%. There are 300 000 cars in the Johannesburg-Tshwane traffic corridors per day. It will increase by 7% per year. In Johannesburg alone, there are 3.2- million people. Solution: Cities become welcoming and dynamic when freed from congestion It is estimated that Gautrain will reduce the traffic congestion between Johannesburg and Tshwane by 20%. Access to integrated public transport will provide the only sustainable solution as more people want to live in the city. Gautrain brings global solutions in public transport to Gauteng.
  20. 20. Best of South Africa18 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu is a hero to South Africans, and a man whose name is well-loved and respected around the world. He is credited with coining the famous term “rainbow nation”, which has become a catchphrase for the multicultural diversity of South Africa’s people. SouthAfricanIcon PaulinoMenezes/WorldCouncilofChurches
  21. 21. Best of South Africa 19 Tutu was born in Klerksdorp in 1931. His father was a teacher, his mother a domestic worker, and he was raised in an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding where, he says, he “never learned to hate”. After studying at St. Peters Theological College in Johannesburg, he was ordained as an Anglican parish priest in 1961, and spent the next few years in England, obtaining a Bachelor of Divinity and a Masters in Theology at Kings College, London. He returned to South Africa to teach theology and serve as a chaplain at the University of Fort Hare. He lectured at the University of Botswana in Lesotho, and traveled to London again to serve as an assistant director for the World Council of Churches. In 1975, Tutu was appointed the Dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg. In 1976 he was consecrated Bishop of Lesotho, and in 1978 he was appointed as the first black general secretary of the South African Council of Churches. In 1984, Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of “the courage and heroism shown by South Africans in their use of peaceful methods in the struggle against apartheid.” In 1985, Tutu became Johannesburg’s first black Anglican bishop, and in 1986 the first black archbishop of Cape Town. He was elected as president of the All Africa Conference of Churches in 1987, and a year later, was made chancellor of the University of the Western Cape. Today, Tutu holds over 100 honorary doctorates from universities around the world. He was awarded the International Gandhi Peace Prize on 31 January 2007 by the government of India. This prize is considered to be India’s highest international honour. Former South African president Nelson Mandela says of Tutu, “Sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid and seldom without humour, Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless.”
  22. 22. Best of South Africa20 Paralympians One of the things about the Paralympics is that they seem to embody sport at its purest. There is a sense of community about the participants that transcends the normal competitiveness. It seems almost boastful to gloat over the 30 medals – 21 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze – Team South Africa won at the Beijing Paralympic Games. And yet, there isn’t a medal in that haul that was not received with pride, and a remarkable sense of achievement. South Africa placed 6th on the medal table, just behind Australia, but it’s the countries lower on the table which make that placing so significant, showing what can be done when resources are used imaginatively and efficiently: Canada placed 7th, Russia 8th, Germany and France 11th and 12th, with Japan placing 17th. Those are all resource-rich countries, with structures to allow their disabled people to achieve greatness in all spheres. Natalie du Toit smiles as she stands on the podium with her gold medal after finishing first in the 100m Butterfly S9 final race and setting a new world record during Day 1 of the Swimming Finals at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games held in Beijing, China. Photo by Getty Images / Gallo Images And yet, Team South Africa took what they had been given and turned it into something quite remarkable. The performances by two people who are amongst the biggest names in sports in the world underline how good the team is. Natalie du Toit and Oscar Pistorius won 8 gold medals between them, which was enough for a small-sized country to place. The golden pair would have placed South Africa 16th on the medal table on their own. But, it was the unfamiliar names among the medal winners which gave birth to a new set of heroes for the South African public to admire: Chief among them was Hilton Langenhoven, who won 3 gold’s to match the feat of Pistorius. Langenhoven, who is partially sighted, set a world record in the pentathlon, a Paralympic record in the long jump, and a season’s best in the 200m on his way to his trio of medals, which made for perhaps the best achievement of the games. Then there was Philippa Johnson: In Hong Kong, away from the support of the rest of the team, won 2 gold’s in the equestrian individual championship test, as well as the individual freestyle test. There was also Fanie van der Merwe, who won gold in the 100m and 200m in the T34 category for cerebral palsied athletes. He cramped up over the final 10m of the 200m, but held on and held off the opposition to set a new world record. All these performances were punctuated by acts of heroism, great and small: There
  23. 23. Best of South Africa 21 was the extraordinary tie in Shireen Sapiro’s 100m backstroke, when she set a world record together with a swimmer from New Zealand; there was Ernst van Dyk’s 4th in his hand cycling time trial, followed by his glittering gold in the road race; as well as Charl Bouwer’s ever so elegant world record in the 400m freestyle which promised so much more; Once again Fanie Lombard, winning his 11th and 12th Paralympic medals at the age of 39; there was also Tadhg Slattery’s bronze in his 100m breaststroke. And, then there was Natalie. There were other Paralympians who won five gold medals, but not for the second Paralympics in a row. And they’re unlikely to do it for a third time. But Natalie probably will. Further Information: Philippa Johnson of Republic of South Africa with horse Benedict competes in the Paralympic Equestrian Individual Freestyle Test - Grade IV event at Hong Kong Olympic Equestrian Venue in Hong Kong, China. Photo by Getty Images / Gallo Images Hilton Langenhoven of South Africa wins Gold in the 200m T12 Athletics event at the National Stadium during day 10 of the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games held in Beijing, China. Photo by Getty / Gallo Images Gold Medallist Oscar Pistotius during the Paralympic Medallist Sponsor Tour held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo by Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images
  24. 24. Best of South Africa22 South African Women of the Year Ms Janet Buckland - Shoprite Checkers/ SABC 2 Woman of the Year 2008 South Africa’s premier accolade for achievement by women went to Ms Janet Buckland who was named the Shoprite Checkers/SABC2 Woman of the Year 2008, at a dazzling event in celebration of the women of South Africa, held in Cape Town on 31 July 2008. Ms Buckland has been responsible for the initiation and creation of a significant number of very successful arts and culture projects in the Eastern Cape. She combined her understanding of the value of the arts and particularly theatre in the lives of all South Africans with her skills as a performer, director, fund raiser and administrator to direct these projects over a number of years in the province. The most notable project is UBOM! the Eastern Cape Drama Company, which was the first full time professional drama company in the province. Since its start almost six years ago Ubom! has reached audiences totaling more than 178 000. It has also provided 36 full time contracts for actors to work in the Eastern Cape. Ms Buckland is raising the funds to sustain it. While illustrating three very unique South African women, we at Best of South Africa would like to acknowledge and warmly congratulate all the nominees and winners of this prestigious award as we celebrate your success, now and in the future.
  25. 25. Best of South Africa 23 Ms Connie Mbowane - Former recipient of the Shoprite Checkers/SABC 2 Woman of the Year Award - 2003 Connie Mbowane, a Sebokeng teacher who also won in the education category, has selflessly dedicated 35 years of her life to teaching and has been principal of the Montsusi primary school in Sebokeng since 1980. The school is located in a poverty-stricken area, where most of the parents are unemployed, as well as catering to street children and orphans. Through the years, she has continuously hosted up to three schools in her single building by juggling the hours that learners and teachers from the different institutions could spend there. Taking care of up to 500 hungry children each day in a single school building, Connie mobilised the unemployed men and women in the community to establish a vegetable garden, as part of her Botho ke Botle (Humanity is Beauty) plan, today it not only feeds the children, but also yields financial returns for the school and the community. She has excelled in looking after her school and the broader community’s interests. Not long ago, she orchestrated the building of a bridge over the road in Ms Thabang Molefi - Shoprite Checkers/ SABC 2 Woman of the Year 2008 - Business Entrepreneurs Category Ms Thabang Molefi is qualified as an Ethno medical practitioner and beauty therapist who with the little savings she had at the time opened the first health spa in Soweto in 2002. Today she owns the Roots Healthcare Centre business with a multi-million turnover and branches in three South African provinces and a neighbouring country. Her pioneering health centres introduced affordable health care to black communities through the use of the different but effective technique of iridology for diagnosis and herbs as prescribed medicine. It also offers a beauty and detoxing service for the first time in these areas, all contributing to a healthy and a “feel good about yourself”- lifestyle in previously disadvantaged communities. Since the success of her first centre she has grown her business considerably to establish another seven health care centres in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and a mobile unit visiting communities in rural and remote areas in the rest of the country. She has created 41 jobs for women in these communities and developed some to managerial positions to run the health centres. Ms Molefi has also outsourced services such as accounting, laundry and security to local business. It is her intention to branch out into franchising creating more business and job opportunities. front of her school for the children and parents to pass over – a near miracle in her cash-strapped community. On top of this, she secured work on the construction of the bridge for 14 of her community’s jobless, unskilled workers through the Department of Labour. Connie has also raised funds to set up a borehole on her school grounds to better irrigate the vegetable gardens and she has started talks with the education department to acquire more ground in the area to augment the food project. Here, she has put her HIV/AIDS training to good use by encouraging sufferers to work in the garden and grow healthy food to improve their diet. Since winning the Award, and with her well-known motto “you have to keep on keeping on”, Connie has become a sought-after motivational speaker in the private and public sectors and has received accolades from the Department of Education for her good work recognised through the Award. As from March 2007, Connie has been appointed as the CEO of the Professional Educators Union’s National Offices. She says it will give her more exposure and “a chance to touch more people. I will still be attached to Montsusi Primary School projects.”
  26. 26. Best of South Africa24 Robben Island This bleak, cold and windy island, just five hundred hectares in size and 11 kilometres away from Table Bay harbour, has a history as dark and stormy as the ocean surrounding it. Famous today for being the place where former South African president Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for over 20 years as a political prisoner, the island was discovered by European sailors in 1488 when Bartolomeu Dias reached Cape Town’s Table Tourism PhotocourtesySATourism Bay. The name “Robben Island” derives from the Dutch words “Robbe Eiland”, meaning seal island. Birds, seals and penguins were its only inhabitants, and as a result sailors regularly plundered the shores for fresh seal meat and penguin eggs. For centuries, Robben Island did not even have its own fresh water supply – in the 1960s a water pipeline was finally installed from Cape Town. Its inhospitable environment and isolation led to it being used at various times from the 17th century onwards as a prison,
  27. 27. Best of South Africa 25 a military base, a quarantine station, a home for the mentally ill, and from 1836 to 1931, a leper colony. It was a place where society’s outcasts were banished. The island was also used as a refreshment station for passing ships to stock up on fresh produce. However, the treacherous seas and rocky reefs surrounding it meant that many ships met their end here, most notably a Dutch ship in the 1600’s carrying a cargo of gold coins worth tens of millions of rand today. Occasionally a coin washes up on shore, but the bulk of the cargo is still lost at sea, effectively guarded by the crashing surf and lethally sharp rocks. The 18-metre tall lighthouse, whose flashing light can be seen up to 25 kilometres away, warns passing vessels of this peril.
  28. 28. Best of South Africa26 Many of the buildings and other features that can be seen on the island today date back to World War II, when the island was fortified and bunkers and big guns installed there as part of Cape Town’s defences. In 1959 Robben Island became a maximum-security prison, and during the next thirty years, over 3,000 men were imprisoned there. The prison eventually became an informal “university behind bars” with prisoners tutoring themselves as well as their warders. The old apartheid regime originally intended to silence political prisoners by incarcerating them here, but this had the opposite effect, and the island became a focal point for international resistance to the apartheid regime. In 1991 the remaining political prisoners were released, in 1996 the common-law prisoners were transferred away, and in 1997 the prison became a museum, to be named a World Heritage site two years later. Today, thanks to the indomitable spirit of Nelson Mandela and others, the island has come to symbolise the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, and the power of forgiveness. Other famous prisoners include former activist and poet Dennis Brutus, Amos Masondo, Mosiuoa Lekota, Govan Mbeki, the father of former President Thabo Mbeki; Joe Seremane, Robert Sobukwe, Tokyo Sexwale, ANC struggle hero Walter Sisulu; as well as Jacob Zuma. Tours to Robben Island take place PhotocourtesySATourism
  29. 29. Best of South Africa 27 For more information go to E-mail: throughout the day, weather permitting. Visitors depart by ferry from the Clocktower, Nelson Mandela Gateway, at the VA Waterfront. The three and a half hour tour includes the trip across Table Bay, and a 45-minute guided bus tour across the island where visitors can view the beautiful Muslim shrine or kramat, where Muslim political prisoners would pay homage before leaving the island. Other highlights include the leper graveyard, a church designed by Sir Herbert Baker, the island’s small village, and the old quarries. Wildlife can be spotted along the shipwreck-strewn coast. The final stop is the maximum-security prison where Nelson Mandela’s old cell can be viewed. The tour guides are all former political prisoners, who were once inmates of Robben Island themselves. PhotocourtesySATourismPhotocourtesySATourism
  30. 30. Best of South Africa28 Table Mountain Since the first person laid eyes on Table Mountain, it has exerted its powerful and charismatic pull, enchanting and drawing any and all that fall under its spell. The flat top of the mountain is often covered by clouds or mist spilling over the top to form the “table cloth” appearance. Over 16 million people have taken the trip to the top of Table Mountain since the cableway was commissioned 75 years ago. It has since become a landmark of both Cape Town and of South Africa itself. Situated at the south-western tip of Africa, the Table Mountain National Park encompasses the incredibly scenic Table Mountain chain stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south and the seas and coastline of the peninsula. The narrow finger of land with its beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the warmer waters of False Bay and has within its boundaries two world-renowned landmarks - majestic Table Mountain and the legendary Cape of Good Hope. The Park is recognised globally for its extraordinarily rich, diverse and unique fauna and flora - with rugged cliffs, steep slopes and sandy flats - is a truly remarkable natural, scenic, historical, cultural and recreational asset both locally and internationally. Nowhere else in the Tourism
  31. 31. Best of South Africa 29 world does an area of such spectacular beauty and such rich bio-diversity exist almost entirely within a metropolitan area - the thriving and cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. The main feature of Table Mountain is a level plateau approximately three kilometres from side to side, surrounded by steep cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil’s Peak to the east and by Lion’s Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town and its Table Bay harbour, and together with Signal Hill form the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl. The main vegetation of the mountain is the unique and rich Cape fynbos, which forms part of the Cape Floral Region protected areas. These protected areas are a World Heritage Site, and an estimated 2,200 species of plants are found on the mountain alone. Amongst these species are many kinds of proteas. Remnant patches of indigenous forest persist in a few of the wetter ravines but not on the more exposed face above the city, where conditions are too dry and harsh for forests. The mountain has also suffered serious invasions of alien plants for well over a century, with perhaps the worst invader being the cluster pine. Considerable efforts have been made to eliminate these alien plants. The most common animal on the mountain is the dassie, or rock hyrax. They especially cluster around the upper cable station, near areas where tourists may discard or supply food. There are also porcupines, mongooses, snakes and tortoises found here. The cablecar takes passengers from the lower cable station on Tafelberg Road to the plateau at the top of the mountain. The upper cable station offers views overlooking Cape Town, Table Bay and Robben Island to the north, and the Atlantic seaboard to the west and south. Hiking on Table Mountain is popular amongst locals and tourists alike, and a number of trails of varying difficulty are available. Because of the steep cliffs around the summit, direct ascents from the city side are limited. Platteklip Gorge, a prominent gorge up the centre of the main table, is a popular and straightforward direct ascent to the summit. A must for any first time visitor to the Mother City.
  32. 32. Best of South Africa30 Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site Welcome to Maropeng and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Maropeng means “returning to the place of origin” in Setswana, the main indigenous language in this area of South Africa. As you approach the entrance of the Visitors Centre you will discover many interesting facts about our past illustrated on rocks. Ask a guide about this display area as the original fossils on display change regularly. The development of Maropeng was based on the theme of discovery and this is echoed firmly through the exhibition itself - from the beginnings of the world, through the history of humankind, right into the future. Tours of the famous Sterkfontein Caves at Maropeng, which start above ground and then take visitors deep into the caves, run every half hour, seven days a week. Within the caves, scientists have discovered many hominid and other animal fossils, dating back more than four million years, to the birth of humanity. The most important and most famous of these fossils are “Mrs Ples”, a 2.1-million-year-old Australopithecus skull, and “Little Foot”, an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton that is more than 3-million years old. The 24-bed Maropeng Hotel, with breathtaking views of the Witwatersberg and Magaliesberg ranges, is the epitome of luxury. Opened in mid-2006, the boutique hotel is a five-minute walk from Maropeng. The Maropeng Hotel is ideal for a romantic getaway, for executives seeking a convenient conference venue with accommodation not too far out of town, for local visitors wanting a short escape to refresh their souls, or for international tourists wanting to see some of the best tourist attractions South Africa has to offer. Tel: +27 14 577 9000 The Cradle of Humankind is an easy drive of about an hour from Johannesburg or Pretoria. Our ancestors have lived in this area for more than three million years. By visiting us, you are coming to the birthplace of humanity. Welcome home! The Maropeng Visitor Centre is an exciting, world-class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years. Early humans and their ancestors came to the Maropeng area to use the local rocks for tool-making as they pursued a hunter- gatherer way of life. The technology of these tools suggests they were made sometime between 1.0 and 0.5 million years ago during the Earlier Stone Age, prior to the appearance of modern Homo sapiens. Tourism
  33. 33. 6339 Take a piece of Amex with you.Take a piece of Amex with you. Phone 08600 FOREX or visit any one of our over 50 branches nationwide. Getting more for your money – in any money – is what the best total deal is all about. 3-Time ASATA Award Winning Service will help you avoid extra charges and hidden costs. That way, wherever you are and however you pay, you can get a little extra. Anextraday An extra purchase Maybeevenchange
  34. 34. Best of South Africa32 South African Wildlife South Africa has a rich and varied abundance of wildlife. It is one of the country’s greatest natural resources, and one of the main reasons why millions of overseas visitors travel to this country each year.
  35. 35. Best of South Africa 33 The sight of a solitary elephant enjoying an evening mud bath, or a pride of lions feasting on their kill, is a thrilling and unforgettable experience. While most visitors hope to view the famous Big Five - lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros and leopard, South Africa’s bushveld is home to over 300 species of mammals, 850 species of birds, over 100 types of reptiles and a multitude of insects. Herds of antelope have always been a quintessential part of the South African landscape. The animals range in size from the tiny duiker to the large kudu, and vary in looks from the big-headed, bovine-looking wildebeest to the superbly handsome sable antelope. A wealth of other wildlife prevails in all shapes and sizes, from the tall giraffe to the gorgeously appealing little bushbabies and vervet monkeys. Meerkats, famous for their habit of standing tall on their hind legs, are among the cutest animals that a visitor is likely to spot in the bush, and the ant-eating aardvark and the termite-eating aardwolf are also fascinating. South Africa has an amazing variety of bird life, many of which are resident or migrant birds from other parts of Africa, Asia, the Arctic and Antarctic, and Europe. The country’s waters are home to a wide variety of freshwater and saltwater fish, and in the oceans the biggest mammal in the world can be seen - the blue whale. Today, South Africa contains more than 20 national parks spread throughout the country, and almost as many regional parks and private game reserves. The two biggest are the famous Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga, covering almost 2 million hectares, and the Kgalagdi Transfrontier Park on the Botswana border in the Northern Cape, which covers more than three and a half million hectares in total. The Big Five can be viewed in both these reserves, as well as in the Pilanesberg and Madikwe Reserves in the North West Province, the Hluhluwe Umfolozi National Park in KwaZulu-Natal, and many other smaller parks and private game reserves. Established in 1898, the Kruger National Park is the flagship of South African parks. The diversity of the animal life it contains, as well as the environmental management policies that protect the animals, are unmatched elsewhere in the country. It boasts very high numbers of the Big Five, 34 species of amphibians, 114 reptiles, 147 mammals and over 500 species of bird, including the “Big 6” of the bird world - saddle-billed stork, kori bustard, martial eagle, lappet-faced vulture, Pel’s fishing-owl and ground hornbill. In the Kruger National Park, the rare wild dog can also be seen. These are one of the most endangered mammals in Africa. They roam over vast territories, with a single pack requiring several hundred square kilometres in order to survive. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park features sparse vegetation and a high concentration of animals in the dry riverbeds of the Auob and Nossob Rivers. It is an outstanding area for mammal viewing, and visitors have an excellent chance of
  36. 36. Best of South Africa34 seeing predators including the leopard, brown and spotted hyena, black-maned lion and cheetah. The beautiful blue crane, South Africa’s national bird, occurs almost exclusively in this country. It can be viewed in a number of game reserves including the Agulhas National Park, on the southernmost tip of Africa in the Western Cape, where the distinctively black-feathered and red-beaked African black oystercatcher can also be seen. In Swellendam, Western Cape, the Bontebok National Park is named after the richly coloured bontebok, one of South Africa’s most attractive species of antelope. This animal has a deep purple-red coat with an iridescent sheen, a white blaze on the face, a white tail and angular horns. The Tsitsikamma National Park in the Eastern Cape - the “place of much water” - is an area of impressive natural beauty, and one of the largest marine protected areas in the world. The humpback dolphin, bottle nose dolphin, Risso dolphin, pygmy sperm whale, humpbacked whale and killer whale live in these waters, with the southern right whale breeding in the area. The most famous reserve in the Eastern Cape is the Addo Elephant Park. Home to more than 450 elephants, some of the most spectacular elephant viewing in the world can be enjoyed here. The reserve has a rich diversity of other wildlife including the “Big 7” - the Big Five plus whales and great white sharks. The Mountain Zebra National Park west of Cradock in the Eastern Cape is a sanctuary for the endangered Cape Mountain zebra. These zebras are distinguished by their orange facial colouration, and they have narrower stripes than the more common Burchell’s zebra found on the plains. The park also contains the uniquely beautiful caracal. One of the heaviest and fastest of the small cats, the caracal’s characteristically long, black, tufted ears makes it easy to spot. Namaqualand’s landscape explodes in a riot of colour each year as the wild flowers endemic to this region bloom in springtime.
  37. 37. Best of South Africa 35 crocodile, the second largest species of crocodile in the world. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park on the Zululand coast, previously known as the St. Lucia Wetland Park, is a World Heritage Site that contains an amazing variety of habitats from forests and mangroves to beaches and coral reefs. Here, an unrivalled diversity of plants, birds and animals abound. A special attraction of this park is the leatherback and loggerhead turtles that nest on the beaches at night during summer. In the waters, the Nile crocodile and the hippopotamus occur in large numbers. The massive Ukhahlamba Drakensberg National Park, another World Heritage Site, protects many endemic and globally The Namaqua National Park contains the richest bulb flora of any arid region worldwide. It is also the home of the world’s smallest tortoise, the Namaqua Speckled Padloper, which measures 8 to 10 cm in length when fully grown. This park is also a good place to spot the klipspringer. This miniature antelope, reaching just 60 cm at the shoulder, is easy to recognise by its thick, distinctively patterned “salt and pepper” coat. It is ideally adapted to its surroundings, and moves about as easily as a mountain goat on the tips of its rounded hooves, allowing it to negotiate the rockiest terrain with ease. In the Maluti Mountains of the North- Eastern Free State, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park is named for the brilliant shades of gold that occur when the sun shines on the park’s sandstone cliffs. In this typical highlands habitat, the black wildebeest, eland, blesbok, oribi, springbok and Burchell’s zebra thrive. The park is a haven for birders. Here, two rare species, the bearded vulture and the southern bald ibis, breed in the ledges of the cliffs. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal is the oldest game park in Africa and the only national park in KwaZulu-Natal where all the Big Five occur. It became famous for its white rhino conservation, and today, both black and white rhino can be found here. The wealth of species in this park includes the Nile
  38. 38. Best of South Africa36
  39. 39. Best of South Africa 37 threatened species. Its spectacular peaks, caves, grasslands and gorges contain leopard, black-backed jackal, caracal, serval, clawless and spotted neck otter, as well as troops of chacma baboons and colonies of rock hyrax. Over 300 species of birds live in this area including the wattled crane, orange breasted rockjumper and yellow breasted pipit. The best times for game viewing are at dusk and dawn when the animals and birds are most active. It is often easier to see the animals during the winter months, when the grass is low and the vegetation loses its leaves. In almost all of South Africa except the Southern Cape area, winters are dry, so the animals have to visit the watering holes to drink, as there is no other water in the area. Many of the reserves have hides near the watering holes for this purpose. Although wildlife is traditionally viewed from the comfort of a vehicle, in some game reserves, notably the Kruger National Park, it is possible to take guided walking trails, as well as game viewing safaris on horseback being offered at various reserves. For further Information:
  40. 40. Best of South Africa38 Past, Present and Future With a diversity of influences from its multicultural roots, South African music today is a melting pot of rhythms and sounds that has seen many talented artists rise to local and international fame. SouthAfricanMusic OurWorldPoster
  41. 41. Best of South Africa 39 During the Dutch colonial era of the 1600s, indigenous tribesmen and slaves created their own version of Western musical instruments and rhythms. The Khoi-Khoi people developed the ramkie, a guitar with three or four strings, and the mamokhorong, a single-string violin. Slave orchestras played to audiences, while travelling musicians entertained at big functions. These travelling minstrel shows continued through the centuries, and this tradition is still seen at the great carnival held annually in Cape Town. Missionaries played an important part in the early development of South African music. Composers like John Knox Bokwe wrote hymns that had their musical roots in traditional Xhosa harmonies. In 1897, Enoch Sontonga, who was a teacher at the time, composed the hymn Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika - God Bless Africa. This song was later adopted by the liberation movement and became the national anthem for the new democratic South Africa. Gospel music has been a bestseller in South Africa ever since the original gospel sounds evolved into the isicathamiya musical genre, where choir music was combined with traditional vocals and harmonies. One of the earliest hits was “Mbube” a song by Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds that sold over 100,000 copies in South Africa during the 1940s. This adaptation of a traditional Zulu melody has been reworked many times, most famously as “Wimoweh” by Pete Seeger, HughMasekela
  42. 42. Best of South Africa40 Lira2from5sm
  43. 43. Best of South Africa 41 and the classic favourite, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. In the 1960s Joseph Shabalala’s sweet soprano voice propelled isicathamiya group Ladysmith Black Mambazo to fame, with their first album achieving the first ever gold status by a black artist. The urbanisation of black South Africans into mining centres led to the development of new musical forms. Marabi was a keyboard music with a blues flavour, usually played on pedal organs. It was used to draw people into the illegal shebeens and keep them dancing all night. This underground music was frowned upon by the authorities and seldom recorded, but its lilting melodies influenced the bigger South African dance bands of this era. These bands produced the first generation of professional black musicians in South Africa - the Jazz Maniacs, the Merry Blackbirds and the Jazz Revellers. This marabi-swing style developed over the years into early mbaqanga, a South African form of jazz which has had a huge influence on music in this country. One of the most famous forms of popular music during the early years of apartheid was the pennywhistle or “kwela”. This simple six- holed flute was played by groups of black musicians on street corners. Its evocative notes served not only as entertainment but also as a warning tune, alerting groups of people gambling in the townships to the police presence outside their buildings. The pennywhistle’s melody has survived the decades to become a familiar and traditionally South African sound. Lemmy Mabaso, who started performing in the streets at the age of 10, became one of South Africa’s most famous pennywhistle stars. In the 1950s, the word “entertainment” became synonymous with Sophiatown, a Johannesburg township which became the epicentre of South Africa’s vibrant musical culture. Stars such as Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe, Dorothy Masuka and Letta Mbulu gained fanatical followings with their mbaqanga jazz performances. Miriam Makeba went on to have a highly successful international career. Some of the country’s most famous jazz artists were members of the Sophiatown Jazz Club. These included Dollar Brand, a brilliant musician who became known as Abdullah Ibrahim after his conversion to Islam, Kippie Moeketsi, Jonas Gwangwa and the legendary Hugh Masekela. Many of these stars subsequently left the country to develop their careers elsewhere during the increasingly repressive years of the apartheid regime. One jazz artist who remained in South Africa and became one of the country’s most innovative musicians was Philip Tabane. Sophiatown was also famous for its high numbers of wealthy, large-living gangsters. In the township’s lawless domain, the more adventurous and liberal white people mingled with the black residents, enjoying the nightlife and the exchange of cultures. In 1960 Sophiatown was razed to the ground by the white Nationalist government, and its residents moved elsewhere. But the government could not destroy the cross- cultural influences that had been formed, and which continued to inspire musicians of all races. It was kept alive by bands such as the African Jazz Pioneers during the years of severe repression, and has influenced 80s bands like Sakhile and Bayete, as well as contributing to the sounds of “world music” bands like Tananas. One of the most successful white South African bands in the 1960s was the pop group Four Jacks and a Jill, who toured widely throughout the 60s and 70s. Despite the light, mainstream music they played, they still managed to have a song banned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation, and were the target of protests by conservative South Africans who compared pop music to devil worship. The conservatives soon Freshlyground2masifunde
  44. 44. Best of South Africa42 found worse things to complain about with the advent of Freedom’s Children, an acid- rock band modelled on the Grateful Dead. After the 1976 riots, the rebellion against apartheid saw a vibrant, youthful counterculture rise, and music became an integral part of this. Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, originally a member of the band Harari, went on to become a superstar in the 80s. Punk rock bands like the Radio Rats, Corporal Punishment, Wild Youth, the Asylum Kids and Dog Detachment created new, rebellious sounds and drew huge followings. They were followed by bands like The Softees, The Aeroplanes and Bright Blue. James Phillips of Corporal Punishment also produced an album of Afrikaans songs under the name Bernoldus Niemand, influencing an entire genre of alternative Afrikaans music. Stars like The Gereformeerde Blues Band and Koos Kombuis continued this following. The Bob Marley concert celebrating Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980 saw reggae rise to prominence all over Africa. Lucky Dube, who was tragically murdered in 2007, was the first major South African reggae artist to reach superstar status, and the first black artist in this country to be played on white radio stations. His lyrics tackled a range of subjects including social problems, racial inequalities and his love for God. A new musical era dawned when Johnny Clegg, a sociologist who had done extensive research on Zulu music and dance, teamed up with Sipho Mchunu to form the group Juluka. This blend of traditional Zulu sounds with white pop and folk music was a challenge to the racial boundaries that the apartheid regime was attempting to sustain. Bands such as eVoid, Via Afrika and Mango Groove followed in his footsteps. Clegg was known overseas as “the white Zulu”. Juluka and his subsequent band Savuka both enjoyed incredible success. During the 80s, a new craze swept the townships. “Bubblegum” music was light, lively dance pop influenced by American disco and by the legacy of mbaqanga. Groups like The Soul Brothers had massive hits, and the great township dance divas like Brenda Fassie and Yvonna Chaka Chaka rose to legendary fame. Fassie was one of South Africa’s most controversial stars, and her death in 2004 was preceded by a decade of high living PrimeCircle SouthAfricanMusic
  45. 45. Best of South Africa 43 that made the lifestyle of the Rolling Stones look sober and straitlaced by comparison. In the 1990s a new genre took the music world by storm. Kwaito, dance music based on house beats but with a slower, more African rhythm, stole the hearts of young black South Africans. Stars with minimalist names like Mdu, Arthur, Chiskop, Zola, and most famously Mandoza became legends. Mandoza sings in English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa, giving him universal appeal. Groups like Bongo Maffin, Boom Shaka, TKZee and Abashante developed massive followings thanks to their high-energy performances and streetwise, visual style. Gospel continued to be popular, with Rebecca Malope one of the biggest stars. Another great gospel performer is Debrah Fraser, who sings in all South African languages. Meanwhile, bands like the Springbok Nude Girls blazed a trail towards harder, guitar-driven music with their blend of punk, reggae and metal. This band has since reformed as the Nude Girls, while former lead singer Arno Carstens is pursuing a star-studded solo career. The highly successful Christian rock group Tree formed, and was later renamed Tree 63. Today, South African music enjoys an incredible diversity of sounds. Afrikaans music is stronger than ever, with artists like Steve Hofmeyr, Kurt Darren and Nadine bringing a new fresh sound to this genre. With her unique style which combines jazz, pop and traditional music, Xhosa singer Simphiwe Dana has been hailed as “the new Miriam Makeba”. Shwi Nomtakhala is a duo that has become one of the most influential new acts on the music scene today. Other rising stars include jazz sensation Lira, and the hip-hop group Jozi. Cape Town in particular has become a birthing ground for new talent, most notably Freshlyground, winners of the MTV Artist of the Year 2006. This band exploded onto the music scene in 2002, and has seen a meteoric rise to fame. Freshlyground is made up of individuals from all cultures, who blend Afro beats, funk, dance, classical influences and jazz to produce their quintessentially South African sounds. Wonderboom is a rock band that has been on the music scene for many successful years. Their stage presence is extraordinary, and they are one of South Africa’s iconic entertainment groups. South African rock band Prime Circle was formed in December 2001. From humble beginnings in Witbank, band members Ross Learmonth, Marco Gomes, Dirk Bisschoff and Neil Breytenbach shot to fame as one of the top rock bands in South Africa. Prime Circle have performed at virtually every major festival in South Africa, including the renowned 46664 concerts. In 2006 they played alongside other iconic bands such as Metallica and Simple Plan at the Coca-Cola Colab events in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town, and in 2008 at the My Coke Fest. The Parlotones are recognised as one of the bastions of South African indie rock. Currently successful in the UK and Europe, they are poised to launch in the Far East. Syd Kitchen is a guitarist, singer, songwriter and published poet whose sounds have been an integral part of South African music since the 70s. This eclectic, free spirited artist performs at festivals and clubs throughout South Africa, and has released several albums so far. One of the most exciting new alternative bands on the scene is Seether, who started out as a group called Saron Gas, but changed their name after a massive record deal and relocation to the United States. This post-grunge, hard rock band has achieved number one status on the US charts, and has won a South African Music Award. Vusi Mahlasela is a guiding star in South African music. A writer, poet, political activist and renowned performer, he sings a hybrid of folk, world, blues and soul. His music soothes the scars of apartheid and promises a better future. Classical music has always had a following in this country, and the best- known classical band is the award-winning Soweto String Quartet, made up of three brothers and their childhood friend. As boys in the 1960s, they were taunted by the township locals for playing what were regarded as Eurocentric instruments. Today, they are famous for their beautiful music that combines classical and African sounds. We look forward to what the future of South African Music has to offer. JohnnyClegg©RealSA
  46. 46. Best of South Africa44 The Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal The Battlefields Route is not a journey, it is an enriching experience taking visitors back to a period which played an enormous part in shaping the history of South Africa. Tourism
  47. 47. Best of South Africa 45 The Battlefields The “Great Trek” commencing out of the Cape Colony into the northern and eastern areas of South Africa began in the early 1800’s, with the Voortrekkers preparing to cross waterless deserts and suffer the ravages of the tsetse fly and mosquito to find their promised land. To those who had travelled north and then east, the view of the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal from the heights of the Drakensberg was milk and honey to their eyes. However, these areas were already inhabited and resulted in many of the historic battles between the Voortrekkers, the British and the Zulus which today, maps out the official Battlefields Route where 14 historical PhotocourtesyFugitivesDriftLodgeandGuesthouse Talana museum at the battlefield where the first Anglo Boer battle took place War memorial at Spioenkop PhotocourtesyFugitivesDriftLodgeandGuesthouse
  48. 48. Best of South Africa46 PhotocourtesyIsandlwanaLodge towns, many national monuments and museums, and over 50 battlefields can be explored. Most of the battles were concentrated in an immense battleground that stretches from the Drakensburg Mountains, north to Volksrust and east to Zululand, covering plains of great natural beauty that offer much more than just famous battle sites to the visitor. It is difficult to comprehend that this scenic and now peaceful land once rang with the sounds of fierce fighting. The rugged magnificence of the terrain is dotted with reminders of its violent past, including memorials on the field of Isandlwana, where the Zulu army destroyed over 1000 British soldiers, gravestones at Fort Pearson and the monument at Spioenkop, one of the most violent battles of the Anglo- Boer War.
  49. 49. Best of South Africa 47 Rorkesdriftclouds.PhotocourtesyFugitivesDriftLodgeandGuesthouse For more information go to: For guided battlefield tours go to: and photographs that tell the story of the siege and its accompanying battles. Many monuments and well-preserved artifacts provide an ideal backdrop to an area where re-enactments of the Colonial-era wars between British troops and Zulu warriors allow visitors to experience the bloody dramas with almost frightening reality. Isandlwana Lodge overlooks historic Mount Isandlwana and some of the most spectacular scenery in Zululand. Flagship tours of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift are vividly related by resident historian Rob Gerrard, author and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. The site of the infamous Battle of Blood River between the Voortrekkers and Zulus is home to the Ncome Heritage Site, monuments and museums on both sides of the river, commemorating the Voortrekkers and the Zulus who died so courageously here. The Ncome Monument and museum complex is dedicated to the Zulu warriors, while the Blood River monument and museum on the opposite bank features a life-size replica of the Voortrekker wagon laager. The site of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift between the British and the Zulus is much unchanged, with stone walls built to shield the British troops still virtually intact. The Battle Museum tells the story of this most famous siege of the Anglo-Zulu war. The Ladysmith Siege museum contains a collection of artefacts, documents, firearms and uniforms, as well as some excellent
  50. 50. Best of South Africa48 South Africa’s Calendar of Events JANUARY Dusi Take to the waters with the legendary Hansa Powerade “Dusi” canoe marathon that runs from Camps Drift near Pietermaritzburg, through two river systems, the Umsindusi and the Umgeni, to finish three days later near Durban. JB Met Kenilworth racecourse in the Western Cape is home to the JB Met, an event where the speed and courage of the top-class thoroughbreds that gallop to the finish line, is combined with dazzling extremes of glamour and fashion. The Women’s World Cup of Golf Held at Sun City, has been proudly hosted by South Africa since its inception. This world championship tournament attracts huge audiences and offers substantial prize money. The Ironman 70.3 triathlon series Popular with athletes and great training events for the full distance events, the Spec-Savers Ironman is held in Buffalo City (East London). It includes a 1.9 km sea swim, a 90 km cycle and a 21.1 km run. FEBRUARY The Subaru Sabi Classic mountain bike race Venue for this breathtakingly beautiful event is the rolling hills of Mpumalanga, where the splendour of the scenery contrasts with the tough and unforgiving nature of the course. Halfway Telkom Midmar Mile Hailed as the world’s largest open water swimming event, the Halfway Telkom Midmar Mile is a mile-long swim held in Midmar Dam in the lush surroundings of the Natal Midlands. The event attracts a field of over 19,000 competitors. MARCH Audi Joburg Fashion Week Fashionistas will delight in this sparkling new event on the fashion calendar. Audi Joburg Fashion Week is where South Africa’s top designers showcase their winter collections. The show takes place in Sandton. The Cape Argus Pick ’n Pay Cycle Tour Individually timed cycle race attracting a field of over 35,000 cyclists from all five continents. A grueling 108- kilometre race.
  51. 51. Best of South Africa 49 APRIL Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunsfees A popular Afrikaans arts festival held in Oudsthoorn in the Karoo. The large numbers of visitors who attend each year arrive to celebrate the arts in all their glory. Two Oceans Marathon The marathon is run over a picturesque 56 km route which winds through the Cape, over Chapmans Peak, through Hout Bay and Constantia Nek. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival Attracts 32,000 music lovers from all over South Africa and abroad. It is held at the International Convention Centre. Ironman Triathlon The punishing Ironman Triathlon, held in the beautiful surrounds of Nelson Mandela Bay, includes a 3.8 km swim, a 180 km cycle and a 42.2 km run that tests the endurance of athletes to their limits. The Swazi Xtreme adventure race This offers contestants an unsurpassed adventure racing experience over Swaziland’s most grueling terrain including forests, remote gorges, abandoned mines, underground tunnels, and exhilarating mountain-bike trails. Website: MAY South African Music Awards The Sun City Superbowl is host to the South African Music Awards. Now in its 14th year, this event is the country’s premier awards ceremony for musicians, celebrating those who have excelled in the many facets of the music industry. Comrades Marathon With over 80 years of history, the Comrades Marathon is one of the world’s most famous ultra-marathons, run over an 89.3 km route through rolling countryside between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. JUNE Durban Fashion Week A vibrant international fashion platform for top South African designers to showcase their collections and for young and emerging South African design talent. JULY Vodacom July The Vodacom July is Africa’s most famous horse race. Held at Greyville racecourse in Kwazulu-Natal on the first Saturday in July each year, “July fever” grips the nation for months beforehand. Loerie Awards 2008 was the 30th Anniversary of The Loerie Awards, a celebration of creative excellence in brand communication. Durban International Film Festival The festival presents a selection of the best that cinema has to offer, from South Africa,
  52. 52. Best of South Africa50 Africa and around the world. Website: International_Film_Festival.htm Grahamstown National Arts Festival For ten glorious days, the Grahamstown National Arts Festival is held at the university town of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. Here, South African music, dance, theatre, street theatre, film, a craft fair and art exhibitions can be enjoyed. AUGUST The BMW International Played against visiting international teams, this is highlight of the South African polo calendar. The first test is played at Shongweni in Kwazulu- Natal, and the second test at Inanda in Johannesburg. Sanlam SA Fashion Week August sees two major fashion events taking place. Sanlam SA Fashion Week has a decade of successful history behind it, and offers designers, industry workers and fashion followers the most varied and glamorous programme in the country. Cape Town Fashion Week Has become a powerful champion of South African fashion and celebrates Cape Town’s long heritage as the centre of South Africa’s fashion industry. SEPTEMBER Darling Wild Flowers Show The beautiful town of Darling in the Cape has hosted a wildflower show almost every year since 1917. The Wildflower Society, organisers of the show, aim to promote the conservation of flowers in the region and display this natural wealth for visitors to enjoy. Hermanus Whale Festival The festival, the only Enviro-Arts festival in South Africa, is held annually to celebrate the return of the Southern Right whales to the waters of Walker Bay, our magnificent environment and the arrival of spring! Stellenbosch Festival The festival is dominated by classical music, but there is some light relief in the form of weekend street festivals and some deliberately whacky street theatre. If you get tired of the music, there’s always the wine to taste. Nederburg Arts Festival There’s more to culture than performance and painting. The 10-day Nederburg Arts Festival also celebrates the glorious natural environment of Knysna with various eco- CalendarofEvents
  53. 53. Best of South Africa 51 outings, demonstrations of flower arranging and floral art and, last but not least, good food and wine. Arts Alive International Festival Held at the Newtown Cultural Precinct, is just one of the projects attempting to revitalise the central part of Johannesburg. Johannesburg Biennale This somewhat controversial exhibition of cutting-edge visual arts is one of the most Afrocentric events in South Africa. It is held biennially, in uneven years, although its future is uncertain. Natal Witness Hilton Drama Festival This pleasantly sleepy town near Pietermaritzburg is a surprising place to see some of the finest drama in South Africa. The organisers scour the Standard Bank Festival and return with the very best. It’s certainly a lot less hectic than Grahamstown. Website: OCTOBER Avis South African Derby The Derby sees the elite of South Africa’s show jumping talent competing against each other at the Horse Society showground’s in Kyalami. Website: www. or Currie Cup Of all the rugby matches played in South Africa, the Currie Cup is the most sought- after trophy for local teams. The competition dates back as far as 1889, and the iconic gold trophy that is awarded to the winning team today, was first presented in 1892. Website: NOVEMBER 94.7 Highveld Cycle Challenge Sponsored by 94.7 Highveld Stereo and Pick ‘n Pay, Gauteng’s premier cycle race has been getting Joburg residents onto their bikes for more than 10 successful years. Over 30,000 cyclists take part in the race, which is 94.7 kilometres in length. Website: DECEMBER Nedbank Golf Challenge Played on the challenging Sun City course, the Nedbank Golf Challenge attracts a star- studded field of competitors from around the world. With a total prize pool of more than $4 million up for grabs, competition is always fierce. Website:
  54. 54. Best of South Africa52 The role of EXSA is to serve the exhibition and events industry in South Africa. Their core strategy is to actively grow and develop the exhibition and events industry within Southern Africa. This is achieved through promoting the unique benefits offered by exhibitions and events, and raising the profile of their members which include venues, organisers and suppliers. JANUARY MPH - Live Motoring Theatre - Johannesburg 29 January - 1 February 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg FEBRUARY Investing in African Mining – Mining Indaba 9-12 February 2009 Cape Town International Convention Centre Beeld Holiday Show - Holidaymakers Expo - Johannesburg 13-15 February 2009 Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg Homemakers Expo - Johannesburg 19-22 February 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg The Woman Fashion Show - Johannesburg 20-22 February 2009 Cape Town International Convention Centre Meetings Africa - Johannesburg 25-27 February 2009 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg Design Indaba Expo 2009 – Cape Town 27 February - 1 March 2009 Cape Town International Convention Centre MARCH Megamedia Expo - Johannesburg 4-5 March 2009 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg Hobby-X - Johannesburg 5-8 March 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg Bridal Africa - Johannesburg 7-8 March 2009 Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg Working World Extravaganza Careers Exhibition - Port Elizabeth 11-14 March 2009 Feather Market Centre, Port Elizabeth Calendar of Exhibitions The Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa, EXSA, was founded in 1980 as a non-profit organisation representing Venues, Organisers, Exhibition Designers, Stand Builders, Service Companies and Associate organisations.
  55. 55. Best of South Africa 53 Opportunities Australia Expo - Johannesburg 14-15 March 2009 Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg Hostex - Johannesburg 15-18 March 2009 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg Decorex Durban - Durban 19-22 March 2009 International Convention Centre, Durban Rand Easter Show - Johannesburg 20 March – 5 April 2009 Johannesburg Expo Centre, NASREC Homemakers Expo - Garden Route 26-29 March 2009 Outeniqua Transport Museum, George Gardenex Green Living Fair - Johannesburg 27-29 March 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg Digital Life Expo - Johannesburg 27-29 March 2009 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg APRIL International Franchise Expo 2-4 April 2009 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg The Wedding Expo - Johannesburg 4-5 April 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg Sustainability through Resource Conservation and Recycling 4-5 April 2009 Vineyard Hotel, Cape Town World Holiday Travel Fair - Johannesburg 17-19 April 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg Decorex - Cape Town 24-27 April 2009 Cape Town International Convention Centre SA Cheese Festival - Franschhoek 24-27 April 2009 Bien Donne Farm, Franschhoek MAY Megamedia Expo - Johannesburg 5-6 May 2009 Cape Town International Convention Centre Tourism Indaba 2009 - Durban 9-12 May 2009 International Convention Centre, Durban and Durban Exhibition Centre The Baby Expo - Johannesburg 14-17 May 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg Nelson Mandela Bay Business Week - Port Elizabeth 18-22 May 2009 Feather Market Centre, Port Elizabeth JUNE Financial Planning Institute Expo - Johannesburg 1-3 June 2009 Emperors Palace, Johannesburg Lab Africa - Johannesburg 2-4 June 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg KZN Industrial Technologies - Durban 2-5 June 2009 Durban Exhibition Centre, Durban SA Property Owners’ Exhibition - Durban 3-5 June 2009 International Convention Centre, Durban Pretoria Homemakers Expo - Pretoria 4-7 June 2009 Tshwane Events Centre, Pretoria Show Grounds Markex - Johannesburg 9-11 June 2009 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg Petrotex, Chemtex, Water, Pumps, Valves and Pipes Africa - Johannesburg 9-11 June 2009 Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg Gauteng Outdoor Adventure and Travel Experience - Johannesburg 15-17 June 2009 Johannesburg Expo Centre, NASREC
  56. 56. Best of South Africa54 CalendarofExhibitions Mediatech Africa - Johannesburg 16-18 June 2009 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg The Woman Show - Johannesburg 26-28 June 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg JULY Securex - Johannesburg 1-3 July 2009 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg Mine-Tech International 8-10 July 2009 Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg National Boat Show – Durban 17-19 July 2009 Wilson’s Marina, Durban Mediatech Africa - Johannesburg 23-25 July 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg Homemakers Expo - Vaal Triangle 30 July - 2 August 2009 Emerald Casino Resort, Vanderbijlpark AUGUST Hardex - Johannesburg 2-4 August 2009 Johannesburg Expo Centre, NASREC Decorex - Johannesburg 6-10 August 2009 Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg Durban International Fair - Durban 7-16 August 2009 Durban Exhibition Centre, Durban Human Resources Development Expo - Johannesburg 12-14 August 2009 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg National Boat Show - Johannesburg 14-16 August 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg International Statistical Institute Expo - Durban 16-22 August 2009 International Convention Centre, Durban and Durban Exhibition Centre Markex - Durban 18-20 August 2009 International Convention Centre, Durban Pretoria Show - Pretoria 26 August - 6 September 2009 Tshwane Events Centre, Pretoria Show Grounds The Baby Expo - Durban 28-30 August 2009 International Convention Centre, Durban SEPTEMBER Homemakers Expo - Cape Town 3-6 September 2009 Cape Town International Convention Centre Healthy Living - Johannesburg 4-6 September 2009 Fountain Court, Sandton City The Wedding Expo - Johannesburg 5-6 September 2009 The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg Eskom Small Business Expo - Johannesburg 11-13 September 2009 Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg Hardex - Johannesburg 12-14 September 2009 Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg OCTOBER Cape Town Outdoor Adventure and Travel Experience - Cape Town 2-4 October 2009 Bien Donne Farm Franschhoek National Boat Show – Durban 3-5 October 2009 Cape Town International Convention Centre Homemakers Expo - Durban 8-11 October 2009 Durban Exhibition Centre, Durban Propak Africa - Johannesburg 20–23 October 2009 Johannesburg Expo Centre, NASREC Cape Town International Fair - Cape Town 23 October - 1 November 2009 Goodhope Centre, Cape Town Manufacturing and Technology International - Johannesburg 27-30 October 2009 Johannesburg Expo Centre, NASREC NOVEMBER The Baby Expo - Cape Town 6-8 November 2009 Cape Town International Convention Centre For more information contact EXSA: Tel: +27 11 805 7272 
  57. 57. Best of South Africa 55
  58. 58. Best of South Africa56 Chapter 1 Hotels, Lodges and Resorts
  59. 59. Best of South Africa 57 JOHANNESBURG SANDTON TOWERS “In hospitality, the chief thing is goodwill.” Greek proverb
  60. 60. Best of South Africa58 InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers The hotel of choice for discerning travellers JOHANNESBURG SANDTON TOWERS
  61. 61. Best of South Africa 59 Tel: +27 11 780 5555 Email: The hotel is linked to two of South Africa’s exclusive shopping malls, Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square. It is also right next to the spectacular Sandton Convention Centre, one of the largest convention centres in the country, which can accommodate up to 10 000 delegates at any one time. Sandton is known as the economic hub of South Africa and many major corporations, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, are located here. With an international reputation for excellence, guests staying at the InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers, on either business or leisure, can enjoy accommodation in a class of its own, from the exclusive Club Floor, with its 24-hour private butler service to the penthouse suite, which offers the ultimate in luxury and elegance. The contemporary Atrium Restaurant and Bar, which received an award of Excellence from Diners Club 2006, is the only 5-star hotel in Johannesburg to qualify for this recognition, and has the celebrated Executive Chef Berno du Plessis at its helm. Superior facilities include a well appointed Fitness Centre, swimming pool set in a secluded position, amongst a magnificent cycad collection, exclusive boardroom, Business Centre, Spa at Sandton Sun and a host of superb facilities. Whether guests are drawn to timeless Africa with its unique spirit of culture, scenery and people, it is the passion of this hotel’s staff to deliver top-class service that sets it apart from other 5-star hotels, and makes this hotel, the hotel of choice for discerning travellers. 
  62. 62. Best of South Africa60 due to open in March 2009. This gem caters specifically to the demand for large groups and creates a new standard of modern, contemporary convenience and functionality. It will have a spacious ground floor reception area for large group check-ins, a business centre, boardroom, pool area and restaurant, increasing the Resort’s. The opulent Emperors Palace casino is the finest in Gauteng, and is renowned for service excellence. For the discerning player, the Jewel of the Empire is the intimate and sophisticated high limit Palace Court Privé, featuring the Salon Privé tables gaming area and the Slots Privé gaming area. Emperors Palace Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort The world of the Emperors lives on in a place where no expense or detail has been spared in the pursuit of pleasure, where the best of entertainment is brought to the people and exotic foods are prepared every day. Emperors Palace Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort, conveniently situated next to the O.R. Tambo Airport, Johannesburg, combines timeless, classical elegance and sheer excitement. The resort offers a unique experience with luxurious accommodation and relaxation facilities, a magnificent casino with unparalleled gaming enjoyment, the finest in dining and entertainment, a unique retail concourse, a children’s paradise with an indoor entertainment centre, multi-faceted conference facilities and impeccable service. The Peermont D’oreale Grande, a magnificent 5-star hotel of elegance where luxury beckons at every turn. This ultra luxurious hotel features 196 beautifully designed and impeccable appointed guest rooms and suites that are fitted with state-of-the-art facilities and surround you with the utmost elegance and regal comfort. The hotel’s comfort is not only in its furnishings, but also in the impeccable levels of service which anticipate individual needs and wishes. Emperors Palace has a further two hotels, the deluxe 3-star Peermont Mondior and existing 3-star Peermont Metcourt Laurel, and another new 3-star select services 248- key Peermont Metcourt hotel is officially
  63. 63. Best of South Africa 61 executive boardroom meeting, a trade show or a banquet, our venues, facilities and attention to personal service sets us apart. Recent Awards: • World Travel Awards 2008: Africa’s Leading Casino Resort • World Quality Gold Crown Award 2007: D’oreale Grande • PMR Diamond Award 2007: Best Executive Hotel – D’oreale Grande • PMR Diamond Award 2007: Best Casino – Emperors Palace Experience a variety of outstanding cuisine and dazzling entertainment. The superbly appointed Theatre of Marcellus hosts world- class dance extravaganzas, musicals and shows, while the Odeon Showbar offers a glittering cabaret revue as the main highlight, while comedy, jazz and screened major sporting events are also regular features. When it comes to wining and dining, Emperors Palace offers the ultimate gourmet experience and Octavia’s Sensorium is a haven where the physical, the mental and the spiritual are equally cared for. For conference and exhibition planners, there is only one place to meet. Whether it’s an For further information, please contact Emperors Palace: +27 11 928 1000 for hotel bookings contact Central Reservations on 0860 777 900 or +27 11 557 0777 email: or go to to book online.
  64. 64. Best of South Africa62 rooms, three junior suites, one Presidential suite and a paraplegic room, all featuring panoramic views over the golf course or pool terrace. Décor and furnishings are of the highest quality, and allow the elegance of the Victorian-American theming to continue right into the room, down to the very last detail. The Graceland Country Club features a Gary Player designed, 18-hole championship inland links-style golf course which features a mixture of significant elevation changes, water hazards, Graceland Hotel, Casino and Country Club Discover Graceland and experience the charm of grand old southern style Graceland, an astonishing mansion built in tribute style to the grand old age of Colonial southern America, is located in Secunda, Mpumalanga, approximately 1½ hours from Johannesburg and Pretoria. Graceland presents absolute entertainment for the whole family, conferencing, superb relaxation and recreation experiences. A visit to Graceland will certainly be a memorable experience steeped in nostalgia of the grand old age. The graceful 4-star Peermont Walmont hotel offers 62 standard rooms, 31 family
  65. 65. Best of South Africa 63 the delightful Buffalo Bill’s Showbar – reminiscent of the Wild West Saloons of old and a movie theatre. Graceland also features a convention centre with state-of-the-art facilities perfect for banquets, product launches, conferences, seminars, weddings, team- building and other special events. undulating greens, rolling fairways and strategically placed bunkering. The Augusta Lounge reflects the tradition and splendour of famour American golf clubs and the Palm Terrace Snack Bar and Halfway House overlooking the pool terrace will ensure that you enjoy the ultimate golfing experience. Wine and dine southern-style at the elegant Blue Bayou serving á la carte meals inspired by the many flavours of the world while the American Café serves a choice of light meals. Entertainment includes the spectacular Graceland Casino, For further information, please contact Graceland: +27 17 620 1000 for hotel bookings contact Central Reservations on 0860 777 900 or +27 (0)11 557 0777 email: or go to to book online.
  66. 66. Best of South Africa64 Luxury Defined - Sheraton Pretoria Hotel Pretoria – Often called the Jacaranda City after the magnificent lilac trees which line its streets – is undoubtedly one of the world’s most attractive capitals. The décor throughout is warm and inviting, featuring soft cream-coloured furnishings and rich Italian marble. All the rooms are air- conditioned and feature thoughtfully designed working areas. The Business Centre features a fully equipped office, two meeting rooms and a boardroom. Naturally, internet and e-mail facilities are available, along with secretarial services and all the equipment you’d likely need. The Well- being Center on the first floor offers professional skin and body care and has Perfectly situated with sweeping views across the lawns of the magnificent Union Buildings – seat of government in the nation’s administrative capital city – the Sheraton Pretoria is within the immediate vicinity of more than 100 embassies, as well as the Reserve Bank and most government ministries. The hotel offers 175 luxurious rooms, including 36 Club Rooms on the restricted- access sixth and seventh floors of this magnificent hotel, 13 Deluxe Rooms, 6 Diplomatic Suites and one Presidential Suite.