The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), Africa’s leading conference venue, recently held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cape Town where a new strategy for moving ahead was outlined as the challenges of the previous year were reviewed.
Against a backdrop of severe travel restrictions and regulations limiting the size of indoor gatherings, the CTICC leadership team and staff faced a challenging year in 2020/2021, and, while 2021 saw the start of the vaccine roll-out and the easing of some restrictions, the CTICC’s business was still severely curtailed. This situation called for agility and forward thinking to mitigate the financial impact of the restrictions on the CTICC.
The team fully embraced the ‘Promoting forward thinking theme for 2020/21 and also its chess motif in planning its smart and flexible moves for the future.
“Like many businesses, we were faced with uncontrollable challenges and obstacles, but we used these hardships as opportunities to trigger growth,” explains the CEO of the CTICC, Taubie Motlhabane.
She continues: “The Red Queen on the front cover of our Integrated Annual Report represents the characteristics that got us through a challenging year, these being passion, innovation and agility. Her red colour also talks back to the Red Queen Hypothesis, a theory that suggests one has to run twice as fast and work twice as hard to stay on top, which was undoubtedly the case for us in this year under review.
“Like in a chess game, every piece matters – this is why we made teamwork and community a priority in the 2020/21 financial year. To succeed, we had to act strategically, together, because every move we make impacts all of our futures.”
Annual results across the board released at the AGM were:
- Annual turnover R43m
- Annual revenue R52.1m
- R439.3m contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a cumulative contribution of R53.2bn to GDP since 2003
- R500.3m contribution to Gross Geographic Product (GGP) and a cumulative contribution of R45bn since 2003
- EBITDA loss of R93.7m (32% improvement on the target set for the financial year)
- 143,282 jobs created nationally since inception.
Future-proofing the CTICC
Based on the lessons learnt in the past financial year, the CTICC team shifted its mindset and actions to a more proactive approach and focused on shaping its future. This approach included several critical improvements to existing policies, and the implementation of new ones. The changes included:
- The upgrade of health and hygiene protocols in line with Covid-19 best practice
- The implementation of a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy
- The launch of the Covid-19 screening app that all staff and visitors to the CTICC use as part of their sign-in process
- The development of their proprietary Venue Capacity Management tool that adapts capacities of event space within the CTICC to the changing Covid-19 regulations and ensures that the correct social distancing is adhered to.
The Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, expressed his support for the CTICC and its leadership in his foreword in the CTICC 2020/21 Integrated Annual Report. He highlighted the strong partnership between the Western Cape Government and the CTICC throughout the pandemic and how it has supported the well-being of Western Cape residents.
Two ways the CTICC has supported the community started with hosting the Hospital of Hope in CTICC 1, which closed its doors on 21 August 2020, having helped 1,500 patients. This was followed by the venue hosting the Vaccination Centre of Hope, a campaign which saw over 100,000 citizens receive their vaccinations.
Alderman Dan Plato also highlighted the progressiveness of the CTICC team and its support of the community in his foreword in the CTICC 2020/21 Integrated Annual Report. “The CTICC has continued to be forward thinking and community-focused in response to these realities and has continued to maintain its triple-bottom-line commitment to people, planet and
A year of sobering and hopeful statistics
During the 2020/21 financial year, the CTICC only hosted 53 events (a decrease of 86.6% from the 2019/20 financial year), with a 98.3% drop in-person attendance rate from the 2019/20 financial year). Many of these events were hybrid, showcasing the CTICC’s ability to seamlessly integrate in-person and virtual events. Notable events include the Western Cape Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards and The Spar Challenge International Netball Tri-Nations Tournament. The centre also provided a safe environment for over 600 trainee accountants to write their exams and 600 UNISA graduates to receive their degrees.
The CTICC also reported that 88% of the total procurement spend was with B-BBEE businesses and that 44% of the entire procurement spend was composed of women-owned enterprises, up 2% from the previous financial year. Additionally, 80.7% of spend was with local providers.
The CTICC also continued its commitment to the environment and sustainability during the financial year. Energy, water and waste management continued to be of a high priority for the CTICC, and it managed to:
- Reduce municipal water usage by 54.9%
- Decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 37.8%
- Drop energy consumption by 37.4%
- 36.6 metric tonnes of waste was diverted from landfill.
The CTICCs’s next move
As the board chairman, Deon Cloete, said poignantly in his foreword in the 2020/21 Integrated Annual Report: “the future of events will never be the same for the CTICC”.
The CTICC has wisely used its time during the year under review to re-strategise and reimagine its event offering for a new and better tomorrow. This forward-thinking approach has led the CTICC to:
- Focus on its hybrid event platform, CTICC Engage, by expanding its offerings via the platform. The new offerings include a digital studio with green-screen and various audio-visual facilities
- Focus on Own Events. The business model for Own Events allows small businesses to be part of large consumer and trade shows at an affordable price, hosted at a world-class venue that attracts both domestic and international visitors. Coming events include the CTICC AllSport Expo in September 2022. This expo is the only consumer exhibition that showcases every one of the city’s favourite sports under one roof. Other Own Events include the popular CTICC Gift Fair and This is Art, held in November, and the Ultimate Beverage Show, which is scheduled for 27–29 January.
- Strengthen its partnerships on the African Continent and its ties with leading African events, such as Africa Oil Week, Investing in African Mining Indaba, AfricaCom and Solar Power Africa
- Ensure a solid forward book with 40 international and over 200 national events confirmed for the period 2022 – 2027.
Taubie Motlhabane also thanked her staff, MANCO, EXCO, Board, shareholders, service partners and clients for their support during the year under review. She ended her presentation with a clear message that the CTICC’s priority going forward is to focus more on community and innovation. This new focus will soon bring on significant changes at the CTICC, and Ms Motlhabane encouraged everyone to watch this space.