Serving the people of the Western Cape and adapting to a new business environment: this is how you can sum up what happened at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) when the pandemic hit the world in March 2020.
“2020 was an unusual year; but like a chameleon responding to its changing environment, the CTICC adapted to the challenges presented by Covid-19,” said CTICC CEO Taubie Motlhabane. “We did this by pivoting our business practices, transforming operations and reigniting our passion for innovation”
If the venue was set for a good fourth quarter, its closure in March 2020 had obviously a significant impact on its performance, resulting in revenue falling to R220.7m, 23% below the initial target. An EBITDA loss of R23.6m was anticipated. However, with careful management of costs, Motlhabane and her team managed to reduce the deficit to R12.5m (a 46.8% improvement on the revised target).
It’s no secret that conference centres like the CTICC provides more than meeting rooms and coffee breaks. They’re actually taking an active role in the economic growth of the destinations where they are nested. That’s particularly true about Cape Town: the centre’s contribution to South Africa’s national GDP in 2020 was R5.5bn. Last year only, more than 11,000 jobs were created nationally, bringing the total number of jobs created since the CTICC opened its doors in 2003 to 142 ,326. These are jobs that have been made possible because of the existence of the CTICC.
In this context, the CTICC has a big impact on the communities: it reported for instance that 87.5% of total procurement spend was with locally-based service partners in 2020. In addition, 42% of the total service partner base were women-owned enterprises, up 3% on the previous financial year.
Serving the people of the Western Cape
One of the CTICC’s achievements that Motlhabane is proud of is the hosting of the temporary COVID-19 Hospital of Hope in CTICC 1. The 862-bed hospital cared for more than 1,500 patients over the 11 weeks it was open. In that time, the CTICC kitchens provided up to six meals a day for patients, catering for a range of dietary needs, such as those with diabetic, cardiac and other specialized requirements.
The CTICC also provided operational support, WiFi and security, amongst other services. “With our halls standing empty because of the national lockdown, donating space to the Hospital of Hope and the Ladles of Love feeding scheme made sense,” Motlhabane said.
Ladles of Love also required space to store, prepare and distribute food to some of Cape Town’s most vulnerable communities. In the 60 days they were based at CTICC 2, they delivered close to 2.6 million meals across Cape Town.
“At these times, supporting our communities has become an important expression of the CTICC’s triple-bottom-line commitment to people, planet and profit,” said CTICC Board Chairperson, Deon Cloete, in his Foreword to the 2019/20 Integrated Annual Report.
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