PPF ZA logoPEACE PARKS FOUNDATION

120 Graduates excel in hospitality and wildlife tracking

15 December 2017

This year, 96 women from eight Southern African Development Community member states – Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe – graduated at SA College for Tourism (SACT). They were joined by 24 young men who had completed 12 months of nationally accredited training in tracking animals in the wild, offered by SACT Tracker Academy.
Every year young women and men who are unemployed and from impoverished rural backgrounds receive sponsorship for a year-long training course in hospitality service skills and tracking skills respectively. These bursaries are funded by the donor community of Peace Parks Foundation and the college.
HRH Princess Irene of the Netherlands awarded the certificates to hospitality and tracker students
HRH Princess Irene of the Netherlands awarded the certificates to hospitality and tracker students
The 2017 Graduates received their national certificates from HRH Princess Irene of the Netherlands, carrying forth the legacy of her father, Prince Bernard of the Netherlands, one of the Founders of the Peace Parks Foundation, the principal of SACT.
 Barbara Pudel with top students Yolanda Zenasi from Zimbabwe (left), and Asanda Kortjan from South Africa (right)
Barbara Pudel with top students Yolanda Zenasi from Zimbabwe (left), and Asanda Kortjan from South Africa (right)
Mrs Barbara Pudel of Geneva, announced Yolanda Zenasi from Zimbabwe and Asanda Kortjan from South Africa as the two top hospitality students of the year - whose award includes a three-month, all expenses paid work experience visit to the Pudel family’s guest house in Portofino, Italy.
Mrs Gaynor Rupert handing over the Mandela Peacekeeper Award to Petronilla Manikwa (Hospitality) (left) and Jabulani Ndlovu (Tracker)(right)
Mrs Gaynor Rupert handing over the Mandela Peacekeeper Award to Petronilla Manikwa (Hospitality) (left) and Jabulani Ndlovu (Tracker)(right)
Graduation was brought to a close by Mrs Gaynor Rupert, Chairperson of SACT, who handed the Peace Maker of the Year awards to Petronilla Manikwa and Jabulani Ndlovu. The awards, signed original prints of President Mandela from a limited edition by Dr Harold Riley (court painter to Her Majesty Elizabeth II), were donated to SACT by the painter five years ago.

Reaching for the stars

Gillian Erasmus (Photo: Keri Harvey)
Gillian Erasmus (Photo: Keri Harvey)
2017 Hospitality graduate, Gillian Erasmus, found her groove at the SA College of Tourism in Graaff Reinet. “I am from the small town of Carnarvon in the Northern Cape, and may bad things have happened to me in my life. But the girls here at the college have brought back the old Gillian again. I am so happy here.”

Beaming a beautiful smile, Gillian says: “One day I want to be an executive chef and I’d like to work overseas to get experience and then come back to South Africa. My goal is to go back to my home town Carnarvon and open a restaurant and guesthouse there. Oh, and I want to go to Italy too to gain experience.”

Gillian shared that her happy place is definitely in the kitchen. “I love cooking but especially enjoy making creme caramel. My favourite main course is steak and chips with mushroom sauce. Plating food is the most fun for me.” She says the facilitators all go out of their way to help students at the college “and they all encourage us to reach our goals and to be successful. They inspire me every day to do my best.”

That’s exactly what Gillian is doing, because she also wants a better life for her two young children.




New opportunities at SACT

At a pre-graduation dinner at Drostdy Hotel on 16 November, SACT announced the establishment of a new training division, the SACT Herding Academy, which will open its doors to fully accredited herding training in January 2018.
The Herding Academy will be a holistic learning platform where the ancient skill of herding livestock to sustainably preserve nature is shared.


With grateful acknowledgement of donors and supporters of the College: The Rupert Family Foundations, European Union, Embassy of Finland, TK Foundation, Koos & Rona Rupert Educational Trust, South African Lottery Commission, Remgro (Pty) Ltd, Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, Old Mutual Foundation, Marsh Africa, Nedbank Private Wealth Charitable Foundation, Nedbank Eyethu Community Trust, Distell Development Trust, Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust, Tswalu Foundation, the Lloyd Family Foundation, Firearms Management , Lloyds Travel of Sandton, Rand Merchant Bank, Mrs Irene Staehelin, Dr Hilary Rolton, Dr Edwin de la Harper Hertzog, Mr Stephen Falcke, Mr Anthony Nicklin, Mr Boyd Varty, Mr & Mrs Hansjurg Saager, Bergplaas, Seat of the Spirit of the Wild, Drostdy Hotel, Londolozi, Samara and Singita Private Game Reserve(s), SANParks, Thornybush Collection and Tsogo Sun hotel group.

12 June 2015Fab Chef competition at the SA College for Tourism

On Friday 22 May, the SA College for Tourism Class of 2015 participated in their own Master Chef-style cooking competition aptly named Fab Chef – the college is after all an all-women institution!

 read more

9 June 2015Drostdy Hotel Wins Two Awards

The Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the SA College for Tourism, has won two awards within six months of reopening its doors following extensive renovations.

 read more

2 June 2015SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy graduates

A further group of SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy trainees graduated this week at Londolozi Game Reserve, completing their full-time one-year tracking course.

 read more

8 April 2015Beautiful animal sightings by trainees of the SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy

Trainees of the SA College for Tourism have had an incredible week of animal sightings at the start of their traditional bushveld savannah biome training at Londolozi Game Reserve, bordering the Kruge

 read more

10 December 20142014 Graduation: SA College for Tourism

On 28 November 89 young women from across the Southern African Development Community and sixteen young men graduated at SA College for Tourism (SACT) with a Certificate in Small Accommodation Establis

 read more

17 September 2014Understanding bird calls

The SA College for Tourism Tracker Academy has joined forces with Professor Derek Engelbrecht from the University of Limpopo to formally record bird alarm calls, with the aim of better interpreting th

 read more

5 September 2014Absa contributes towards tourism skills development of youth

Absa has invested R1,6 million in the SA College for Tourism in Graaff-Reinet to empower 90 young marginalised women and 16 young men with employability and financial literacy skills which will furth

 read more

25 August 2014SA College for Tourism celebrates Mandela Day

The SA College for Tourism staff and students decided to give more than 67 minutes of their time for a good cause and spent two days brightening up children’s lives by painting their classroom.

 read more

19 August 2014Moving towards accreditation of the Lead Tracker course

An initiative, started in 2013, to identify experienced trackers who have advanced their tracking skills to a level beyond the norm, was continued with success this year at the SA College for Tourism

 read more

3 August 2014Life after college

Since leaving the college in 2012 with not just my certificate but also an award in front office skills, life has been amazing as each year progresses.

 read more