SA College for Tourism

2014 Graduation: SA College For Tourism

From left to right – Standing: Mr. André Kilian (Executive Director, SACT), Sitting: Mr. Andy de la Mare (ABSA CSI), Mr. Sipho Puwanji (Director, SACT), Mrs. Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenburg (Rupert Family Foundations), Mrs. Barbara Pudel, HRH Princess Irene, Ms. Anele Mdoda (Keynote Speaker), Mrs. Gaynor Rupert (Chairperson, SACT), Ms. Zelda la Grange, Dr. Harold Riley, Mrs. Sarah Tompkins (Samara Private Game Reserve), Mrs. Inna van Heerden (Lloyds Travel), Mr. Glenn van Heerden (Thornybush Collections), Mrs. Jennifer Preller (Director, SACT), Mrs. Kozette Myburgh, Standing: Mr. Pieter van der Poel (Director, SACT), Mr. Werner Myburgh (CEO, PPF and Director, SACT)

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 Establishment Operations and with Tracker Level 3 and 4 certificates respectively. In addition, the South African education and training authorities conferred four national skills development certificates on the ladies and a tracker skills development certificate on the gentlemen.

Mrs Gaynor Rupert, Chairperson of SACT

In welcoming her guests to the ceremony, Mrs Gaynor Rupert, Chairperson of SACT, thanked them for their wonderful support of both the hospitality and tracker training divisions of the college without which they could not have achieved a 100% pass rate of all learners who sat for their final examinations and evaluations conducted by external examiners. Mrs Rupert paid special tribute to the donor community of SACT among them, Embassy of Finland, Absa, Rupert Nature Foundation, Koos and Rona Rupert Education Trust, Irene Staehelin of Switzerland, Remgro Limited, Jagersfontein Developments, Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, Marsh Africa, The Foschini Group, United States of America based Empowers Africa, DHK Architects, Lloyds Travel and Tsogo Sun as well as the many private individuals who supported SACT by way of its Adopt a Student Fundraising Campaign.

Mrs Gaynor Rupert, Chairperson of SACT
Zelda le Grange

Keynote speaker, Anele Mdoda, a well know radio and television personality and author of a book for young women, encouraged the graduates to view the day as a stepping stone to a lifelong commitment to excellence. Zelda la Grange who delivered the closing remarks handed three autographed copies of her best seller, Good Morning, Mr. Mandela, to the three graduates who wrote most eloquently about how the icon influenced their lives for the better.

Other participants in the graduation ceremony were Andy de la Mare of Absa who announced the Top Student of the Year and handed the Absa Trophy to Faith Loselo hailing from Graaff-Reinet, Barbara Pudel of Geneva, Switzerland who invited Faith and her runner up, Petronella Nyamuno of Zimbabwe, on a three months, all expenses paid working experience visit to the Pudel Guest House in Portofino Italy, Sarah Tompkins of the United Kingdom who handed the Samara Trophy to tracker graduate, Mark Mdlovu, who achieved the highest marks during the semi-desert biome semester at Samara Private Game Reserve and Dave Varty of Londolozi Game Reserve who congratulated Sihle Mlotshwa, for this top performance in the bushveld/savannah biome. The trophies were accompanied by a cheque in the amount of R1 000 each sponsored by Sal and Eugen Roux. Dave was followed to the podium by Glenn van Heerden who handed the Thornybush Collections Trophy and a cheque of R5 000 to the Top Culinary Art Performer of the Year, Siyamthanda Ngqungwana. Siyamthanda also won a six-month’s internship with the Executive Chef at Thornybush.

Ms Rachel Mgiba and Dr Harold Riley

Dr Harold Riley, court painter to Queen Elizabeth II handed a signed copy from his personal and limited collection of his pen sketch of President Mandela to Ms Rachel Mgiba, who was voted by her fellow graduates as the Campus Peace Maker of The Year.
Also present at the ceremony were HRH Princess Irene of the Netherlands, HE President Joachim Chissano of Mozambique, Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta of Zambia and Mrs Lubasi, other members of the Board of Directors of the Peace Parks Foundation accompanied by their spouses, members of the SACT Board of Directors and spouses, Mrs Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg of the Rupert Family Foundations, Francois and Marian van der Merwe of the Koos & Rona Rupert Education Trust, GT Ferreira of RMB, Jannie Durand of Remgro Limited and Dillie Malherbe of Reinet Investments and their spouses, Jurie Erwee of Marsh Africa, Deepa Patel representing Anglo American, Wendy Appelbaum of De Morgenzon, Jean Engelbrecht of Rust en Vrede and Deborah Calmeyer of RoarAfrica of the United States of America.

Interns serving guests at the Drostdy opening

Graduation this year had a special meaning for 37 of the young hospitality graduates who were offered internships at the Drostdy Hotel which was re-opened on Thursday evening preceding the graduation ceremony. This landmark Graaff-Reinet building dating back to the early 19th century was renovated and upgraded to a 5 star, 48 luxury suites and boutique establishment. Apart from annually offering 37 internships to hospitality graduates of SACT the hotel will in future also serve as operational training area for the learners of the college.


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