SA College for Tourism

Absa Bank supports Peace Parks Foundation and the SA College for Tourism

Mr Kgalaletso Tlhoaele, Regional Executive, Absa Retail Bank Eastern and Southern Cape (far right) handed the Absa funding of the SA College for Tourism to Mr André Kilian, Executive Director of the College (centre) at the Absa Open Day in East London. Mr Kilian is flanked by two East Cape students, Ms Meliswa Baloyi (left), and Ms Vela Tshmese (right). Joining the celebrations is Mr Gcilitshane of the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism (far left)

Absa Bank has just donated another R550 000 to the SA College for Tourism to train women in hospitality skills. Absa Bank specifically elects to make the donation in the month of August, when women in South Africa are celebrated.
Thanks to the Absa investment in young women, 11 students from the East Cape Province in South Africa will be trained at the SA College for Tourism in Graaff-Reinet. The Absa funding will enable them to complete the full year’s curriculum at the College, after which they will be assisted by the College to secure employment in the hospitality and tourism industry.

General Manager of Absa’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI), Ms Mihloti Mathye, stated that Absa, as a champion in working with diverse communities, initiated the Absa CSI Open Days to re-state Absa’s commitment to the country’s growth and development. It also offers an opportunity for the bank to thank its partners and stakeholders for walking the development journey with the organisation towards building a brighter future for all across South Africa.

Delivering the keynote address at the occasion, the Premier of the East Cape Province stressed the importance of this kind of cooperation between government, the business community and civil society. Premier Noxolo Kiviet said that what Absa was doing was much was more than just handing out money. She said she preferred to view it rather as Absa adding great value to society in general.

The philosophy underpinning the establishment of peace parks is that nature-based tourism will provide an economically sustainable livelihood to the people living in and adjacent to the parks. The SA College for Tourism in Graaff-Reinet trains women in the hospitality skills necessary to obtain employment at accommodation facilities in the peace parks.

Absa Bank has for many years supported the College’s training programme, as well as sponsored its graduation ceremonies that are always a highlight for the trainees and their families, who come from all over southern Africa to witness the occasion.

Ms Maria Ramos, Chief Executive Officer of Absa Bank, handing the 2009 Absa Award for Top Student to Ms Tendai Bango from Zimbabwe
In 2009, Absa Bank’s CEO, Ms Maria Ramos delivered the keynote address at the graduation ceremony, saying that “the education of women is crucial to the future of South Africa, and we are very proud to be enabling these bright young women to create a future for themselves and their communities.”
The donation to the SA College for Tourism follows on Absa Bank’s further support of Peace Parks Foundation. Absa recently donated another R1 million to support the Foundation’s work.
Absa Bank has supported Peace Parks Foundation since 1998, first as a corporate member of the Peace Parks Club and subsequently as a Club 21 member.

Peace Parks Foundation CEO, Mr Werner Myburgh, and the SA College for Tourism’s Executive Director, Mr André Kilian both expressed their appreciation for the continued partnership with Absa Bank to facilitate the region’s transfrontier conservation areas and to train unemployed women in hospitality skills.


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