SA College for Tourism

Crowning a successful year

On Friday, 16 November 2012, 90 young women and 16 young men from across southern Africa graduated at the SA College for Tourism in Graaff-Reinet.

The women graduated with a Certificate in Small Hospitality Establishment Operations conferred by the School of Tourism, Hospitality & Sport of the Central University of Technology and with four national skills development certificates in hospitality services awarded by the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) The men received their CATHSSETA accredited Certificate in Tracking and tracker levels 1 to 4 certificates issued by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa.

The certificates were handed to the graduates by Ms Anele Mdoda, a well-known South African television and radio personality and author. In her keynote address, Ms Mdoda encouraged the graduates to work hard at their own success which no one could guarantee but themselves. In congratulating them on a 100% pass rate Ms Mdoda said that judging by the success in which they have managed their first step into the tourism industry, she was convinced that all faced a bright future.

Mrs Gaynor Rupert

Mrs Gaynor Rupert, Chairperson of the College, in welcoming the graduation guests paid special tribute to the South African National Lottery, largest single donor of the College, and to Absa Bank, largest corporate sponsor.

Other members of the donor community of the College welcomed and thanked by Mrs Rupert for their support, without which the success of the young graduates would not have been possible, included the Rupert Nature Foundation, Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, National Heritage Council, Irene Staehelin, Baroness Ariane de Rothschild and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, the Swedish Postcode Foundation, Francois and Marian van der Merwe of the Koos & Rona Rupert Education Trust, Alexander Forbes, Marsh, Tracker Network, Ethco IT Services, Remgro, Jagersfontein mining company, Richemont and Dr and Mrs Raimondo on behalf of Peace Parks Foundation.

Mrs Rupert also thanked the loyal supporters of the Adopt-a-Student Campaign of the College by name, Boetie and Caroline van Zyl, Erna Meaker, Julian Ogilvie Thompson, the Magnoni Family, Juan- Carlos Torres of Vacheron Constantin, Ueli and Rosmarie Meier-Berchtold and Hansjürg and Franziska Saager of Switzerland, Stephen Falcke, world-renowned interior decorator and Wendy Appelbaum of the De Morgenson Wine Estate. Two new friends of the College, Mrs Krista Krieger and Michelle Graedin of the United States-based Africa Foundation were welcomed to their first graduation celebration at the College.

Among the guests who brought exciting news for the graduates was Mrs Barbara Pudel of Geneva, Switzerland, who invited the top two hospitality graduates, Ms Desiree Uises from Namibia and her runner-up Ms Nosiphiwe Shabangu from the Shongwe Mission in Malelane, Mpumalanga, to an all-expenses paid working visit of four months at her guesthouse in Portofino, Italy in 2013.

Ms Shabangu, Ms Uises and Mrs Pudel

Mr Nic Griffin of Thornybush Collection announced the top culinary art student, Ms Andile Mbuyane from the White River area in Mpumalanga, and handed her the Thornybush Collection trophy with a prize of R5 000 and a six months internship with the Thornybush Collection executive chef.
Famous Formula 1 race driver, Mario Haberfeld, offered year-long internships to four tracker graduates at his Caiman Refuge in the Brazilian Pantanal, the world’s largest wetlands and home to the South American Jaguar, where the graduates will be involved in a jaguar habituating project.

The day’s proceedings were brought to a close by Ms Jo-Ann Strauss, businesswoman and TV personality, who wished the graduates well on their journey.

Graduation crowned a successful year at the College during which it was recognised for its work by BHP Billiton that awarded the College its Achievers Award for the Best Tourism Training Programme in South Africa and by the Mail & Guardian, which bestowed on the College its Investing in the Future Education Award.

Ms Andile Mbuyane


Prof Jakes Gerwel, vice-chairman of Peace Parks Foundation


Custodians of the future

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