All in a day’s work: Cape Town

Expert Opinion
All in a day’s work: Cape Town

Three of Cape Town ICC’s top managers run through their daily routines, with catering and sustainability top of the meetings menu.


Julie-May Ellingson, CEO, CTICC

Many people think that CEOs can do what they like when they want, but nothing could be further from the truth. As the CEO, I am accountable to a Board of Directors who are accountable to our Shareholders. We all have our role to play in ensuring the success of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), which in turn contributes to the success of Cape Town, the Western Cape and, indeed, South Africa.   

As the CEO I am responsible for setting the strategic direction of the company; determining the culture and values; ensuring compliance with legislation, managing risks and ensuring that we meet the needs of our employees, customers, communities and shareholders, today, and well into the future.

I love that no two days are the same, but I am equally mindful of the fact that the decisions made today could impact the business and the city for years to come. Importantly, none of what I do would be possible without the dedication and passion of the entire CTICC team that I have the immense privilege of leading.

The CTICC adopts a triple bottom line approach to measuring our success ie. people, planet and profit. Through the successful hosting of events, the CTICC plays a critical role in connecting people, which drives the knowledge economy, creates opportunities for investment and, in turn, creates jobs. This year alone, we created/sustained over 14,500 jobs which, in an economy that continues to shed jobs, is something we are particularly proud of. Our commitment to the environment is well documented as is our significant investment in our local community initiatives.   

Ultimately, everything we do is aimed at having a positive financial, social and environmental impact on the citizens of Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa.

Tracy Mkhize, General Manager: Operations: Food & Beverage, CTICC

Situated in the heart of Cape Town, one of the world’s top culinary destinations, food innovation and sustainability is fundamental to the CTICC. As an overview, we construct environmentally conscious menus alongside the client while committing to sourcing local produce.

This also means that there is a broad scope for variation within food and beverage. We could be doing a variety of food concepts and menus for anything between 10 to 15,000 guests and all within defined budgets. Additionally, these events may require 100 to 500 extra support staff to operate efficiently, thereby also creating employment.

While allowing for all these possibilities, I have to strategically maintain the centre’s five-star food and beverage offering while fostering and managing a food safety culture, alongside my team. Furthermore, the centre’s F&B Department consists of several units, including; culinary, banqueting, facilities and three on-site restaurants, which need to adhere to the standards set out by our ISO 22 000 certification.

We believe that food is a crucial element in the guest journey, as it sustains and nourishes one’s body and mind. In turn, this allows guests to thrive, connect and share ideas during their meetings and events.


Chantal Croaster, Conference & Exhibitions Services Manager, CTICC

My team is responsible for ensuring an ‘event’ works and meets the requirements set out by the client. We assist and advise our exhibition, conferencing and meeting clients with, but not limited to, best practices, event greening, event permits, medics, security as well as exhibition F&B requirements.

I have worked in hospitality and conferences for the past 20 years in various departments, including events, sales and revenue. This cross departmental experience allows me to collaborate, integrate and better understand the needs of the client, suppliers, as well as the business, which enables us to create mutual value while ensuring the success of the show.

Successful events create shared value in various ways, and sustainable practices are a way in which clients can generate significant positive impact. Clients are encouraged at every point of the event to follow to the CTICC’s greening policy which, when implemented, has the ability to lower the use of natural resources, minimise waste to landfill while also creating jobs and contributing to SMEs.

Stuart Wood is a news reporter across the Mash Media editorial portfolio. He writes for CMW alongside sister publications Conference News, Exhibition News, Access All Areas and Exhibition World.

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