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FEDHASA Cape turns 10

FEDHASA Cape turns 10 years. It has been a decade since the official representative of the hospitality industry was established in order to service the Western and Northern Cape Regions. But what has this Association achieved in the past decade?

We interviewed FEDHASA Cape’s very 1st Chair as well as its current Chair to show you just how far the Association as well the Hospitality and Tourism industries have advanced in just a decade. 

Michelè de Witt, Chair: 2012 – 2014

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1.  Your name & surname, current job designation & company, and year of your service?

Michelè de Witt, Director, Horwath HTL (South Africa), 2012 – 2014

2.  What would you say were some the challenges you faced as Chairman at the time?

Ensuring an Association such as FEDHASA remains relevant in era where information is more accessible than in the past and at a time when Members are constantly reviewing where they are spending their money. In addition, FEDHASA Cape is based in Cape Town, yet needs to serve both the Western Cape and Northern Cape hospitality industries. This is a large geographic area to service with a very small team and a limited budget and is therefore quite a challenge to accomplish all the time. Nonetheless, for an Association such as FEDHASA, the Association’s strength lies in the number of Members we represent and the breadth of the Association’s membership.

3. What were some of the highlights or milestones faced by the industry in your term as Chairman, that FEDHASA Cape was instrumental in achieving or positively contributing towards?

Hosting a highly successful “Celebration of Women” event in 2012 which led to Members entering business relationships with one another through the exposure the event afforded Members.

– Implementing our weekly Member Communiqués which aim to keep our Members informed of the various FEDHASA benefits available and legislative updates as well as profiling our Allied Members.

– Strengthening of our relationship with the HR Forum and thus affording, in particular our Smaller Accommodation Members, access to a Forum to engage in discussion regarding best practice and other matters pertaining to human resources.

– The renegotiation of Sectorial Determination 14 in mid-2013.

– The Executive Officer (Rema Wiese) successfully negotiating an excellent benefit for Members with ABSA and SAA in 2013.

4.  What are some of your key takeouts or learnings in your time as Chair?

For the Association to truly excel, an actively participating Membership is fundamental.

5.  In your opinion, how has this industry grown/ changed since your term as Chairman?

Each year the Industry becomes more regulated and is faced with ever increasing operating expenses. This has shaped how the industry navigates the current and future operating landscape.

6.  Looking to the future, what role do you see FEDHASA Cape playing?

I believe the Association’s founding statements remain relevant to this day:

FEDHASA endeavours at all times to ensure that the Association is recognised by all decision and policy makers in government and industry as the official unified voice of the hospitality industry.

FEDHASA seeks to grow an inclusive hospitality industry by providing a unified voice to enhance and promote the development and growth of a sustainable hospitality trading environment.

 

Nils Heckscher, Chair: 2005 – 2008

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1.  Your name & surname, current job designation & company, and year of your service 

Nils Heckscher, Chief value adder – Nils Heckscher – Not just Hotels – first chair of FEDHASA Cape 2005 – 2008

2. What would you say were some the challenges you faced as Chairman at the time?

The new found independence and the new structure of the association.

3. What were some of the highlights or milestones faced by the industry in your term as Chairman, that FEDHASA Cape was instrumental in achieving or positively contributing towards?

The CTICC and its relationship with the accommodation sector, and of course the preparations for the 2010 world cup and the challenges with FIFA and Match. This was a very busy and controversial time for us as we were partnering with these organisations, which dated back as far as the application for World Cup 2006. Of course no one wanted to remember what was signed then.

4.  What are some of your key takeouts or learnings in your time as Chair?

Like with any association, one has to do it with passion and realise that sometimes that post can be quite lonely. One sticks one’s neck out and continuously tries to think of the industry at large and not individual units.

 5.  In your opinion, how has this industry grown/ changed since your term as Chairman?

The CTICC has given Cape Town a supply of accommodation clients unseen before; this has shifted the market forever. The world cup has given us a new understanding of who we are, we grew and matured. The market has also become more competitive due to the arrival of international brands.

6. Looking to the future, what role do you see FEDHASA Cape playing?

FEDHASA Cape has to maintain if not expand its relationship with the provincial government and other stakeholders, industry per se will always look to FEDHASA Cape to sort things out; so being at the forefront and in the trenches  will need to remain its key focus.

7.  Anything else you feel is important to add?

The challenge remains to unify the industry and get committed members to work with the leadership of FEDHASA for the benefit of this very industry. – For members with members.