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Cape Town ICC’s art of resilience

The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM), where management reviewed a challenging 2021/22 financial year.

The management team says CTICC has emerged from this Covid trial, stronger and more inspired than ever.

The year under review began with the centre only hosting small, local events due to government-mandated pandemic regulations, but with the relaxation of restrictions in the fourth quarter, the final barrier to hosting large events was removed. A clear example of this was Decorex in June 2022, which brought over 36,000 visitors to the CTICC.

The CTICC ended up hosting 226 events compared to 53 in the previous financial year, and overall delegate and visitor numbers rose to over 127,000 in the year under review, which management described as “a massive improvement”.

With the events sector and the CTICC’s business seriously affected by the pandemic, the centre had to quickly learn how to master resilience and bounce back.

“Sometimes known as the ‘phoenix flower’, proteas literally rise from the ashes… it is inspiring that beauty, colour and life can re-emerge from destruction. To come out of the fire – changed and renewed – is the inspiration for our 2022 Integrated Annual Report. We are mastering the art of resilience,” CTICC CEO Taubie Motlhabane told the media when presenting the AGM report.

Despite the challenges, the CTICC improved on its 2021 financial figures. The company achieved a revenue of almost R100m compared to just over R52m in the previous financial year. The company managed to cut the expected loss by 63%, achieving an EBITDA loss of only R34m – an improvement on the target.

The CTICC also continued to contribute positively to the provincial and national economies. Its contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as Gross Geographic Product (GGP), was R1.1bn respectively. Since the CTICC opened its doors in 2003, it has contributed over R54bn to the GDP and more than R46bn to the GGP. On top of this, the CTICC created or sustained over 2 000 jobs nationally in the 2022 financial year, bringing its total number of jobs created since inception to 145,000.

Embracing resilience to reimagine the future

The pandemic provided an opportunity for the CTICC to pause, think out of the box and build on what they already offer to create a new future for themselves and others. This resulted in a redefined purpose, vision and mission:

  • The new purpose, the CTICC’s ‘why’, is all about accelerating economic prosperity, opportunity, inclusivity, creativity and innovation
  • Its revised vision, the ‘what’, includes the CTICC being respected as the enabler of Africa’s smartest community of creativity, opportunity, sustainability and excellence
  • The redefined mission, the new ‘how’, will be accomplished by establishing an integrated smart hub model that unlocks innovation, collaboration and transformation, creating opportunity for all.

Community is at our core

Underpinning the CTICC’s new way forward is its commitment to community. Ms Motlhabane commented in her foreword in the 2022 Integrated Annual Report: “People are also a key focus in our business operations. The communities we live in, do business in and impact reflect the character of the CTICC. We are very proud to say we continue to balance our business operations with care, responsibility and integrity for people, along with the planet.”

This is reflected in the CTICC’s donation of space to the Gift of the Givers. In April 2022, KwaZulu-Natal experienced severe floods, leaving countless people destitute and at risk without clean drinking water. The Gift of the Givers answered this call and the CTICC partnered with them.

The CTICC provided three halls for nine days as a secure drop-off and storage facility for donated water that was trucked to Durban. An estimated one million litres of water were donated by the people of Cape Town and the CTICC “was very proud to have been given an opportunity to be part of the solution,” said Ms Motlhabane.

Other innovative community activations over the years have included the CTICC’s hosting of the Vaccination Centre of Hope in the last two quarters of 2022 where an estimated 136,000 people were vaccinated, which followed the Hospital of Hope at the onset of the pandemic.

As a result of donating space to the Gift of the Givers and supporting Local Community Partners (LCPs), the CTICC’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contribution rose considerably during this period – to R2.5m.

The CTICC has been aligning itself with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During the year under review, the CTICC supported 15 out of the 17 goals during the financial year. Furthermore, the company continues to meet all ten of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) principles, by which they measure their commitment to ESG values.

The venue is also a significant global player in the fields of technology and innovation, aligning with the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Development Plan and Strategic Economic Sectors.

“If these challenging times have taught us anything, it is that change is necessary and it opens the door for innovation and reinvention,” said Ms Motlhabane.

At the end of her presentation, Ms Motlhabane, revealed that CTICC’s forward book is healthier than ever. “We currently have over 70 international events confirmed up to November 2029. We believe the results will be as striking as the protea itself.”

For more information on the CTICC, go to

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