Stellies designed for life

CEO of Stellenbosch 360, Annemarie Ferns
The historic town of Stellenbosch is ready to Host World Design Capital Visitor influx.

The exchange rate favours tourism and Stellenbosch is gearing itself for the influx of visitors that will travel to the Western Cape for the Cape Town World Design Capital experience. Visitors from abroad have a weak Rand on their side, and while many South Africans might not be able to afford the increasing cost of overseas travel, they may decide to see more of their own country. “Stellenbosch is more than able to accommodate them,” says the CEO of Stellenbosch 360, Annemarie Ferns. 

“Stellenbosch has everything to offer tourists a unique experience. It makes sense to showcase our world-class wines, its natural beauty, unique cultural heritage, excellent academic institutions and vibrant agricultural industries, at its best and brightest. South Africa and the world are going to be thrilled with what Stellenbosch is bringing to the table this year,” says Ferns.

Stellenbosch 360, the tourism department of Stellenbosch, was formed to protect the town’s unique historical character and to promote all-round cultural tourism by including role-players of previously disadvantaged communities. “It’s a unique package,” says Ferns, “and it makes for a happy town where old and young can enjoy themselves. “Our organisation attracts many tourists interested in its sustainable development projects and achievements, for the municipality, for the wine routes, for emerging entrepreneurs and for those who attract visitors to our town. A lively tourist industry means better business and better business means more jobs,” she added.

Stellenbosch 360 is also the proud initiator of two projects – the Centre of Entrepreneurship and Talent 360 - which were chosen, along with 450 projects, to assist Cape Town in its victorious bid for the 2014 Design Capital of the World.

The world class Centre of Entrepreneurship is based at the Stellenbosch 360 visitor’s centre. Facilities include a craft incubator, a retail shop (which sells beautiful handmade Stellenbosch souvenirs and memorabilia), training facilities and a cafeteria. The Centre of Entrepreneurship will be used to improve skills, assist emerging and existing entrepreneurs with various phases of growth and promote hand-and homemade cultural and culinary experiences. Visitors are welcomed with a splash of African colour in addition to friendly and helpful staff.

Talent 360 is a collective initiative led by Stellenbosch 360 to enhance talented members in less privileged communities and to promote culture tourism. Auditions are held each year to select finalists in the music, dance, drama and poetry categories, where after they are challenged to recruit between two and five performing artists from their local communities to form a group. The auditions and online voting process produce the top three groups in each category and ends with a gala evening to award the winners.

“The approach for the World Design Capital 2014 is to use excellence in design, design the change we want to see in our city, using the very building blocks of which our city is comprised. Our projects that were chosen are true to the overall theme of ‘Live Design. Transform Life’ and through design and design thinking, improve lives for people who are challenged everyday in their communities,” said Ferns.

Cape Town’s executive mayor, Patricia de Lille, expressed the wish that all of the World Design Capital projects, including the centre of Entrepreneurship and Talent 360, united by their use of design and design-led thinking, will help drive the social and economic change that the country needs.

Laetitia King

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This edition

Issue 68