AGM 2017 - Report Back

AGM 2017 - Report Back

26 October 2017

On Tuesday 26 September the MATA AGM took place at the Montagu Golf Club.
The good -looking catering done by Avalon Springs nearly stole the spotlight, but as the members arrived, Mimosa wine in their glasses and the smell of lekker Pizza from Ye Olde Tavern and Burgundy Gherkin added to what promised to be an interesting and enjoyable evening.
There was indeed plenty to taste with even more lovely food from the Montagu Country Hotel and Die Boord/The Orchard – but more importantly there was also much to share about a year pass.

Mareletta welcomed all and especially the new members that joined the evening. As a reminder, she shared the quote from the 2016 MATA chairman, Petrus Jansen:
“Frankly, although we face many challenges, relative to similar sized rural towns in South Africa we are extremely fortunate. There are not many towns in South Africa who are receiving upgraded infrastructure like improved roads and new bridges, reasonable community, business and municipal collaboration, future economic prospects that glitter compared to the rest of the country’s economic growth, a true and effective sense of community and an abundance of optimistic, energetic individuals and organisations that are willing to give beyond themselves. As for all the negative factors, this town has proven to always overcome and survive, as long as people stand together. This town has an interwoven community involvement and support system, and we should always embrace it. As for tourism, the future remains brimming with growth and potential. We do need to remain positive at present, since we have generated a lot of momentum in the past few years, and it’s that momentum that can help us survive through the challenging times.”

Looking back over at least the past six months, it looked like the momentum continued and many highlights, such as Cape Winelands District Municipality Mayoral Awards Ceremony- 29 March where MATA came home with Runner up prize for best Tourism office and Montagu Makiti coming home with Runner up prize for best festival as well as the launch of the Montagu-Ashton Tourism Mobile App on 22 March and many more.

The Local Is Lekker Mini Indaba on 1 September was indeed another highlight and so the evening continued on a high note and sharing a very long list of what was done, accomplished and planned by the passionate MATA team.

PJ Basson, the current MATA Chairman shared his report: (extracts from his report as follows)
“Thinking back to the AGM of 2016, one quickly comes to the realization that in year a lot happens!
I started out with the knowledge that there is massive potential for marketing our villages as part of a bigger picture – within South Africa, the Western Cape, Cape Wineland, Route 62 and the Langeberg.
After studying the in’s and out’s of the office systems, I quickly realized that there is no funds available for marketing, just barely enough to keep the staff paid and the doors open.

With the help of the committee and office staff, we jumped in and started working through the office systems, contracts, rosters etc. I took the same attitude as I would at my own business, and implemented some small but necessary measures to ensure a smooth and effective operation.

The responsibility of the committee is to keep the interest of the members in mind at all times, and to make the correct decisions with the mandate received from the members. This comes with heavy responsibility, a task taken very seriously.

I have tried to engage with tourism authorities on various levels to discuss the path we want to steer MATA on. This was met with mixed levels of success. From SA Tourism side, I was fortunate to have the National Minister of Tourism as a guest in the hotel. We had breakfast together, and I felt I had good innings, even though I knew his visit to Montagu was for political reasons. Sadly, shortly after his visit, he was fired together with Pravin Gordhan, 2 men I respected in the posts they held.

We also had contact with Alan Winde, provincial MEC, and I am confident we’ll have him as our guest in Montagu soon – Alan is avid cyclist, and the “routes” man. With the help of enthusiastic members pushing both road and mountain biking, and with our newly launched MTB maps, we have the right angle to get him involved in our projects.

Looking at threats, the roadworks dominated the last year for tourism businesses. The visa regulations also did not help international arrivals. I foresee that our biggest challenges for the next 12 months would be the roadworks once again, the December ANC conference, drought in the Western Cape, and rising crime statistics on Montagu. We all deal with these and other hurdles in our own way, but can take heart that we share the same burden.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the members for being part of MATA in the last year, this is member’s organisation, and our strength lies in each of you. I would like to thank the committee for sacrificing their time, putting forward their expertise, and even taking shots some times. It was great to work with you all. And then I would like to single out the office staff, taking up the front line for us all. Thank you for 12 months of hard work, taking what come your way from myself, the committee, members and visitors. We truly appreciate your efforts”

The Chairman’s report and subsequent Financial report was followed by our guest speaker for the evening; Betsie Cloete from SEESA.

The evening concluded with the election of the new committee : PJ Basson, Ronel Preston, Fida Hess, Petrus Jansen, Tillie Uys, Pat van Zyl, Anthony Townsend, Mareletta van Zyl, Marriette Barnes.
With so many plans already in the making – 2018 is going to be one BIG WAVE of what we do best – creating COMMUNITY and getting feet through our lovely towns.

Mareletta Mundey