Promoting all of the country's National Botanical Gardens as preferred outdoor attractions and centres of learning for all of South Africa's communities and foreign visitors required consistent and strategic positioning. In order to achieve the latter, the department focussed its activities on the following:
Creation of generic marketing tools
Generic brochures, with information on all the Gardens and herbaria, were printed. A different and newer version of these, targeted at the tourist industry and the recreational local market, was introduced prior to Indaba 2001. A generic poster was also introduced during this period for the same purpose. The objective here was to create and promote one consistent identity for all of the Gardens.
This department also started a limited, yet strategic advertising campaign targeted at the trade and consumer tourism industries as well as other consumer markets, both in South African and international publications.
The aim has been to increase awareness about the Gardens, the fact that there are eight of them belonging to the same national network and that, to varying degrees, they had high standard visitor facilities.
Participation at trade and consumer tourism shows
the first presence of the National Botanical Gardens at Indaba, Southern Africa's premier tourism trade show. This first participation was greeted with some fanfare as the Western Cape stand adopted a floral theme to welcome the NBI team, which was subsequently given prominent coverage in the Indaba Daily Newspaper. To emphasise the promotion of the Gardens to the consumer in Gauteng and Mpumalanga, the department took a stand at the Getaway Show in Johannesburg. This also enabled the creation of links with other provincial tourism authorities while existing ones were strengthened.
For the second year in a row, Western Cape Tourism Board was invited to accompany the NBI team to the Chelsea Flower Show in London. This enabled the team to go beyond promoting the Gardens and to promote the Cape Floral Kingdom and, by extension, the whole country as a uniquely diverse floral destination.
Celebrations of national events and concerts in the Gardens have proven to be good ways of introducing new people and making them aware of the gardens' many uses. In addition to the promotion of widely successful summer and winter concerts at Kirstenbosch, focus was widened to the northern Gardens and these were encouraged to continue hosting similar events and looking at introducing popular local bands in order to attract people from the previously disadvantaged communities. Emphasis will continue to be given to this aspect in all future promotions.
Partnerships and co-operation with other organisations
In addition to managing to meet representatives from virtually every provincial tourism authority with a National Botanical Garden, and making them aware of the Gardens and the niche that they occupy in the market, the marketing department also managed to create partnerships with other strategic organisations. It interacted successfully with the leaderships of both the Black Management Forum (BMF) and the Enterprise Development Forum (EDF) and managed to have the latter host a networking meeting on "opportunities in the tourism industry" at Kirstenbosch.
This department, in contributing to capacity building in the tourism sector, hosted a Tourism Management student from the University of Cape Town. The Programme Development division also continued to cooperate with Table Mountain Fund, WWF, and the City of Cape Town in the development of the Edith Stephens Wetland Park and the greening of the Joe Slovo informal settlement in the Cape Flats.
Promoting all National Botanical Gardens and creating awareness about projects of the National Botanical Institute, including Outreach Greening, Environmental Education as well as the crucial role of the NBI in various International Conventions, will continue to be central to this department's activities.
A relatively new field of endeavour is emerging in the NBI's stable of projects. Building on the years of hard and inspired work of the Outreach Greening Programme centred at Kirstenbosch, the social ecology initiative is striving for an increased level of contact with the broader base of previously marginalised communities.
At present this effort is concentrated on two key sites in the Cape Town Metropolitan area, but as the Outreach Programme is developed in other NBI centres around South Africa, a broader social ecology element will be introduced.
Facts & Figures
Number of projects to date (excluding the Joe Slovo project and the two related schools):
- 21 projects formally participating, with sponsorship
- 7 projects informally participating, with minimal or no sponsorship
Current 2001 projects at various stages of the programme:
- 12 projects formally participating, with sponsorship
- 3 informally participating, with minimal or no sponsorship
Approximate number of individuals involved in Outreach Greening training or practical sessions.
- 28 projects with approximately 20 individuals for each project
- 560 for the duration of the programme's existence
Tools issued to each formal participating project team (21 projects)
2 spades; 2 garden forks; 1 rake; 1 secateurs; 100m hosepipe; 1 wheelbarrow
This often varies as the needs and available resources are all different for each project
Number of 10m3 truck loads of compost issued to projects: 70 (A total of 700 m3)
Each project is allocated different quantities of plants but they average at 350 per project,
totalling approximately 10 000 plants planted since 1997.
Donations of 30 plants grown by the Kirstenbosch Plant Production Nursery are issued to an average of 10 projects through the greening programme in autumn every year - a total of 300 plants per year.
This has been the case for the past 5 years, thus approximately 1 500 plants have been donated to projects not on the greening programme by the Plant Production Nursery to date.
EDITH STEPHENS WETLAND PARK
During the 1950s Kirstenbosch was given a 3.7ha tract of land in the Cape Flats wetland, and made an undertaking to maintain it for the sake of conserving several species of threatened plants, amongst them the narrowly endemic aquatic fern, Isoetes capensis.
This well maintained patch has now been consolidated with surrounding land owned by the City of Cape Town, and is being developed in a multi-partner project as a centre for community-based conservation and environmental education. During the review year inputs by NBI, the City of Cape Town, Working for Water, and WWF-SA (Table Mountain Fund) have created an optimistically viable platform for involving community action in the difficult process of urban conservation.
JOE SLOVO GREENBELT
Following the devastating fires on the Cape Peninsula during the summer of 1999-2000, the Santam Cape Argus Ukuvuka Firestop Campaign was established to mitigate the effects of fire on the urban fringe, including representative informal settlements. The operational team of this project is now housed in the Gold Fields Education Centre, and NBI's Outreach Greening Programme has linked with it to tackle a greening project in the Joe Slovo informal settlement of Langa, just east of Cape Town's CBD.
The philosophy behind this project is to engage the immediate community in taking ownership of a range of greening activities that will contribute to improving their quality of life and to offer opportunities of skills development in horticulture and environmental responsibility.