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Thursday Oct 18, 2012

Cape convention centre awaits approval for expansion plans

The Cape Town International Convention Centre has made an R11 million profit, created more than 7 000 jobs and hosted more than 500 events in its most recent financial year.

An artist's impression of what the proposed new wing of the CTICC.

And it already has a series of major international conferences lined up until 2020. But the biggest of these events hinges on the approval of the venue's expansion.

The CTICC yesterday released its latest annual results. After tax, the net profit comes to just under R7m. This is for the period from July last year to June this year. It has hosted popular events such as the Cape Town Jazz Festival, Cape Town Fashion Week and the annual Mother City Queer Project.

Rashid Toefy, the chief executive officer of the CTICC, said the city was a popular choice for international conferences. Titles such as winning the bid to host the World Design Capital in 2014 were a selling point. However, he added that the country's political landscape could affect this in the future. But, for now, events were still being secured for at least another eight years.

"There are more than 100 conferences booked for between now and 2020. Those deposits are paid and they're coming no matter who the president is. The market is resilient."

During the previous financial year, 38 international conferences were hosted. And the goal is to increase that to more than 50.

Toefy said the CTICC will work towards catching up with its closest competitors - cities such as Melbourne and Rio de Janeiro.

He said the key to the CTICC's success was "innovation".

"We are removing inhibitors to innovation at every point in this organisation."

The biggest events would take place during 2016. But this depended on the expansion going ahead as planned.

Toefy is confident it would go ahead. He said they were waiting for city council approvals, expected at the end of this month.

Cape Argus

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