Our Programme Director, your
royal highnesses, honourable MEC for Social Development, Mrs Thoko Xhasa,
sponsors, honoured guests and players,
Before I name individual participants who deserve special thanks, I should first
of all be saying thank you to all of you for making this day a success.
In thanking groups of people individually, I wish to start with the MEC Social
Development, Mrs Toko Xhasa; your presence is appreciated by all of us. We are
aware that towards the end of the year there are many events that the honourable
MEC could have been engaged with, but because of her commitment and the
realisation that we were trying to do something special here, she put everything
aside to be here. We say thank you to you, madam.
Mthatha Country Club deserves praise; we thank the Club and its members. Had it
not been for their willingness this event would not have been a success. We
thank them for making available their facilities and dedicated staff. We might
come back tomorrow and say: "Can we have another tournament?"
In this regard, I wish to challenge individual players here, that we should
contribute in our small way towards the maintenance of this golf course, so that
it continues to be available to ourselves and for many generations to come. This
course was hit by a large storm in the recent past and many trees were uprooted;
we need to approach some of the institutions that are contributing to the
greening of South Africa, such as Trees for Africa, and the Wilderness School of
Mr Player - the brother of Gary Player - whom I've worked with and whom I know
is very passionate about environmental issues.
This tournament would not have been so successful without the involvement of the
sponsors. A special word of thanks goes to all the sponsors.
MTN was the first group to show willingness to come onboard as a sponsor, and
encouraged us to pursue the staging of this event with greater enthusiasm. We
thank MTN and the MTN staff, in particular their Sales Manager, Mr Boyd
Chislett, who agreed from the initial stages to support this worthy cause.
To Mr Cekisani who played and participated today on behalf of MTN, please convey
to MTN Management that you witnessed this event and one thing you noticed is
that we didn't use your rivals, such as Vodacom, Telkom, or Cell C, thus
sticking to the rules of sponsorship. Once your rivals see the success of this
event, I am certain that they will come to us offering to double the sponsorship
of this event so that they too can be associated with it. But let me assure you
that we will continue to give first preference to MTN, because you were there
with us from the outset and you are the pioneers in this event. Once more we
thank MTN (refer to slogan "everywhere")
We approached many companies and institutions. Amongst the very first who
responded positively was ABSA Bank. We wish also to thank them for supporting
this noble cause. We understand also that ABSA is establishing itself for the
first time in the region of Transkei in terms of opening branches. We wish you
success in this endeavour, and hope that your participation in this tournament
will send a strong signal that ABSA is committed to the wellbeing of the
During the course of the fundraising period for this event we were surprised to
receive the biggest donation from ESKOM. So a special word of thanks to the
Management of ESKOM, although they had donated the biggest amount they did not
insist that we should change the event marketing and profile to reflect that.
They acknowledged that MTN was first onboard and decided to contribute
nonetheless. Financially we can say today that ESKOM is the main sponsor. I was
impressed by their flexibility when they said "Let MTN who began the
process, run with the ball."
The contribution by SA Airlink has also boosted this tournament and we are
looking forward to future cooperation.
Some of the prizes awarded here today were donated by the Pro Shop Woodmead in
Johannesburg, who is well known for selling golf gear. Their prompt response to
our inquiries is highly appreciated and may their continuous upgrading of golf
equipment receive more support from South African golf players.
Unity Insurance, responsible for motor and household insurance, responded
quickly, although we approached them very late in the day. We also thank them,
we know that they are a new player in the industry, but within a year of their
existence they saw fit to become involved in this initiative.
The contribution by Investec Bank is appreciated and Investec has said that
given more warning next time around that they would contribute even more. We
salute them as well for their prompt response to our request.
The same view has been expressed by the Bloomberg Group of companies' Executive
Chairperson, Mr Israel Bloomberg. He showed willingness to support programmes of
this nature in future.
African Sales also contributed by donating some nice prizes, perfume and so on,
so those who have won prizes will be the recipients of top quality perfume.
We also value the sterling contribution of Super Group Logistic Division.
We further need to thank Distell Liquor for their contribution, and they also
committed themselves to doing more if given more warning in future.
Sarens, a company involved in transport, is also recognised for their
Mageu Number One have contributed also to ensure that we quench our thirst while
we were playing. I saw participants helping themselves during the course of the
day, especially because some of us did not have breakfast this morning and
Mageu's nutritious indigenous drink got us through the morning.
Lastly, I wish to thank my colleagues in the Organising Committee, who initiated
this event, namely: Mpumalanga Gwadiso, Mvikeli "Nobetha" Matutu and
Foster Sikolobo. We know that we didn't do justice to ourselves, because when we
mooted this idea at first, we didn't have time, even the planning was done in
the running. Perhaps we could have done far better had we had more time. One
thing which we all agreed on without hesitation, was not to take the money we
fundraised and go and pay an event management company who feels nothing for the
cause; we felt strongly that every cent left over after paying the cost of
staging the tournament must go directly to the charities. In hindsight, we were
wise, but next time we need to engage an event management company who also
believes in this cause, and who will render their services with the same passion
that we feel for this cause.
In the same vein, if this event has not lived up to your expectations, the
audience must realise that we volunteered our spare time and energy to make the
arrangements for this event, and next time we will improve.
Finally, the Organising Committee will meet early next year to do some
introspection and decide whether there is a need to repeat this event and
whether there is a need to consult widely, and whether there is a need for more
tournaments like this for different causes. We worked closely with Mthatha
Country Club around here. Once more we thank the Executive of Mthatha Country
Club for the continuous advice they gave us during the preparation of this
event. You really guided us and your advice was invaluable.
Thank you everybody and enjoy your evening.