Entrepreneurs place Vereeniging on the map

In celebration of Tourism Month this September, South Africans are encouraged to be tourists in their own country, and even more, in their own cities.  Finding hidden gems in your own community can be greatly rewarding in terms of personal fulfillment such as family fun and togetherness, as well as local leisure holidays. A small city hidden on the banks of the Vaal River showcases such a gem: Vereeniging. Today we give thanks to those who assisted in the development of such a beautiful town – the people who built capital by taking risks and following their own initiative – the entrepreneurs; the dreamers.

Vereeniging 1891, little more than a wasteland – A man named Thomas Nicholas Leslie arrived in Vereeniging to open up a stone mine. Losing both his parents at a very young age, Leslie was forced to make a living for himself. Leslie travelled across the country, working in various mining and building sectors. When finally settling in Vereeniging with his family, his 51 year involvement with the small town of Vereeniging began – playing a pioneering role in its civic, cultural, educational and horticultural development. As Vereeniging’s first mayor – Leslie helped encourage Otto Brandmuller to beautify the banks of the immaculate Vaal River the city was located on. Planting Willows and Poplars, which helped make Vereeniging the scenic nature resort it is today. Meanwhile, the enthusiastic Russian born entrepreneur, Sammy Marks, (who initially appointed Otto Brandmuller) was also active in the area. Developing and venturing mainly in the mining and coal industry with his partner and one of the founders of the town, Isaac Lewis, it is largely due to Marks that the Vaal Triangle is one of South Africa‘s primary industrial areas today. Isaac Lewis’ son, Roy Lewis, shared in his father’s entrepreneurial flair and went on to build the Vereeniging Country Club, today known as the Riviera on Vaal Country Club.

More than 100 years later, another opportunist and entrepreneur started his own endeavors in the Vaal. Mac van der Merwe, born in Vereeniging, was encouraged through a poor upbringing and hard-working parents to become a highly successful businessman in various business sectors such as hospitality, travel and wine industries, as well as property development and engineering. Van der Merwe entered the business world by opening a car dealership (Park Motors) with no funding but plenty of enthusiasm with a team of friends, including Mr. Davide Parodi – which rapidly expanded to seven branches throughout Gauteng. Being a qualified mechanical engineer, Van der Merwe then started Vaalmac Engineering – developing unique engineering technology in the steel manufacturing industry. From there he ventured into IT manufacturing, and later entered the mining industry.

In 2002 Van der Merwe established a hospitality group, the Zorgvliet Portfolio, which showcases the diverse offerings of South Africa as a tourism destination – one of which is the Riviera on Vaal Hotel & Country Club in Vereeniging, which he purchased on auction in 2003.

September marks the 85th birthday anniversary of the Riviera on Vaal Hotel, a grand old lady indeed. In commemoration of Tourism Month, we can only pay tribute to the entrepreneurs in all sectors for making the city of Vereeniging what it is today.

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About the Riviera on Vaal Hotel & Country Club

A Luxury Hotel that’s the perfect all rounder – be it entertaining the whole family or hosting that all important business event – located 45 minutes away from Johannesburg. The hotel offers guests varied options for families with small children, romantic couples or business guests. It boasts a magnificent view and friendly and efficient staff, always committed to giving each individual guest the very special experience they deserve. From water sport to relaxing spa treatments, there’s a lot to be enjoyed. The 18-hole golf course is very popular, as is the 9-hole Pitch & Putt, which is a great activity for couples, families and teambuilding. Also on offer are various restaurant options. This resort offers a very family friendly environment.

www.rivieraonvaal.co.za

For more information please contact:

Renate de Villiers

MV COMMUNICATIONS

Mario Milani Drive

Vereeniging, Gauteng, 1930

Phone:    016 420 1300

Fax:         016 455 6125

Email:     press@rivieraonvaal.co.za

RIVIERA ON VAAL: Cheers to the next 85 years

After turning 85 in August, 2012, the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club has big expectations not only for the near future, but also for the next 85 years and counting.

The Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club has had a big year thus far, indicating that they are endeavoring to become one of Gauteng’s environmentally friendly hotels. With the Riviera on Vaal being but a speck in the milky way of the hospitality industry, they take on challenges in the same capacity as other bigger hotel groups in the country. As an independent hotel they are proud to have achieved what they have in the past almost decade and plan on achieving even more in the next few years. With the world and the tourism industry becoming more and more environmentally attentive, it is establishments like the Riviera on Vaal’s responsibility to set an example within their communities.

To thrive, hotels need to understand and embrace the needs of their guests as well. It is important to consistently inject new life and different experiences into their offers, which keeps the ideas current while still embracing present styles and techniques. The Riviera on Vaal strives to decrease environmental impact and increase social responsibility within its local community. Recruiting staff from the local community and using local suppliers are also some of Riviera on Vaal’s highest priorities. They have developed ABET (Adult Basic Educational Training) programmes, as well as student internships. Riviera on Vaal is also consistently involved with Matt’s Foundation, a local non-profit organization responsible for loving the children of the Vaal. The organization provides basic needs to numerous children’s homes, safety houses and shelters in the local community.

Furthermore, the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club has made it their priority to become more and more involved in the protection of their environment. The first steps have already been taken, which granted them a silver classification from Heritage, a South African environmental management company.

The Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club has also created relationships with numerous local companies to increase their guests’ experiences at the resort. These companies include Tapamanzi Team Building as well as Twin Boats who will be assisting the hotel with a multitude of water sport activities. Riviera on Vaal would like to thank all companies, suppliers, guests and staff members who have supported the hotel and the country club over the past 85 years and they look forward to sharing their special experiences for special people with their loyal customers and suppliers in the years to come.

General Manager, Leonie Herselman, has been at the Riviera on Vaal for just over a year now and with her management team they have been able to recreate the original essence of the Riviera on Vaal Hotel: special experiences for special people. A feel of unity has been created amongst staff and therefore the hotel seems to have a prosperous future ahead.

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About the Riviera on Vaal Hotel & Country Club

A Luxury Hotel that’s the perfect all rounder – be it entertaining the whole family or hosting that all important business event – located 45 minutes away from Johannesburg. The hotel offers guests varied options for families with small children, romantic couples or business guests. It boasts a magnificent view and friendly and efficient staff, always committed to giving each individual guest the very special experience they deserve. From water sport to relaxing spa treatments, there’s a lot to be enjoyed. The 18-hole golf course is very popular, as is the 9-hole Pitch & Putt, which is a great activity for couples, families and teambuilding. Also on offer are various restaurant options. This resort offers a very family friendly environment.

www.rivieraonvaal.co.za

For more information please contact:

Renate de Villiers

MV COMMUNICATIONS

Mario Milani Drive

Vereeniging, Gauteng, 1930

Phone: 016 420 1300

Fax:     016 455 6125

Email:  press@rivieraonvaal.co.za

Riviera on Vaal’s social involvement bares fruit

The Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club’s aim is to become one of the top accommodation and conferencing venues in the Vaal Triangle. With this in mind, it has always been one of their top priorities to be involved in their community and also to involve the community as far as possible.

With the need for upliftment amongst communities in many rural areas in South Africa, the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club has made it one of their objectives to create opportunities for the Vaal Triangle Community to develop their skills and knowledge and to grow in certain fields of expertise. Therefore, they have implemented an Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) programme, creating multiple educational opportunities within the vicinity. The programme is life changing as it teaches adults numeracy and literacy skills which enable them to upgrade or complete their school leaving qualifications. Students need to attend these one hour classes at Riviera on Vaal at least once a week where teachers from the numeracy academy are available for one hour per day from Monday to Friday. The ABET classes commenced in February 2012 and students are starting to prepare for graduation which will be taking place in December.

The hotel is also part of a Tourism Intern Project which has been launched by the City of Johannesburg in 2012. Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club is currently one of only two tourism establishments not situated in Johannesburg that forms part of the initiative. Through these internships students are given the opportunity to gain experience within the tourism industry. The Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club’s management mentors, groom and train these students for the hospitality environment and the day they graduate from their various learning institutions. The Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club has hosted twenty four interns from institutions such as Stenden, HYI, Incor, HIS, VUT, Swiss Hotel School and SCP Catering Services thus far. The various positions that the interns were mentored in included Chef and Kitchen positions, Food and Beverage and Maintenance. Many of the interns were also put on a rotation programme, where they were able to learn more about all the different departments within the hotel.

One of Riviera on Vaal’s recent success stories includes their current front office manager. Elsie has been working at the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club as a receptionist since 2008. The front office management team at that time gave her the opportunity to learn from them and she frequently volunteered to assist with certain management tasks. She later worked at Riviera on Vaal as the Night Auditor. “I did my job with pride and exceeded the expectations,” she said proudly. When the position for the Front Office Manager became vacant, Elsie applied and as Riviera on Vaal believes in uplifting their staff through internal promotions and development, her application was successful. Elsie says: “If you want something in life you focus, work hard and never give in or give up.”

With these positive community initiatives, the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club has developed a platform from which they can serve, develop and involve the Vaal Triangle Community on a daily basis.

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About the Riviera on Vaal Hotel & Country Club

A Luxury Hotel that’s the perfect all rounder – be it entertaining the whole family or hosting that all important business event – located 45 minutes away from Johannesburg. The hotel offers guests varied options for families with small children, romantic couples or business guests. It boasts a magnificent view and friendly and efficient staff, always committed to giving each individual guest the very special experience they deserve. From water sport to relaxing spa treatments, there’s a lot to be enjoyed. The 18-hole golf course is very popular, as is the 9-hole Pitch & Putt, which is a great activity for couples, families and teambuilding. Also on offer are various restaurant options. This resort offers a very family friendly environment.

www.rivieraonvaal.co.za

For more information please contact:

Renate de Villiers

MV COMMUNICATIONS

Mario Milani Drive

Vereeniging, Gauteng, 1930

Phone: 016 420 1300

Fax:     016 455 6125

Email:  press@rivieraonvaal.co.za

 

FOOD AND WINE PAIRING AT RIVIERA ON VAAL

The Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club hosted a food and wine pairing evening in Matthews Restaurant’s atrium for guests of the Vaal Community on Saturday, 15 September 2012.

Zorgvliet Wine Estate’s winemaker, Neil Moorehouse, was the host for the evening, mingling with guests and sharing his fruitful knowledge with intrigued diners and tasters. Invitees were welcomed with a glass of Zorgvliet’s popular Methode Cap Classique, preparing them for an unforgettable evening of fine dining on Vaal. The warm atmosphere of the atrium was perfect for the rainy weather and live entertainment rounded off a perfect evening.

The menu consisted of five courses, all complimented by selected Zorgvliet wines. Moorehouse chose to have the guests enjoy their first course with their glasses still filled with the farm’s bubbly. Zorgvliet’s Silver Myn Chardonnay, and their Sauvignon Blanc were two of the white wines for the evening which definitely complimented the first few menu items. Char grilled beef fillets were coupled with Zorgvliet Wine Estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon. A new addition to the farm’s range, the Zorgvliet Natural Sweet, was served as a dessert wine with a plated trio of sweet treats. Riviera on Vaal Hotel’s Executive Chef and his team were introduced to the guests between two of the courses, and they were thanked with applause.

The event featured as the launch of the wine tastings to follow this season, which will take place on a monthly basis at the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club. The next food and wine pairing evening will take place on Saturday, 26 October 2012.

Click here for more information.

 

About the Riviera on Vaal Hotel & Country Club

A Luxury Hotel that’s the perfect all rounder – be it entertaining the whole family or hosting that all important business event – located 45 minutes away from Johannesburg. The hotel offers guests varied options for families with small children, romantic couples or business guests. It boasts a magnificent view and friendly and efficient staff, always committed to giving each individual guest the very special experience they deserve. From water sport to relaxing spa treatments, there’s a lot to be enjoyed. The 18-hole golf course is very popular, as is the 9-hole Pitch & Putt, which is a great activity for couples, families and teambuilding. Also on offer are various restaurant options. This resort offers a very family friendly environment.

www.rivieraonvaal.co.za

For more information please contact:

Renate de Villiers

MV COMMUNICATIONS

Mario Milani Drive

Vereeniging, Gauteng, 1930

 

Phone:    016 420 1300

Fax:         016 455 6125

Email:     press@rivieraonvaal.co.za

DCD PLAYS GOLF SPRINGBUCK STYLE

DCD, niche heavy engineering manufacturer, held their annual golf day at the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club on 6 September 2012 with a different swing to it. With DCD being one of the prominent companies in the Vaal Triangle and leading supplier of specialist heavy engineering products in South Africa, their golf day was aimed at enjoying a business to business game of golf and also to launch one of their most recent defense vehicles, the Springbuck. As a company that represents the number one shipyard and the biggest ring mill in Africa, the day promised to be quite the event.

DCD’s Public Relations and Brand Coordinator, Natacha Templeman, has once again outdone herself with the planning and arrangement of the golf day. Unfortunately crisis management had to step in, with the weather barely allowing guests to hit one ball. DCD’s clients were entertained at the Riviera on Vaal Country Club while waiting for the rain to pass with high hopes that they would be able to tee off at noon. Unfortunately the rain did not allow much golfing, but dinner still topped off a day of good business connections and DCD was still able to celebrate their newly developed brand structure with some of their top clients. Templeman stated that she was stoked to see how many invitees pitched for the golf day considering the bad weather. “Only eight people did not pitch,” she said excited. The rainy weather allowed for ample time for the men and women to gather around the country club’s tables and discuss some business and DCD’s future.

DCD has had numerous growth changes during the past few years, including the changing of their name from DCD-Dorbyl to a more concise DCD in January 2012. Together with their rebranding, they now also operate under four clusters, which include rail, mining & energy, defence and marine. DCD Wind Energy is the first company in South Africa to start and complete the manufacturing of 50 meter blades. The philosophy behind DCD is to create as much jobs and skills development in the local community as possible. Furthermore, DCD is also very active with regards to training programmes and increasing the skills pool in South Africa. They have invested R35 million in a proprietary Public Benefit Organisation named KhulaNathi Empowerment (KNE), which focuses on specific work needs, processes and methodologies. In addition to this they also have ongoing education and training initiatives and DCD aims on multi-skilling employees at all levels through these. DCD endeavors to provide their employees with not just a job, but careers and growth.

DCD launched the new Springbuck defense vehicle on the golf day at the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club, which is one of the great achievements of the newly restructured company’s defense cluster. This vehicle was designed with the aim on enlarging DCD’s footprint in the Africa countries. It is unique in being one of the few vehicles that is more affordable, yet not inferior in its offerings DCD would like to industrialize and decrease the pricing of the Springbuck even further. This new addition to DCD Protected Mobility’s products will also be showcased at Africa Aerospace and Defense 2012 from 19 to 21 September.

Another defense vehicle, the Mountain Lion, was also showcased at Riviera on Vaal during their celebrations. This vehicle has proven to be very successful, being the only vehicle in its caliber to finish the Summer Trail the first time around. Competing against large companies such as Renault, this was a great achievement for DCD. Andrew Mears, General Manager of DCD Protected Mobility, stated that the Mountain Lion, similar to the other vehicles on the Summer Trail, got stuck in the mud, but was the only vehicle able to work its way out on its own. Mears says that the Mountain Lion has been developed from the needs identified from DCD’s Husky route clearance equipment and contains an optimal balance required for a very specific niche. The Mountain Lion is ideally suited for peacekeeping, peace enforcement and policing type operations.

With protected mobility such as DCD’s defense vehicles, there is no doubt that DCD is one of the top manufacturers in the heavy engineering industry.

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http://www.dcd.co.za/

For more information please contact:

Renate de Villiers

MV COMMUNICATIONS

Mario Milani Drive

Vereeniging, Gauteng, 1930

 

Phone:  016 420 1300

Fax:      016 455 6125

Email:   press@rivieraonvaal.co.za