Sasol Pension Fund Chief Executive Officer Robert Robinson says the decision to renew the contract was an easy business decision.
“When one deals with professional people, the rewards are equally professional. The outstanding manner in which Thebe Venue Management manages the dome has raised the bar and certainly sets a benchmark in the industry. The expert approach of group managing director Carol Weaving and her team assists greatly in making this asset of the fund a very viable business proposition. Our stakeholders have every reason to feel comfortable with our decision. This hat-trick is certainly well-deserved.”
Welcoming the renewed management contract, Weaving says clients can look forward to further improved service at the dome, one of Gauteng's most versatile venues.
“When we signed the management contract a mere six years ago, the industry frowned upon the dome - the proverbial white elephant. We have achieved a turn-around of note and today the dome is one of South Africa's top multi-purpose entertainment venues.”
Among recent accolades, the Coca-Cola dome has been voted the best concert venue in Johannesburg in the Leisure Options Readers Choice Awards for the past ten consecutive years, the best live music venue by the Star Choice Awards for the last three consecutive years and the Best EXSA Exhibitions Venue, together with the Sandton Convention Centre, in 2007. The dome is rated five-star by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. The Coca-Cola dome has also just been nominated as one of South Africa's Top 500 companies. This is as a result of its contribution to the growth of the economy.
Top international performing artists who gave performances at the dome last year include Elton John, Celine Dion, Lionel Ritchie, Rod Stewart, James Blunt, the Counting Crows and Akon.
Weaving says shortly after concluding the initial management contract with the fund in 2003, Thebe landed an exclusive branding rights deal for the dome with the Coca-Cola Company Southern Africa. Part of the branding rights deal was the renaming of the venue to the Coca-Cola dome.
“Aligning oneself with the biggest international brand undoubtedly holds vast benefits. Today the dome is Southern Africa's most definitive multi-purpose indoor entertainment arena. It offers a perfect combination of capacity and capability, hosting a variety of different events from consumer and trade exhibitions to international and local concerts and corporate banquets and launches to large conventions, as well as indoor sporting events. The success is mutually beneficial for all parties.”
Venturing beyond South Africa's borders, Weaving says Thebe Venue Management is working on a strategy to manage and operate other venues in Africa. Discussions are currently underway with the ambassadors of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania.
Upcoming events include The Star Workplace Expo from 20 to 22 March, the Gardenex and Green Living Expo from 27to 29 March, the ever popular Wedding Expo on 4 and 5 April and the Joburg Baby Show from 14 to 17 May.
“We are committed to enhancing the needs of our clients and offering them what they want. We will grow the dome's reputation as Gauteng's venue of choice. Furthermore, we are committed to excel in the trust that the owners of the dome have in us and to improve their financial investment in the future,” says Weaving.