About International Marketing Council (IMC)
The International Marketing Council (IMC) was established in August 2000 to create a positive and united image for South Africa.
Aims of the IMC
The IMC's mission is three-pronged:
- First, the establishment of a brand for South Africa which positions the country in terms of its investment and credit worthiness, exports, tourism and international relations objectives.
- Second, the establishment of an integrated approach within government and the private sector to the international marketing of South Africa.
- Third, the building of national support for the brand within South Africa itself. For this the IMC seeks the co-operation of government departments, public entities, the private sector and the non-governmental sector.
South Africa's Image Abroad
The apartheid era has left a negative image of South Africa, which has been exacerbated by some of the problems inherited from that era: crime, un- employment, poverty and AIDS. Yet there are plenty of positives which receive far less publicity: a progressive Constitution and Bill of Rights, a smooth transition to democracy, strong economic fundamentals, improved credit rating, world-class tourist destinations, well-developed infrastructure, and a regional leader of considerable influence.
President Thabo Mbeki summed it up in his May 2001 address to the IMC:
"The challenge that faces the International Marketing Council is indeed the challenge to say how we communicate this message about South Africa to the rest of the world, which is the message of hope - a message of hope not only for the people of South Africa but a message of hope for the people of the world."
There is a strong feeling in the country that there is much goodwill in the international community towards South Africa, and that goodwill should not be squandered. Says President Mbeki:
"All of us who travel around have sensed this level of interest in the country and the positive mood generally across the globe about South Africa."
Essop Pahad, Minister in the Presidency and ex officio Council member, said in November 2000:
"The establishment of the IMC with luminaries drawn from the public and private sectors should be the vanguard of a truly national effort to reposition South Africa in the minds, hearts and pockets of the world."
Joel Netshitenzhe, CEO of GCIS and a council executive member, comments in his May 2001 GCIS Budget vote speech:
"Most encouraging in the recent period is the multitude of initiatives as well as offers from individuals and corporate entities to contribute to this exciting initiative [to promote pride among South Africans]."
"Steadily, it is dawning on more and more South Africans that what we do and say to other nationals and among ourselves has a profound impact on how we are viewed as a possible investment and tourist destination."
South Africa - National Gambling Act
Studies on the gambling industry in South Africa show that casinos have the highest employment rates as compared to other betting systems in the country. However, this betting sector faces a variety of challenges which require fixing so that it can continue employing a significant portion of the South African populace.
Challenges facing casinos
Changes in the management and control of casinos for disadvantaged persons in the society are needed. There is need to ensure that ownership processes adhere to the stipulated government codes to allow the smooth transfer of such establishments.
Owing to the destination approach put in place to regulate the location of casinos, owners might have a hard time finding a suitable place for their establishments. However, they are not permitted to locate their betting establishments in areas where minors can access them. They should not put up shop near residential areas too. These measures are in place to ensure that the socio-economic statuses of the South African people are not negatively affected.
With time, some casinos have moved closer to the restricted zones, and as such, the issue needs researching.
ATMs and restricted persons
The National Gambling Act stipulates that all ATMs must be installed at a distance no less than five meters from the gambling floor. This measure is a means of reducing the temptation of gamblers to gamble all their money away. With time, though casinos have adhered to the rule, most of the ATMs have been installed in a way that they are apparently visible from the gambling floor. This kind of proximity undermines the foundation of the policy.(read more)