Our People - West Coast & Northern Cape
Deirdré and Francois van Jaarsveld.
Franchisee - Brochure Management West Coast & Northern Cape
Brochure Management West Coast (BMWC) and Northern Cape (BMNCP) are run by BMWC although different entities, because it belongs to married couple Deirdré and Francois van Jaarsveld.
Tell us about the region/s you work in.
The West Coast is still an almost undiscovered treasure trove, described by some as the exquisite and perfect place where minimalism & everyday life meet. The West Coast has a rich geographical diversity of white sand dunes, rare Fynbos, internationally acclaimed wetlands, rich birdlife, a variety of fish on the coastline to awe-inspiring magic of the raw, rugged wilderness of the mountains decorated by centuries-old rock art and sanctified with rock pools with the most astounding carpet of wild flowers in Spring and the Swartland with its seemingly endless wheat and the Cederberg with its Rooibos fields.
The West Coast is not only famous for its fields of flowers but also for its wine routes, wild flower and orchard shows, hiking trails, 4×4 trails, camping, game reserves, National Parks and further north to Namibia for its white water rafting on the Orange River.
Down south in the West Coast are towns with the like of Atlantis with its sand dunes which is known for sport activities such as sand boarding and quad biking. The western part of the West Coasts’ wind is not only used by the likes of kite surfing/boarding enthusiasts but also for alternative energy supplies such as the wind farms.
The Wellington area offers whisky tasting at acclaimed distilleries such as the James Sedgwick Distillery where you can taste price winning whiskeys such as Three Ships and Bain’s Whisky. There are also various wine routes which include towns such as Durbanville, Wellington, Tulbagh, Wolseley, Riebeek Valley (also known for its olive farms) and Malmesbury and Moorreesburg which is also known for their wheat products.
In the Ceres Valley and Warm Bokkeveld areas you will not only find snow on the Matroosberg Mountains and surrounds in winter but also fruit farms such as the Klondike Cherry farm where cherry picking in December is a absolute must and if you love a cider to cool down you will find it at Loxtonia Ceres. Ceres Valley is also known for its fruit juices such as Ceres Fruit Juices.
The Big 5 Inverdoorn Wildlife Sanctuary and Game Reserve are also found 60km from Ceres in the Tankwa Karoo. Further north into the Tankwa Karoo you will not only find the televised Tankwa Karoo Farmstall in the middle of somewhere, which actually seems to be nowhere, but also a tented camp called Apollo de Karoo with six Tipi which is very popular with dirt road bikers and 4 x 4 enthusiasts.
The sky is the limit they say and Skydiving facilities can be found near Melkbos, Malmesbury and Wellington and Porterville is also world-renowned for paragliding.
This is just a very short summary of what the West Coast has to offer to tickle your tourism feet into action.
The Northern Cape is the largest of South Africa’s nine provinces and is very sparsely populated. In some areas it is possible to drive for hours without coming across any people which can be fantastic for the soul.
Its bare desert landscape and spectacular open spaces are especially appreciated at night – with no light pollution, the night sky is ideal for astronomy enthusiasts.
The lure of the Northern Cape is definitely its natural and agricultural attractions such as the Quiver Tree Forest, the annual Namaqualand wildflower display in spring (late August/September), the spectacular Augrabies Falls, and the winding oasis that is the Green Kalahari with its vineyards such as the Orange River Cellars (Second largest Co-operative in the world and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere) as well as date and pecan nut farms.
Its rugged terrain also makes it ideal for 4×4 adventurers, while the Orange River is ideal for river-rafting and fly-fishing enthusiasts. The Northern Cape is also renowned for its hunting safaris and Game Reserves. The province also the hosts of the Blood Hound Land Speed record testing ground at Hakskeenpan as well as a testing ground for renown vehicle brands such as Volkswagen.
The province is steeped in history and culture, and many of its unique museums, like the Windmill Museum in Loeriesfontein; or monuments and battlefield sites can be explore. It is also home to the Richtersveld World Heritage Site.
The Northern Cape is also home to two Transfrontier Parks namely Kgalagadi (Kalahari) Transfrontier Park which crosses over into Botswana and Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park which crosses over into Namibia.
There are also a number of intercity bus companies that operate across the province, but perhaps the best way to discover this rugged province is by driving yourself across it in a 4×4.
Tell us something not many people know about you.
Deirdré obtained her Nat. Diploma Human Resources. Also did she not only work as a nurse at hospitals, but as a trained trauma counsellor as well and did volunteer work for NICRO who assists the SAPS with the rape and/or domestic violence victims when reported. As a youngster se did Spanish dancing, Tap dancing and ballet. She also loves to read and is a well informed person.
Francois obtained his Nat. Diploma Security Risk Management. He worked for the Department of Correctional Services for more than 27 years of which the last 16 years was as the Area Head of an Investigation Unit. He loves the art and do paint and sketch as a hobby. As a youngster he obtains provincial colours in athletics and as an adult obtains provincial colours in rifle shooting and competed on national level.
Tell us about your business, and about the people who work for you (if applicable).
Brochure Management West Coast and Northern Cape are both SME’s owned and the operations run by the husband and wife team Deirdré and Francois van Jaarsveld since December 2007. Francois only joined fulltime in 2015. Due to vast distances between some areas a total of five local agents were appointed to service the boards in their areas. All of them work or are connected to the tourism industry in some way and know the importance of marketing in their areas. They are also well informed on the brochures of the clients and what their establishments and/or activities entails.
When you think of your business, what is something that makes you PROUD?
Something that makes us proud of our business is the special bond and the longevity of good relationships we have with our clients. We claim to achieve this through the exceptional service and care we provide to our clients and their products. We have this impact on most of our clients since 2007 and we do not loose many clients. The longevity of keeping our clients is also determined by the type and calibre of clients we have as well as the calibre of the sites. We provide trust and value to the client’s product by providing them with well positioned and well maintained sites as well as exceptional service which has seen the growth of BMWC contracts. Our service does not stop with distribution and display strategy only, but extends to designing and printing the brochures as well. Our service amounts to clients trusting us and even on top level. The current Premier and previous Minister of Tourism of the Western Cape, Allan Winde, personally recommended us to Blue Bay Lodge and Resort which is now a client as well as a site of BMWC. Blue Bay Lodge also host the participants and crew of the television program Boer Soek ‘n Vrou, every year. When Ceres Zipline opened their doors BMWC was invited with the likings of the National Minister of Tourism, Mr van Schalkwyk and his Deputy Minister.
Talk us through a normal day (pre-Covid-19) for you.
Apparently nothing can happen before the customary start-up cup of coffee each morning so that is being taken care of each morning.
There are certain days/dates allocated to certain tasks:
- Between the 15th and 17th of each month a stock take have to be done and captured on the database. After capturing has been done you request the necessary brochures from the regions if required. At the same time you pack the brochures requested from your area and send them off. When you receive the stock from the other regions you capture it on the database and stack them on your racks.
- Regional recons are done on the 15th of each month.
- The renewals of contracts of clients are done before the 25th of each month and invoices are sent out to clients.
- On the 1st of each month the distribution lists are printed and the routes are packed accordingly.
- We do our distribution in the first two weeks of each month and send stock to our agents to display on sites in other areas which are not filled by us.
On the other days we do:
- Our own marketing through social media (every day). This takes some time;
- Search for possible clients and/or sites through social media platforms and follow up by phoning these leads(every day);
- Attending various meetings of tourism related entities such as various tourism organisations etc.
- We also attend to clients need for designing and printing of brochures’.
- From time to time and when on route and in the vicinity of clients, we make appointments with them to discuss their statistics and possible changes in order to stay on top of trends and their needs.
The day is then ended with that nice cup of coffee again.
How badly has Covid-19 affected you? Have you managed to access any relief funds?
Being a small enterprise means that sustaining oneself financially for two months and longer with no income is a mammoth if not an impossible task, especially taking into account that not qualifying on the base of race and being a sole proprietor not registered with the CPIC do not provide you access to any relief fund. The pandemic has struck a lot of clients and/or potential clients in the tourism industry and there is a huge uncertainty pertaining keeping and/or signing up new clients. The hard work, commitment and soul that has been put into growing BM, the loss of income and the uncertainty of what the future may hold have a very negative effect on ones emotions, especially if you see and hear of well known and branded establishments that has closed done. The prospect of losing your main source of income and competing in an ever growing pool of job seekers, being in the demographics of over 50 and white is just a devastating and demoralising thought.
What’s the first place you’d like to visit when #coronalockdown is over?
We would love to visit and have a nice braai with our children and grandchild in Cape Town and most definitely enjoy an ice-cream on the beach with them. After the braai and ice-cream is done and dusted and the emotions in tact we would love to visit Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve for that family weekend retreat.
What measures have you put in place to protect your staff and clients once lockdown has eased?
We adopted the general safety protocols established for the Tourism industry such as cleaning and sanitizing our boards, wearing masks, washing/sanitizing our hands on a regular basis and keeping the required distance. The new added operational method of QR-codes on the boards will also assist tremendously with the minimum touch and safe distancing. We are currently busy to develop a consent form for the site owners to sign that they give us consent to service the boards. We are also busy to develop a record keeping system to keep record of our own temperatures before entering a site. As it currently stand, the site owner do already sign off on the distribution list on the board being serviced and therefore time and date is being recorded when the site has been visited. We will also make sure to spend the minimum time at the board. We will also provide our own hand sanitizer.
Any recommendations for activities/companies in your area that are now operating?
Please support the many local restaurants and farmstalls, National Parks, Private Game Reserves such as Thali Thali, Buffelsfontein, Inverdoorn and accommodation facilities such as Port Indigo, Daisy Country Lodge and Country Inn Hotels in the Northern Cape and Baywatch Villas, Juffroushoogte Guest Farm, Shelley Point Hotel and many more in the West Coast.
Where can potential clients get hold of you?
Face Book: Brochure Management West Coast
Cell Phone: Deirdré – 083 233 4146
Francois – 083 712 5689
P.O. Box : 466, St Helena Bay, 7390