Tourism KwaZulu-Natal Service Excellence Awards Judging Process and Panel

Tourism KwaZulu-Natal Service Excellence Awards Judging Process and Panel

Adjudicating Process

Written reports will be assessed and nominees will be short listed using a short-listing score card to ensure transparency, objectivity and consistency in the process. The short listed properties will each receive a surprise visit to undertake further assessments.

Adjudicating panel


Thembi Kunene
CEO: Tourism Grading Council of SA

Warren Ozard
Operations Manager: Fedhasa
Warren started his career in the Hospitality Industry at the Oyster Box Hotel as a trainee after leaving school. From here he operated his own restaurant in Ballito for four years. He took a career change then and decided to purchase and managed a very successful Florist and Gift Shop in Westville for twelve years. The hospitality industry had its claws into Warren and he then took the position of general manager of The Durban Club on the Esplanade for eleven years. Warren was offered the position of general manager at the Sani Pass Hotel which he accepted and work there for one year before relocating back to Durban to join Fedhasa as Operations Manager for the East Coast Region in 2003.

Sal Pillay
Venue Chapter Chair: SAACI 

Daryl Keywood
MD: Walthers / President: SITE
Daryl Keywood is the Managing Director of Walthers DMC, an award winning company focussed on inbound business tourism to southern Africa. Daryl is also the 2009 President of the South Africa Chapter of SITE. Convincing potential clients to choose South Africa for their event, meeting or incentive reward programme is Daryl’s passion. For up to three months of each year Daryl visits potential clients. He also attends and exhibits at several international trade shows. Job satisfaction is seeing those same clients depart, emotionally changed by their experiences in South Africa, and in most cases, promising to return.
"One can certainly enjoy the country’s physical highlights but unless one spends time learning to understand its peoples and cultures, the experience is incomplete."

 It is for that reason that Daryl and the team at Walthers DMC expose as many visitors as possible to the “real” South Africa. “Incorporating or involving local communities in some way in each of our projects is an integral part of our business”, says Daryl.

Daryl Keywood and his team were honoured as the inaugural recipients of a Crystal Award in the category “Most Sustainable Event” by the Society of Incentive and Travel Experts (SITE) in December 2007. Daryl also sits on the board of the “Footprints Foundation” a US based fundraising non-profit which supports rural schools in Mpumalanga.

Tour Operating / Wheels

Linda Pampallis

MD: Thompsons Tours

Kevin Pretorius
MD: Phinda Private Game Reserve

Sadha Naidoo
MD: Calygroup

Bunny Bhoola
MD: African Link / SATSA
National EXCO member of SATSA – Communications and Benefits
Chairman of Tourism and Reasearch Committee of KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, plus Board Member
Member of Tourism Business Forum and Tourism Mentorship Program
President of Skal International, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands
Chairman of Pietermaritzburg Tourism

Information Office

James Seymour

GM: Information Services, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal
James Seymour is Tourism KwaZulu-Natal's General Manager for Tourism Information Services. His department is responsible for the information and knowledge management function of the organisation. It was as a result of the activities of this division that Tourism KwaZulu-Natal received the 2007 United Nations World Tourism Ulysses Award for Innovation in Tourism Governance in the realm of Knowledge Management. This was a first for Africa!

Formerly he headed up the Information and Research Department of South African Tourism. Prior to that he was a Research Manager with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), where he was in charge of the Consumer and Qualitative Research Unit or MARKDATA, which was the then marketing research agency of that organization.

James has an MA in the Social Sciences and other qualifications in tourism, marketing and marketing research. He has also just completed an MSc in Tourism and Travel Management through The University of Nottingham in the UK. James is a member of the South African Marketing Research Association (SAMRA), The International Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) and the Southern African Association of Tourism Professionals (SAATP).

Mpume Kheswa
Deputy Manger: Tourism, DEDT

Peter Rose
Manager: Umhlanga Tourism office
Born and schooled in Liverpool England, Peter immigrated to Durban in December 1966.  In 2005, he was first elected as the chairman of Umhlanga Tourism where he is currently running his third term. He has been involved in marketing for the past 25 years and obtained his diploma in Marketing Management from the Department of Business Economics at Wits University in 1990. In 1994, Peter attended the Graduate School of Business leadership at Unisa and obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in their Advanced Executive Management Programme. He became involved in tourism in the accommodation sector with his wife, when they opened a guesthouse in Umhlanga Rocks called Anchor's Rest.  Peter Rose considers himself to be a real "Durbanite" who loves our city and everything about it. 


Kerry Nicholson

SA Chef Association

Sundru Pillay
National Vice President and the International Director of The Chaine Foundation
Sundru Pillay's career started as General Manager of Air Mauritius Durban in 1984 and in 1995 he started his own business. In addition to Sumetro Travel he established Metrolink Public Relations with his wife, Rani Pillay. Sundru was made one of four directors of  the International Chaine Foundation of the Chaine Des Rotisseurs in the world and is a member on the User Forum Board of the International Convention Centre Durban.

Markus Benziger
Member: Chaine Des Rottisseur
Originating from eastern Switzerland, where he started his Hotel career in the late 70s, Markus has worked for several prestigious establishments throughout the world. In 1996 he and his family moved to Sun City. After a two year contract, Markus took the position of executive chef at the then new International Convention Centre, Durban, where he took the ICC kitchens from strength to strength for 6 years. The food was prepared on the principal of cook-chill (also called “Total Catering Management System”), which is probably the most modern and safe way large volumes of food can be prepared in today's cooking world. There are no limits to menus, selection and preparation methods, they where able to cater for most if not all, culinary requirements.

Markus then opted to set up his own company called Total Catering Concepts @ your service or TCC. He is able to offer a wide range of services to the hospitality and allied industry, backed by more than 30 years of international hospitality experience.

Since he has specialised in H.A.C.C.P. protocol, he is able to assist businesses having to change to become H.A.C.C.P. compliant as per the government gazette.

Most notably Markus was given an opportunity to conceptualize all catering requirements for the new Moses Mabhida Stadium Durban. Markus designed, built and specified all requirements to enable the stadium to cater for very large and wide varieties of needs.

During his many years abroad from Switzerland he has been able to achieve some extraordinary awards and commendations, some of which are:

* Organiser of the provincial Young Commis Rotisseur competition, KwaZulu-Natal June 2003 and May 2004 at Chantecler Hotel, organized by La Chaine des Rotisseur KwaZulu-Natal

*Member of the judges board for the International Young Commis Rotisseur Competition held in September 2003 in Cape Town organised by La Chaine des Rotisseur Afric du sud

* Bailli (Provincial President) of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, Chapter KwaZulu-Natal for 4 years

Tourism Journalist

Chris Skinner


Robin Swelal
Associate Director of Journalism: DUT

Advocate Robin Sewlal serves as a Commissioner on the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA). Robin is the Convener of Judges for the prestigious Vodacom Journalist of the Year competition. He serves as a Council Member and Regional Convener of the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) and board member of the International Centre of Non-Violence (ICON). Robin is Deputy Chairman of the Durban/ Chicago/New Orleans Sister City Committee and a member of the Board of Governors at Durban High School (DHS).

Accessible Tourism

Shakila Maharah
Chairman: KZN Disabled Tourism Forum

-Tourism KwaZulu-Natal Service Excellence Index-