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From the CEO’s desk: PPA, Racetec and the CTCTT

From the CEO’s desk: PPA, Racetec and the CTCTT

How do we all fit together and what do we do? PPA, Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust and Racetec

When someone asks where I work and I say, “At PPA”, two of the more common responses are, “Oh, you guys organise the Argus?” and “What’s that?”.

For many, the Cape Town Cycle Tour will always be known as the “Argus”. There is an extensive organisation behind the Cape Town Cycle Tour and I’d like to try and explain to you how we all fit together. There is a lot of misinformation in the community about who “the Trust” is, what PPA does and “where the money goes”. Then there’s Rotary and Racetec too, but do you know who owns whom and who does what?

Let’s start at the beginning.

Back in 1976, a couple of cyclists got together and decided it was time to organise a ride to the City Hall and appeal for safer roads and proper cycling infrastructure. That was called “The Big Ride In” and it became quite a popular event, to the point where that group of cyclists, the “Western Province Pedal Power Association”, needed some help in organising the ride. They approached Rotary Newlands who said the event “had no future” and declined to help.

So, the group of merry cyclists knocked on the door of Rotary Claremont, who agreed to assist.

The event went from strength to strength and, one day, Rotary Claremont and WPPPA couldn’t agree on who owned the Big Ride. Both parties agreed to a compromise and jointly established the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust (CTCTT), which, to this day, is the organiser of the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

PPA and Rotary Claremont are both 50% shareholders in the CTCTT. For the sake of good governance, the Trust has a board of 12 trustees. Six trustees represent the interests of PPA and six trustees represent Rotary Claremont. The chairmanship rotates annually between the two shareholders.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour is owned and organised by the CTCTT, with PPA and Rotary Claremont being the sole and equal beneficiaries of the Trust.

Apart from the Cycle Tour, the CTCTT organises are few more events. These are:

  • Junior Cycle Tour
  • Cycle Tour MTB Challenge
  • Cycle Tour Expo
  • Coronation Double Century
  • Stellenbosch Cycle Tour

The CTCTT has its own events team and they organise the above events, without the assistance of PPA or Rotary Claremont. This is important to note, as there is a misconception that PPA organises the Cycle Tour and the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. We don’t and we have no operational input at all.

Remember, I am trying to keep this simple, so bear with me.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust also owns 100% of the shares in Racetec, which is a commercial timing company. Rotary Claremont does not organise any timed events but PPA does, so we use Racetec to time our own events and those that we support. Racetec also manages our database, online entries and our internal seeding system.

Racetec times a number of other events around South Africa and, as an independent business, is free to pursue any other events that require a timing solution.

As equal beneficiaries of the CTCTT, PPA and Rotary each receive half of the net profit generated by the Trust. In other words, PPA receives half of any profits generated by the above five events, as well as half of any profit generated by Racetec.

The Pedal Power Association is a Public Benefit Organisation, owned by the members. A 12-person, elected Executive Committee performs an oversight duty, much like a board does. I report to the board and am responsible for the day-to-day running of the Association.

We do a whole lot of things for the members and the cycling community, but I will focus on our events: There is a lot of confusion around which events we organise, with a lot of cyclists under the impression that PPA organises all of the events that appear on our calendar.

PPA currently owns & organises 11 events on the calendar:

  • Tour de PPA
  • Enjoy One Tonner
  • Maluti Double90 Team Challenge (Free State)
  • Wacky Wheels Overnight Tour
  • Tread Lightly Women’s MTB
  • Tiletoria Elgin Valley MTB
  • Greyton Overnight Tour
  • BlueBoost Heels on Wheels Women’s funride
  • Mangaung MTB & Cycle Tour  (Free State)
  • Twilight Family MTB @ Backsberg

These are the only events that we have full organisational control over. We determine venues, routes, entry fees and everything else. All of the other events you see on the PPA calendar fit into one of the following categories:

Supported or Listed:

Supported events: PPA recommends entry fees to the organiser, but they determine their own entry fees. We negotiate a discount for our members, as much as we can, bearing in mind that the organiser is raising funds for a charity through the event. PPA provides timing, route marking support, pre-event planning, and crew on the day, at a highly subsidised rate. Timing alone for an event costs around R12 000 and we absorb 50% of the cost to keep the organiser’s costs as low as possible. Even though we own part of Racetec via the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust, PPA is invoiced for timing services.

Listed events: We have no involvement with this event, other than listing it on our calendar for marketing purposes. Wines2Whales and Karoo2Coast are examples of listed events.

To recap:

A board of 12 trustees governs the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust. Six from Rotary Claremont and six from PPA. The CTCTT is an event organiser in its own right and has operational control over all its events.

Rotary Claremont uses its share of the proceeds from the CTCTT to fund a host of projects, but is not involved in any cycling events.

The Pedal Power Association uses its share of the CTCTT proceeds to fund projects and organise cycling events. PPA also supports non-commercial event organisers with a host of subsidised services.

PPA only organises 11 of its own cycling events. (Note: I have not added the hill climbs or Killarney training sessions to the list).

Racetec is a timing company that is wholly owned by the CTCTT. PPA makes use of its services and is billed accordingly.

I hope this has provided some clarity on how we all fit together?

In 2017, PPA will have lot more own events in its portfolio and be able to determine the differential between entry fees for members and non-members across a broader spectrum of events. This will translate into an even better value for your PPA membership.

Next time: “Where does the money go?”