Connect with us

Company Posts

20 Years Strong: How Birchwood Continues To Grow As A Conferencing And Accommodation Giant

Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre celebrates 20 years of hospitality excellence. We look at how Birchwood has continued to maintain and expand its impressive offering.





As we approach the end of an incredible two years for The Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre – a hospitality hub minutes from OR Tambo – Kevin Clarence and his team never cease to observe and pursue measures to further enhance this award-winning, unique and incredible product offering.

20 Years of hospitality excellence

To say that it has been a successful two years for Birchwood is an understatement. 2018 marked twenty years in hospitality for the conferencing and accommodation giant, and the property and product offering has never been as impressive, vast and varied as it currently is today.

Birchwood has listened to client feedback and adapted, updated and renovated the facility to cater for every market and any specification ranging from the individual business traveler, all the way to the larger conference group.

“We would not have reached this twenty-year milestone without the support and loyalty of our client base, and producing this upgraded product offering is our way of saying thank you,” says Director and Founder of Birchwood Hotel, Kevin Clarence.

8 Impressive and versatile conference venues


The latest enhancement is Birchwood’s newly re-opened Domestic Centre. Located conveniently adjacent to the hotel’s Main Reception, and very close to the BC Café (named after Birchwood’s late co-founder, Brian Clarence) as well as the Business Centre and shuttle pick-up point, for free trips to and from OR Tambo and the East Rand Mall, the Domestic Centre is home to eight impressive and versatile conference venues.


These venues, set among the beautiful aesthetics of the Centre, house capacities that range from an intimate boardroom of ten, to a larger group of up to 300 in a cinema-style seating arrangement.

The new visuals and decor in each venue are only the beginning. Birchwood’s ‘Relax, Do Business’ ethos is exemplified in the Centre’s lobby that has an abundance of comfortable seating options to catch up on your emails or browse the Internet using Birchwood’s new WiFi connectivity infrastructure.

Free, fast and world-class Internet access

“We know the importance of staying connected, whether in your conference or outside of it. It’s no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” says Clarence. More than a million rand has been invested in creating and offering an unrivalled Internet facility, which is now free, fast and world-class.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

“Birchwood is nowhere near the beach, but we’ve got the best surf,” says Digital Marketing Manager, Greg Hoffmann. The free offering is more than capable of allowing for a seamless browsing, social media or general use experience, but Birchwood can also offer dedicated conference WiFi packages, giving groups their very own network tailor-tailor-made to their needs.

Keep your brand front and centre

Take your conference a step further by making use of the digital signage options outside your venue. Showcase key information to your delegates when they arrive, or keep it simple by ensuring your logo prominent. It’s just another way that Birchwood allows you to augment your conference experience, and impress your group.

Come see us in action – a free shuttle and drink’s on us

It’s doesn’t end there. The paradigm of dining in the same venue for breakfast, lunch and dinner is unacceptable in Birchwood’s book. Stay for a multi-day conference or accommodation experience, and you could enjoy a different dining venue every single day.

Every one of Birchwood’s five restaurants carries a different theme and feel, as well as menu. From the modern, yet rustic Boma — a palatial, semi-outdoor venue with a tapas menu and stunning water feature — all the way to a formal steakhouse with a legendary wine selection, at The Grill at OneTwenty.

Add the renowned Mangwanani Spa and pool area, as well as Hotspot Bar — a sports fan’s dream with fresh draughts and cinematic screens, and you truly have a hub that is unmatched in Southern Africa.

“It’s incredibly important to us, that your board members don’t become ‘bored’ members,” says Clarence. “Why not jump on to our free shuttle from OR Tambo, after enjoying a free coffee at our Airport Waiting Lounge, and allow us to show you why there is simply nothing like Birchwood.”

Related: 5 Key Areas Pratley Are Using For Current And Future Growth

Birchwood Hotel and Conference Venue is a one-stop facility for the booming South African business sector situated just 10km from OR Tambo International Airport. Birchwood offers 665 rooms in Birchwood, Silverbirch and ValuStay collectively, and is able to accommodate the largest of conference groups. Adding to your experience is a selection of restaurants, evening entertainment and recreational facilities, including a gym, Mangwanani Spa & pool.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Company Posts

Get The Edge This Winter

Five short courses from WITS kicking off in July will give you the competitive edge.

Wits Plus




From Gauteng’s most trusted provider of the best learning experiences, come five WITS-curated courses starting in July 2019. Use the longer, colder days to curl up with a “good book” and emerge from winter with a new edge.

There are three online short courses offered via the WITS Digital Campus, starting 15 July.

Managing Labour Relations

This 10 week course will equip you with sound knowledge of South Africa’s complex labour landscape and an understanding of your legal rights as an employee or employer.

You will also learn skills for navigating employer / employee relationships successfully, and get tools for managing disputes effectively. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.

Logistics and Supply Chain Management Practice

This 10 week course is packed with practical and theoretical information to help retail managers, supply chain supervisors, stock controllers and even CEOs drive efficiencies in the value chain.

It covers everything from improving exporting transportation, warehousing, order processing and procurement to financial management and managing waste. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.

Applied Digital Marketing

We operate in an increasingly digital world and traditional marketing must include digital aspects and channels to be relevant.

This 10 week course will teach you to think digital, talk digital and deliver effective digital campaigns to elevate marketing and brand-building initiatives. You will learn to conceptualise and implement successful digital marketing strategies that drive customer acquisition, optimise your digital footprint and deliver business results.

There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.

Related: Thinking of Immigrating to America from SA? Now Is The Time

Comprehensive onsite courses in July include:

Real Estate Investment Analysis

This intensive five day course is for people who have been introduced to the real estate discipline at NQF 4 and NQF 5 levels. It is designed to provide higher level, more focused training as well as tools for analysing different types of real estate investments at the individual asset level, and measuring investment performance.

The course will benefit property practitioners who do not have property degrees; past graduates of SAPOA programmes in different aspects of the real estate business and people from different disciplinary backgrounds considering entering the profession.  The course takes place over five days from 1 to 5 July 2019.

Advanced Performance Management

Presented by the School of Accountancy together with Wits Enterprise, this course is designed to prepare students for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Professional level exams.

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Use strategic planning and control models to plan and monitor organisational performance
  • Assess and identify key external influences on organisational performance
  • Apply strategic performance measurement techniques in evaluating and improving organisational performance
  • Advise on business performance evaluation as well as recognize vulnerability to corporate failure

The course will run from 15 July to 22 October 2019.

For more information on registering for any of these courses, criteria for registering, and costs, visit.

Related: The Importance of Outsourcing Your Payroll

This article was originally posted on

Continue Reading

Accounting & Payroll

The Importance of Outsourcing Your Payroll

One of an organisation’s biggest overheads is that of salaries and wages. And yet, if these are not processed on time, it can negatively impact staff morale and create the impression that the company is not financially stable.

CRS HR And Payroll Solutions




For a small business, payroll is normally the responsibility of an accountant or bookkeeper, but even administrators can sometimes be roped in to do the job, even though they have no expertise in the matter. This is where the value of outsourcing your payroll comes in.

When should you outsource?

  • If you want to grow your business but are not aware of ongoing legislative changes that could pose a risk to your company, then it is better to get professionals to assist.
  • Accountants and bookkeepers are not specialists and do not keep up with the compliance environment. If you outsource your payroll, you enable them to focus their core duties and not get bogged down by legislative complexities.

How to choose an outsourced service provider

Understandably, payroll is a sensitive subject dealing with highly confidential information.

This is often the last thing a small business owner wants to outsource. It is therefore vital that the company does its homework and researches the potential outsourcing partner thoroughly.

Instead of going with the first available service provider or the cheapest one, here are some questions to ask:

  • Is the service provider a one-man band and, if so, what backup resources are available?
  • Is the service provider a recognised payroll provider belonging to a professional body?
  • Do they have the necessary training and skills on payroll?
  • What does the service provider do to ensure it stays up to date with legislation?
  • How secure is the payroll data and can the service provider take on historic data?
  • How easy is it to recover your payroll data in the event of a disaster?
  • What value-adds can the service provider offer? These can include anything from leave management and third-party payments, to employee self-service, time and attendance management, and any other related human resource service.
  • Can they process salaries and/or wages hourly, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly?
  • Can the service provider accommodate your growth requirements if you open new branches?
  • Is the service provider able to assist with payrolls in other African countries, manage their currencies, and deal with their regulatory environments?
  • What processes are in place to ensure the timeous processing of payrolls?

The advantages of outsourcing your payroll

One of the most obvious benefits of going the outsourcing route is freeing up your resources to focus on your core strategic objectives. This ensures you provide quality of service and control costs while an experienced partner takes care of your payroll.

Here are a few other benefits:

  • Reduce operating costs.
  • Statutory compliance and consistent service delivery.
  • Access to the latest technology, as well as skilled and dedicated payroll resources.
  • Access to a secure, risk-free and confidential payroll environment.
  • Increased flexibility and responsiveness.
  • Streamlined internal processes and procedures.

This article was originally posted on

Related: Thinking of Immigrating to America from SA? Now Is The Time

Continue Reading

Company Posts

Thinking of Immigrating to America from SA? Now Is The Time

More South Africans are looking to get their Green Cards with the EB-5 visa. Here’s why – and how you can use this opportunity too.




South Africans are surging towards the popular United States EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa programme ahead of possible price increases that will likely place the EB-5 visa programme out of reach for many, other than for the uber-rich.

NES Financial, the leading EB-5 financial brokerage in the US, has estimated a 600% increase in EB-5 petition filings from South Africans this fiscal year from three years ago.

Increasing applications for the US Investor Visa

Bernard Wolfsdorf, a US EB-5 lawyer and former South African, has filed more South African cases in the past year than he has processed in the past ten years.

“I think it’s the fact that the investment amount could soon increase soon from $500 000 to $1,8 million that is driving many South Africans,” he says.

However, Wolfsdorf, Past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, speculates that there are other factors, such as the stable US economy, excellent business environment, and outstanding educational opportunities that are enticing many South Africans to invest in the U.S.

“The currency swing has convinced many South Africans I speak to that foreign investment in the US makes sense,” he adds.

Assisting with understanding your US immigration options

The Tier 1 top ranked US immigration law firm, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP has now set up a South African focused website and is regularly sending experienced lawyers to meet with South Africans and explain their immigration options.

“While on the one hand I am sad that many South Africans are choosing to leave, my hope is that, with global investment, many will continue to run and expand their South African companies and that the foreign investment will benefit South African trade and exports and create jobs locally,” says Wolfsdorf.

Other countries, such as China and Korea have many immigrants and they continue to drive trade with their ‘mother’ countries. “I expect to see many South African immigrants continue to develop trade and commerce with the US as this huge influx continues,” he says.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative confirms that US goods and services trade with South Africa totaled an estimated $18,9 billion in 2018. Exports were $8,4 billion; imports were $10,5 billion, creating a trade deficit with South Africa of $2,1 billion in 2018.

Some of the top imports from South Africa into the US include precious metal and stone; iron and steel; vehicles; and agricultural products like tree nuts and fresh fruit. However, the strong dollar greatly benefits trade and prices for many South African goods are high.

Why South Africans are immigrating to the US and not Australia

Other factors leading South Africans to choose the US is the fact that Australia and the United Kingdom have been less welcoming to immigrants recently, so while the US has been in third place as a choice, this is likely to soon change soon.

“In fact, Australia is becoming less and less friendly to immigrants on a personal level, with many Australians believing it’s time for its liberal immigration policies to end,” says Wolfsdorf.

“The country is implementing visa crackdown measures to limit work visas and ensure that foreign workers have the right skills and occupational licenses to conduct business. Additionally, with Brexit causing uncertainty, many South Africans have decided to look towards America for a Plan B.”

Joseph Barnett, a partner of the law firm who specializes in EB-5, is currently making his second trip to South Africa in the past six months.

“I really enjoy meeting with South Africans on my previous trip,” he says. “They are friendly, hospitable and hardworking. I’m sure this is the main reason most South Africans seem to do so well in the US.”

Why consider the EB-5 Visa

“The EB-5 Visa remains popular because there is no US employer sponsorship requirement, no education requirement, travel throughout the visa process is relatively simple, and because South Africans can choose to live wherever they desire once obtaining the green card,” the attorney adds.

“In short, the opportunity to live the American dream is open to anyone able to invest $500 000.”

South Africans should be aware that regulations first proposed in 2017 have now reached the final stage of the rulemaking process, review by the US Office of Management and Budget, before being finalized.  The time to act is now.

For more information on how you can begin your US EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa process, visit

This article was originally posted on

Continue Reading



Recent Posts

Follow Us

We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.