NEW CEO commits to turn-around at PACOFS; ploughs own money into theatre gardens

To symbolise that he will do whatever it takes to turn PACOFS around, the recently appointed CEO of PACOFS, Mr Themba Dlamini, will personally pay a contractor to improve the gardens around the theatre complex.
Dlamini is also organising a staff gardening clean-up day for Monday, 6 March, when all PACOFS staff members (65) will clean up the rest of the garden and work compost into the soil.
Until recently, when receiving complaints about gardens from concerned citizens, the institution referred these citizens to the Department of Public Works, who owns the PACOFS complex.
“With this initiative, PACOFS now takes full responsibility for the property. I will not wait for processes to eventually conclude, in order to secure money to pay for the services. I am paying with my own money,” Dlamini says.
Pruning the trees and plants is an initiative of the well-known Bloemfontein botanist and landscaper, the 80-year-old Mrs Truwhella Pienaar. The niece of Mrs Pienaar, Mrs Louise Gottschalk, contacted PACOFS in August 2022 to offer her services and donate plants, after she visited the booking office and noticed the neglected garden at its entrance. Gottschalk paid for a gardener to start cleaning the gardens last week and is involving her aunt in the planning of the upgrade.
PACOFS has also appointed a service provider to erect a security fence around the building.
“The fence will solve many problems for the institution and its customers, by assuring a safe and clean theatre can be maintained. We want PACOFS to be buzzing with activity on its path to becoming a global role player in the arts,” Dlamini says.
A service provider has also been appointed to renovate the 1st Avenue entrance next to the André Huguenet theatre. Once completed, the entrance will have the look and feel of a hotel lobby and will also serve as a booking office. Tickets of productions in the Pacofs theatres are now sold through Webtickets, and are also available at Pick ’n Pay and Boxer stores country wide.
Pienaar and Gottschalk, together with Dlamini, invite the people of Bloemfontein to be involved in the garden project, and to help return the Sand du Plessis theatre complex to its former glory. Interested parties can contact Adri van Veijeren at 066 298 0438.
About Themba Dlamini:
An experienced leader and strategist, Mr Dlamini has held numerous senior positions across various industries. These include holding positions such as: CEO at the Office of the Public Protector of South Africa, Managing Director of the Black Management Forum, CEO of the National Gambling Board, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA).
Mr Dlamini holds a master’s degree in Development Economics from Williams College, Massachusetts (USA) and a BA Honours Degree in Economics from Howard University in Washington DC (USA), Mr Dlamini also has Board experience which includes serving as Board Member of the National Library of South Africa, Northwest Development Corporation, National Heritage Council and the National Planning Commission.