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Robin Binckes - Spear of the Nation

Robin in Alex Robin Binckes currently conducts history experiential tours to overseas visitors as well as leading South African Companies. In addition he is deeply involved in Alexandra township, being a Trustee of Khayalethu Hostel and Project Managing an HIV/AIDS Orphans initiative for Investec Bank, as well as a pre-school Nursery “Ba-amagaleng” for 48 HIV/AIDS orphans. Having lived through and having participated in the Apartheid era, he is now a dedicated South African, committed to building a better future for all.

Robin has a career which spans Marketing, Public Relations, Food Retailing and Tourism.

He owned and managed his own Public Relations & Marketing Consultancy for 15 years and played a leading role in breaking the sports boycott during the period of sports isolation. He consulted on all aspects of communication both locally and internationally to diverse clients which included South African Cricket Union, South African Tennis Union, Transvaal Cricket, Benson & Hedges Cricket, John Player Knock-Out (Football), Yellow Pages, OK Bazaars (1929) Pty Ltd, Londolozi Resorts, Food Corporation, Transkei Development Corporation, Transkei Hotels, South African Navy, South African Breweries, Barlows Ltd, South African Formula One and Motor Cycle Grand Prix as well as South African Motor Racing and the Department of Sport. Fulfilling these roles frequently required simultaneous management of projects in Europe and Australia and New Zealand.

In addition he, and colleague Lee Irvine, created and managed a unique sporting event. The Datsun Double Wicket Cricket International, featuring teams from around the world during the sports boycott. This was followed by the “Southern Sun International” - the first International Hot Air Balloon Race ever to be staged in the Southern Hemisphere.

He, and his company was successful in re-branding the “Gillette Cup” cricket tournament to the “Datsun Shield” and managed this event for a number of years.

After being sent to Australia to examine limited overs cricket, worked as a consultant to United Tobacco Company in the development and management of “Benson & Hedges Series Cricket” the first night cricket tournament in South Africa. He was also responsible for a campaign which “Saved the South African Formula One Grand Prix” for which he was commended by the then Minister of Sport, F.W.de Klerk.

His passion for this country is contagious and through his experiential programmes he paints a picture of how everyone can play a role in building for the future. Using our history as his source he tells stories which illustrate the strength and resilience of the people and the leaders from our diverse cultures, enabling delegates to understand and identify with the struggles which have taken place in this country since 1615.

His presentations are balanced and fair to all sectors of the community. Because of the use of himself as one of the “privileged, who enjoyed the fruits of apartheid, without doing anything to change the system”, his personal narratives are revealing, honest and at the same time shocking.

Recent Projects and Achievements

  • Appointed to History sub-committee of Freedom Park.
  • Public Speaking engagements for diverse corporate clients.
  • Guest speaker on marketing and communications.
  • Appointment to committee of Alexandra NOAH.
  • Project Manages an initiative in Alexandra for Investec providing support to 223 HIV/AIDS orphans.
  • Trustee of the Zulu Hostel “Khayalethu” in Alexandra.
  • Speaker on Leadership and South African hero’s.
  • Winner of Guide of the Year “For his contribution towards the development of Tourism in Gauteng.”
  • Consulted to members of Slovo family and Universal Studios including actor Tim Robbins on Death Squads and Vlakplaas.
  • Consulted to Designers of Freedom Park.

Prior to developing a passion for the History of this country Robin held senior Management positions in the Corporate world which included being Group Managing Director for JSE listed leisure and travel group, Entercor (Ltd) and at the same time was Executive Chairman of Budget Rent-A-Car. He also has in depth experience as one of the countries most imaginative entrepreneurs, having started his own fishing group and Retail Food businesses.

Having achieved many notable successes including Saving the South African Grand Prix, and staging the first ever cricket tournament in South Africa where Black people were allowed to participate, Robin claims that his role as a Peace monitor in the townships in 1993, where he was in charge of radio communications, was the most important to him. This changed his perceptions of South Africa, and it’s people and led to his current participation in township upliftment programmes.