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Seasoned hospitality professional takes the helm at StreetSmart SA.


StreetSmart SA, an organisation dedicated to helping vulnerable children rebuild their lives, welcomes Zaid Adams, a seasoned professional with over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, as its new chairman.

Adams who has served as a StreetSmart director since January 2019 after supporting the organization for a number of years in various hospitality roles, takes over the baton from Melanie Burke, a StreetSmart founding member who served as chairman for the past six years. Burke will continue to play a vital role as vice-chairman going forward.


“I am excited to bring my hospitality experience, combined with my passion for making a difference, to my new role and look forward to expanding on the 15 year foundation laid by my predecessors Margi Biggs, Nils Heckscher and most recently, Melanie Burke,” says Adams.

A dynamic self-starter who leads from the front with vast experience as a food, beverage and hospitality professional has the inside track to lead StreetSmart into the future. Adams has held senior positions with some of the country's leading hospitality brands including Sun International and Taj Hotels. He also has extensive international hospitality experience having worked in the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa. He has served on the board of FEDHASA and is a member of the Chaine de Rotisseurs since 2007.

In spite of the significant constraints imposed on the hospitality industry by the Covid-19 pandemic, StreetSmartSA has 71 partners nationally that continue to support its vision of creating viable lives for the country’s most vulnerable children, many of whom live on the streets. Funds are raised through StreetSmart partners by adding a R5 donation to a patron’s bill. This donation is voluntary and donors are able to contribute more if they wish to.

StreetSmart invites more businesses to make a real, long-term difference in their local communities R5 at a time by becoming fundraising partners.

“In 2020, StreetSmart’s fundraising was severely impacted by the lockdown and we are looking towards additional fundraising to support the life-changing work done by our beneficiaries. There are many opportunities where R5 can be added to a bill and this means that you can become StreetSmart in your business too, so please make contact so that we can help you start,” adds Adams.

StreetSmart SA was set up in 2005 by a group of concerned Capetonians under the patronage of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and comprises resourceful board members representing business, and the hospitality and tourism industries. Similar StreetSmart organisations also run independently in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and The Netherlands.


StreetSmart SA is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation as well as a Non-profit Organisation and ensures that every cent donated by guests goes towards social and educational upliftment projects for street children. StreetSmart's goal is to be part of the process of social normalisation and to encourage the public not to give money into the hands of a child as this keeps them on the streets. In essence, donating to StreetSmart where you eat, sleep, taste and enjoy is the responsible way to help a street child.

For more information or to make a donation, contact StreetSmart SA at Tel: 021 447 3227 email info@streetsmartsa.org.za or visit www.streetsmartsa.org.za.