Sun International made the decision to temporarily close its hotels and resorts, including Sun City Resort and Wild Coast Sun.
All of Sun International’s restaurants and casino properties will be temporarily closed from 28 June, in line with Lockdown Level 4 regulations announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday 27 June.
The group has also taken a decision to temporarily close its hotels and resorts, including Sun City Resort and Wild Coast Sun.
“The new regulations require our casinos and restaurants to close, but given the new restrictions on leisure travel into and out of Gauteng, alcohol and the curfew, our hotels and resorts will struggle to operate, so we have taken a decision to temporarily close them too,” explained Graham Wood, Group COO: Hospitality.
“We are mindful that government is concerned about the risk of transmission and the need to curtail the rise in new infections. However, these restrictions will have a further negative impact on our tourism industry, the thousands of people employed and the surrounding local communities. We remain hopeful that the worst of the latest COVID-19 outbreak will have subsided 14 days from now so that we can safely reopen our hotels, resorts and casinos.”
Meanwhile, Sun International’s online SunBet sports betting platform will continue to be operational.
Existing hotel reservations that are scheduled for arrival up to and including 15 July 2021 can be changed to an alternative date for stay by 30 November 2021 or cancelled at no charge. All deposits will be refunded in case of cancellation. Similarly, Sun Vacation Club reservations can be postponed to a future date or space banked.
The food and beverage industry has been one of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been forced to change their business models in order to trade and have a viable industry in the future.
Hundreds of restaurants have closed down worldwide to curb infections, and while some did pivot to takeaways and deliveries, others had to close because the overheads were not worth staying in business. Restaurants in SA are still reeling over last year’s lockdowns, which saw alcohol sales banned, on-site dining banned and the number of patrons that can be served lowered.
Chief executive of the Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa), Wendy Alberts, spoke to IOL about the industry’s fears about not surviving further restrictions.
“The restaurant industry has been the industry most impacted at every turn and at every level. Hardship has been at the forefront for all our businesses and staff. We are doing everything we can to save jobs.”
She later told Cape Talk that for people who over the next few weeks will not have any income.
“I ask myself how did the President go to sleep last night. We as an industry didn’t sleep. Our people didn’t sleep. They are emotional, they are fraught with fear, they do not know where they are going to get their next meal, their salaries, their next income is going to come from.”
Celebrity chef, cookbook author and award-winning TV personality, Lesego Semenya, took to Twitter to highlight how dire the situation was for the industry.
“Let me break it down a little. Those restaurants that do sell takeaways do so with a staff complement that is about 30% of what it normally is.
“One well-known chef I was speaking to who owns five restaurants let 50% of his staff go and then the remaining ones work shifts.
“When you sit down at a restaurant it isn’t only about food. A fine dining restaurant actually makes its money from the wine list and beverages. It’s why it was the restaurant industry body that put up one of the biggest fights about the booze ban.”