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Gauteng Business 2020/21 edition

  • Text
  • Sustainable
  • Development
  • Cities
  • Construction
  • Economy
  • Africa
  • Investment
  • Invest
  • Africa
  • Infrastructure
  • Industries
  • Logistics
  • Provincial
  • Tourism
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  • Johannesburg
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The 2020/21 edition of Gauteng Business is the 12th issue of this highly successful publication that has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Gauteng Province. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there are special features on infrastructure investment programmes and plans for the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as a means to boost economic growth. Another feature on construction and property underlines the importance of spatial planning in the region’s future. Ambitious plans for the City of Johannesburg are outlined, both in the journal's editorial pages and by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA).

OVERVIEW Tourism Tourism

OVERVIEW Tourism Tourism operators are determined to rise again. Credit: Marriott International When the Marriott International hotel group closed three of its South African hotels during the Covid-19 lockdown, Tsogo Sun Hotels, which owns a controlling stake in all three hotels, stepped up its commitment by agreeing to bring them into its portfolio, keep them open and run them. One of these hotels is the The Mount Grace in the Magaliesberg which was developed by the Brand family and was the sister hotel to The Grace in Rosebank. Tsogo bought and restored The Grace in 2015 and it currently operates as 54 on Bath. The Tsogo group believes that demand for conferencing, weddings and shorter family getaways will grow and that The Mount Grace, with its close proximity to Johannesburg, is in a good position to respond to those markets. Tsogo Sun Holdings split its casino and hotel operations in 2019 in order to unlock value in the two sectors. With a market cap of R25-billion, Tsogo is the country’s biggest hotel group. It has 36 hotels and three casinos in Gauteng. The hotel brands cover four market segments, and they include a handful of stand-alone hotels such as the Palazzo (at Montecasino) and the boutique hotel in Rosebank. SunSquare, Southern Sun Hotels, Southern Sun Resorts, Garden Court and StayEasy are among the group’s brands. SECTOR INSIGHT Tsogo Sun Hotel took over The Mount Grace during lockdown. The move by Marriott International into the South African market was seen as significant, and it retains most of its properties. In partnership with the Amdec Group, Marriott spent about R1-billion on the Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch and Marriott Executive Apartments Johannesburg Melrose Arch. Buying into Protea Hotels has also given Marriott access to other African countries. Although all projections about the tourism sector and GAUTENG BUSINESS 2020/21 38

OVERVIEW its potential for growth and for job creation were short-circuited by the Covid-19 pandemic, the fact remains that the sector can grow quickly and it is a good job creator. Growing Gauteng Together (GGT2030) is a plan of action formulated by the Gauteng Provincial Government which intends to transform, modernise and industrialise the provincial economy. The expansion of the tourism sector is seen as one of the key methods of achieving those goals. This was emphasised when the 2020 State of the Province Address included Tourism and Hospitality as one of 10 “high-growth” sectors. In June 2020, as part of preparation for the reopening of the sector, the Gauteng Tourism Authority (GTA) launched its first webinar in a four-part series of targeted engagements. It was agreed that local tourism would have to take up the slack that occurred with the collapse of international arrivals and that safety protocols were vital to restoring confidence. Virtual tours have been taken up by heritage operators such as Constitution Hill and Liliesleaf Farm and this option is likely to grow as people in other countries seek out a South African experience free from any worries. Founder and CEO of the heritage site honouring the South African liberation movement, Nicholas Wolpe, said, “There are now over 1 400 hours of archive material that we will be taking online and through virtual tours and information banks that can be accessed off-site.” The CEO of Emerald Resorts, Mark Hands, commented, “We are repackaging our strategy for visitors to include more digital offerings as we will have to limit physical numbers as social distancing may well be with us into 2022 to manage infections brought about by large groups of people.” A strong theme at the webinar was solidarity. “We have to adapt to the new normal even as it is unknown at the moment,” said Fezile Ngqobe, acting CEO for GTA. “What we do know is that as a sector, we are all in this together.” The Legacy Group was one of the first to introduce apartments to the hotel development mix in South Africa when it added the Davinci Hotel on Nelson Mandela Square to its portfolio just before South Africa hosted the soccer World Cup in 2010. The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic may lead to this trend growing within other hotel groups. The Legacy collection includes the Michelangelo Hotel and Michelangelo Towers. The Davinci was designed with 166 hotel ONLINE RESOURCES Cradle of Humankind: Gauteng Tourism Authority: Johannesburg Tourism Company: rooms, 54 apartments in the upper reaches, with a further four luxurious penthouses above that. Culture and history Heritage tourism is a strong component of the tourism offering in Gauteng. The Cradle of Humankind is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts thousands of visitors every year to the interactive visitor’s centre at Maropeng. The Sterkfontein Caves have extraordinary displays, showing the origins of humanity through artefacts such as the 2.1-million-yearold skull known as Mrs Ples. The Origins Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand provides insights into the origins of mankind through art and science. The Centre hosts superb representations of Khoi and San rock art. History relating to the struggle against apartheid centres on attractions such as the moving exhibitions housed at the Apartheid Museum and the history of the battle for human rights and democracy embodied in Constitution Hill. Kliptown in Soweto is the site of the signing of the Freedom Charter. Another site where South Africa’s history is on display is at Freedom Park, a sprawling complex of museums, open spaces and memorials on a hillside overlooking Pretoria in Tshwane. ■ 39 GAUTENG BUSINESS 2020/21

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