6 months ago

Mpumalanga Business 2021-22

OVERVIEW Tourism Tsogo

OVERVIEW Tourism Tsogo Sun Hotels has taken over the Protea Hotel Hazyview. SECTOR INSIGHT A new hotel and conference is going up in Middelburg. The announcement by Marriott International that it was closing some South African hotels in June 2020 was quickly followed by another statement, this time by Tsogo Sun Hotels, that it would be taking them over. Among these properties is what is now the Hazyview Sun. Tsogo Sun Hotels owned a controlling stake in all three hotels through its subsidiary, Hospitality Property Fund, and stated that it believed in the future of the Hazyview property, which is close to the Kruger National Park. A R350-million four-star hotel and conference centre is to be built in Middelburg in the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality. A publicprivate partnership began with a call for bids, which was won by Akani Properties, a black-owned property development company which will partner with the Raddison Hotel Group to deliver a 150-bed hotel and a convention centre. The Provincial Government of Mpumalanga is looking for more private partners to invest in a range of ambitious projects to boost an already active sector that has several superb tourism assets, ranging from about 70 parks and reserves to bird-watching, music festivals, car rallies and casinos. The Kruger National Park is Mpumalanga’s most famous tourism asset and it falls under South African National Parks (SANParks). Other notable landmarks include God’s Window and the Blyde River Canyon and the Makhonjwa Mountains, which have been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational‚ Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). ONLINE RESOURCES Credit: Tsogo Sun Hotels Mpumalanga Gaming Board: Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency: South African National Parks: South African Tourism Services Association: Although the province already caters for motor-rally enthusiasts, cyclists, runners, walkers, fishers, horse-riders, tree-gliders, abseilers, white-water rafters and rock climbers, there is still potential for more investment in the ecotourism and adventure tourism subsectors. Tsogo Sun has nine properties in the province, ranging from two StayEasys to Southern Sun The Ridge, which is attached to the Ridge Casino in Witbank (eMalahleni) and the Southern Sun Emnotweni in Nelspruit. Tsogo runs the Pine Lake Resort in White River and a further two resorts in Hazyview, the newly acquired Hazyview Sun and the Sabi River Sun Resort, which is undergoing refurbishments to its chalets and golf course in anticipation of the return of local and international travellers. Protea Hotels by Marriott has two properties in Mpumalanga, Protea Hotel Kruger Gate and Nelspruit. At White River, Premier Hotel The Winkler is 20 minutes’ drive from the Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park. Forever Resorts has a big presence in the province, catering to caravanners, campers and holiday-makers wanting to stay in chalets. There is also a four-star Forever Resorts Mount Sheba. The Graceland Hotel Casino and Country Club is a Peermont resort in Secunda. ■ MPUMALANGA BUSINESS 2021/22 42

Out with the archaic, in with the innovative In a watershed decision, National Treasury has opened RT15 2021 up to the four primary telco service providers, ending five years of exclusivity for the telco awarded RT15 2016. This now offers the public sector and stateowned enterprises a choice in terms of where they want to spend their communication and data budgets. his new RT15 2021 transversal contract now brings with it Tcompetition and the expectation of service delivery. “The responsibility now rests on the service provider, organs of the state and state-owned enterprises,” says Nic Chauke, MTN’s head of Sales and RT15. “The directive from National Treasury to the public sector is that when they engage with service providers, delivery is vital. “Appointment of a service provider is now entirely left to the individual organ of state, which can select the provider based on merit, such as the support structure to execute well. A state entity that wants to secure services has to visit the National Treasury website and opt in, indicating their intention to procure the services through this transversal. A letter will be issued by Treasury indicating that they have opted in.” While RT15 2021 is a five-year term, there is flexibility for organs of state to take contracts out for periods that suit them. This means that only if service providers do a `phenomenal job’ by having the quality and scale of network and a dedicated team focused on the execution of service, will contracts be renewed. “It also means that we need to keep moving on infrastructure issues, especially power, alternative power, roads and addressing theft of equipment,” continues Chauke. “Covid-19 has highlighted some of the limitations of broadband, such as the cost of data. In education, for example, this is inhibited by the lack of devices and steep data prices. This is one of the areas we need to align our offering to. “Last year started a huge drive for us in universities and there were instances where we provided reverse bill apps and helped institutions, such as Unisa, to foot the bill. “Covid-19 meant the industry had to work hard to introduce innovation, but this has been a fantastic thing.” MTN Business takes its hat off to National Treasury for what it has crafted to provide competition and enable government to have access to uncapped data. This means that state employees can have unlimited access to work apps without incurring personal costs. The biggest factor to Nic Chauke, Head of Sales and RT15 at MTN Business mention is the cost containment, which means that government spend can be deployed elsewhere such as healthcare and infrastructure. By implication, these benefits filter directly through to citizens. “The value proposition now moves away from the archaic way communications was offered in the past. National Treasury has driven the industry to become even more innovative and flexible. We can now offer uncapped data, voice and closed user group minutes, SMS and closed user group SMS at the aggressively competitive rates government has negotiated with us. “The public sector has responded so positively to this and it is really encouraging to see the channels of communication opening up. “Since this contract became effective, we have been engaging with a number of government departments on a daily basis. It has also opened up the horizon to engage with government to work closely with rural communities and partner with small entities, something we are very excited about,” he concludes. Email – Call – 083 200 6830 Click – For more information, please visit: Exclusive to Government departments that opt in to RT15-2021

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