Centenary celebrations a boost to the hospitality industry

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The provincial leadership of the ANC has appealed to the hospitality industry in the province not to inflate prices for accommodation ahead of its centenary celebrations. The provincial leadership of the ANC has appealed to the hospitality industry in the province not to inflate prices for accommodation ahead of its centenary celebrations.

Fourteen trains will transport people to the ANC's centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA said on Thursday.

Business is booming for accommodation establishments in Bloemfontein, Free State, in view of the ANC centenary celebrations held here.

Most of the guest houses, lodges and hotels have been fully booked for the duration of the celebrations which are expected to be completed on Sunday.

But there are some guesthouse owners who are unhappy after the ANC block-booked their facilities but opted for other facilities.

A few owners who showed letters from the ANC, confirming that the party would use their facilities between January 4 and 9. The ANC allegedly led them on until the day guests were supposed to arrive.

"We had bought food and made all other preparations but there are no guests," said one owner.

The ANC chose to hold its centenary celebrations in the area because this is where the ruling party was formed on January 8, 1912.

The week-long celebrations will include a golf tournament, a night vigil at the Wesleyan Church in Waaihoek, where the party had its first meeting after its formation, culminating in an address by President Jacob Zuma at the Free State Stadium on Sunday before an expected 100000 people.

According to some of the owners whose facilities had been booked, the last time they were "fully" booked was in October last year during the Macufe Festival, and also during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Willro Dienaar, owner of Bounty Guest House situated at the Dan Pienaar suburb, said they were still receiving booking requests from prospective guests.

"The hosting of the ANC centenary celebrations here has helped us make a killing," said Dienaar.

All South Africans, and people from the African continent and the world, were welcome to attend the African National Congress centenary celebrations in Mangaung, ANC chairwoman Baleka Mbete said on Wednesday.

“They do not need accreditation.” Mbete said there was huge interest from people to attend the events.

“It was based on this interest that we would have no less than 100,000 people attending the event.”

Mbete said Free State residents had responded positively to the event by opening up their homes to many South Africans who could not find accommodation.

Other aspects of the centenary programme include two golf tournaments at the Bloemfontein and Schoemans Park courses on Friday.

Most of the party supporters from other provinces would start arriving by bus and trains on Sunday morning, for the main January 8 event.

 

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Hotels and Leisure  |  Government of South Africa  |  Bloemfontein Property Market