Thursday, 03 September 2020 18:40


CAPTION: Sun City General Manager Brett Hoppé welcomed the first resort guests in over five months to the resort on 02 September 2020.

With provincial borders finally open Sun City will unlock its doors in a phased reopening from 2 September, following five months of lockdown.

Speaking about the reopening, Sun City General Manager Brett Hoppé said, “Nobody is more excited about Sun City’s reopening than the management and staff and we fully intend to celebrate the occasion with great offers for visitors. There were times during these past few months when our future looked bleak, but along with spring has come new hope for us and for the industry.”

Hotels that will be open on 2 September include The Palace of the Lost City and Soho, with the Sun Vacation Club opening a day later. The website will contain up-to-date details of when restaurants and leisure facilities will reopen.


Health and safety protocols:

All of Sun International’s properties, including Sun City, have been awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) safe stamp of approval, verifying that the COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place meet - and even exceed - international benchmarks. Sun City’s protocols are all based on advice from the Department of Health, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In line with level 2 restrictions, alcohol can again be served for on-site consumption but all visitors will be required to practice social distancing and wear masks. Capacity inside restaurants and at those swimming pools that are open will be limited to a maximum of 50 persons including staff. The space inside our restaurants has also been reconfigured to ensure plentiful space between tables. Social distancing will also be practiced on busses and shuttles.

Per regulation the casino is restricted to not more than 50% of the available floor space. Every second seat has been removed from slot machines, and tables will be limited to a maximum of four players per table.


Community assistance:

While the resort was closed, Hoppe said he and his team tried to keep busy and positive, “For us lockdown did not mean abandoning our responsibility towards our most vulnerable neighbours. We kept busy by providing for the needs of our surrounding old age homes, hospices, orphanages, disaster and crisis centres, health care centres, clinics and home-based care centres.

“I am immensely proud of my staff for the effort they made to improve the lives of those less fortunate – especially at a time when their own livelihoods were at stake. As a result, many poor residents in communities such as Moruleng, Tlhatlhaganyane, Tlokweng Village, Brakkuil, Madikwe, Rustenburg North, Tlaseng, Monakato, Chaneng, Phatsima, Moses Kotane and Mogwase received an important lifeline during lockdown.”

Sun City staff made up and distributed the COVID-19 educational material and hygiene support kits. Each pack contained essential information about the virus and the reasons why communities need to maintain hygiene and social distancing. Inside each kit were sanitisers, gloves, soaps, toilet paper, waste plastic bags and other useful hygiene products.

The resort also made sure that beneficiaries of the Sun City ‘Adopt a Project’ initiative were able to continue feeding needy people who rely on them. Many of the people they support are destitute, and unlike other day care centres, they are also responsible for many children who are fulltime residents. Sun City’s food parcels all provided essentials such as cooking oil, potatoes, onions, sugar, tea, tinned foods such as baked beans and fish, and maize meal.


Animal spotting:

But while Sun City management and staff were confined to their homes and the property was locked, the resort remained active as animals from the adjacent Pilanesberg National Park had full run of the property.

Security teams filmed Monkeys comically playing in children’s play areas, while warthog and herds of buck grazed on the lush lawns and the greens at the famous Gary Player Golf Course.

There were even sightings of an adult leopard on the outlying edges of the property. The animal, which is a female, has been sighted at night as she crosses over roads to reach an isolated mountain area where she hunts.  As is common for these solitary animals, she is extremely shy and she flees as soon as she sees people. Animal experts from the park believe she is following the buck and other small animals.

Speaking ahead of the public opening, Hoppe said “We are inundated with enquiries from people wanting to visit Sun City and our reservations team has been hard at work managing bookings for rooms. The reaction from travellers is a good sign that Sun City will still enjoy a bumper tourist season this year.”