New hotels provide much needed jobs

The MC for the evening, Siv Ngesi dances with premier Helen Zille before she made her speech.

Tsogo Sun launched its two newest 19-storey hotels, Sunsquare and Stay Easy, on the corner of Bree, Buitengracht and Strand streets. Constructed at a cost of R700m, the two hotels will add another 504 rooms to the City Bowl, bringing Tsogo Sun’s total number of rooms in the CBD to 2 000.

They also own the Cape Sun hotel in Strand Street, the Cullinan hotel in Cullinan Street and the Southern Sun Waterfront in Lower Buitengracht Street in the CBD.

At the launch event, the director general for tourism, Victor Tharage, said Tsogo Sun has recognised a need for accommodation in the CBD as tourism continues to grow. “The government can pull out all strategies to increase tourism in the city, but at the end of the day, these tourists need somewhere to stay.”

Mayor Patricia de Lille, who was also at the event, said the hotel had provided much needed jobs for the people of Cape Town. “Cape Town was named the top tourist destination in South Africa by Cape Town tourism, and for us to hold that title, we need public private partnerships.”

She said earlier this year, the City had signed the first city to city agreement with New York to promote tourism in both cities.

“This is also bringing us closer to establishing our very first direct flight from Cape Town to New York.”

Ms De Lille also pointed out that the new hotels were the top water-saving hotels in the Western Cape, having restricted guests from using bathtubs, and having replaced all their shower heads with low-flow shower roses that use 8 litres a minute as opposed to 18 litres a minute.

They have also started educating staff and visitors about the water restrictions.

Premier Helen Zille said the hotel was placed where tourists wanted to be – near the V&A Waterfront, Bo-Kaap, and the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Mocaa) which was launched last week (“African art in focus,” Capetowner, September 28) and conference areas, as the CBD is one of the biggest conference destinations in the world.

“Also, the construction of this hotel has created 1 000 jobs – 215 of those permanent. Half of these people had never worked in their lives.”

The newly appointed CEO of Tsogo Sun, Jacques Booysen, thanked everyone for their support, and said the hotels would have not been built were it not for the Cape Town community.

The new development comprises two hotels. The Sunsquare hotel has 202 rooms and includes five conference venues, the largest of which caterers for up to 140 delegates; Tsogo Sun’s Vigour and Verve restaurant; a rooftop pool and bar with views of the Cape Town CBD, retail space and a fitness centre.

The StayEasy hotel offers 302 bedrooms with a dedicated breakfast restaurant and access to all the facilities on complex. The project also includes undercover parking for 300 vehicles.