KwaZulu-Natal Floods Affect South African Casinos Earlier this month, heavy rains swept across KwaZulu Natal, hitting many areas in the southeast region, particularly around Durban. Hundreds of people died, and several thousand homes and businesses were damaged.

KwaZulu Natal is now licking its wounds after official numbers show that the floods caused over R10 billion in damage. The cost to the area’s tourism industry was especially harsh, with many hotels and casinos reporting losses.

Many tourism facilities were damaged, and cancellations from visitors to the province poured in as the news hit the media.

Overall hotel accommodation occupancy for the province was only 54.4%%, with 236,630 visitors.

Sixteen percent of bookings were cancelled in Durban, with a direct spend loss of R30 million.

155 jobs were lost as a result of the floods.

KwaZulu Natal is home to several top South African casinos, including the Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom, the Golden Horse Casino, the Suncoast Casino, Hotels and Entertainment, the Umfolozi Hotel Casino Convention Resort, Blackrock Casino and the Wild Coast Sun in Port Edward.

Authorities Give Damage Rundown

According to the Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu, Tourism KZN is working closely with Durban Tourism to ascertain the extent of the damage.

Because of the intervention of Durban Tourism and Tourism, city officials ensured that water tankers were provided to several properties such as Tsogo Sun Umhlanga hotels, City Lodge Umhlanga Ridge and the Oyster Box Hotel, but some properties weren’t as lucky.

The government gave a rundown of the damage reported to properties in the province.

  • Adventure Valley in Ballito: Bookings cancelled for the next month because of damage to the road and bridge.
  • Mnini Dam Resort: Badly damaged by the floods
  • Tropicana Hotel: 40% occupancy
  • Rain Farm Game Lodge in Ilembe District: Affected when a bridge to the property washed away.
  • Martinique Complex: Guests had to check out because there was no water or electricity, leading to a loss of tens of thousands of Rand.
  • Relax Inn in Ilembe: No running water
  • Ugu District: 10 Bed and Breakfast facilities between Port Shepstone and Ramsgate received cancellations.
  • Sea Spray Cottages in Margate: Two cottages flooded and interior damaged reported.
  • Marine Drive, Margate: Closed due to dangerous wash-away
  • Central Drakensberg: Potholes exacerbated by heavy rains
  • Olifantshoek Pass: Badly damaged
  • Alfed Duma Municipality: Major cancellations
  • Cato Ridge and Midlands Tala Game Reserve: Closed because of flooding
  • Gwahumbe Game Reserve: Roads into and from the reserve unsuitable for driving; camps partially destroyed.

 

In addition, the beaches were full of debris which meant that many weren’t cleaned up in time for the Easter weekend – one of the busiest periods in South African tourism. Sisulu said that King Shaka International Airport experienced some water damage in parts of its terminal, but there was no disturbance to operations. As a result, flights were operating as scheduled.

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